Thursday, October 28, 2021

Jack London's Wheel?

The Roamer wheel
Hugh and Jeremy Wire grew up in a house on a hill overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach, California. In their yard was a wheel said to have come from one of Jack London’s boats.

I learned about the wheel from Hugh’s daughter, Annette Williams, who has inherited the house and the wheel.

Curious about whether or not the wheel actually did come from one of London’s boats, I asked her to send me a photo of the family wheel for comparison.

The family wheel
It seemed a straightforward investigation. Aside from the rowboat and centerboard skiff London skittered about on as a youth, he owned only four boats during his lifetime: the Razzle Dazzle, the Spray, the Snark, and the Roamer. We have photos of all but one wheel.

You can read about the wheel and the boat she came from in an essay I wrote for The Call, The Magazine of the Jack London Society (Spring/Summer 2021).