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Okanogan fires claim the Zina

A historic wooden boat with a storied past in Eagle Harbor went up in flames recently, yet another loss in the sad story of this summer’s devastating wildfires.

Island residents may remember the Zina, which was towed from Eagle Harbor in 2008 and transported to Okanogan to be restored. Built in 1864 by James Winslow Hall, the history of the vessel was meticulously chronicled by Review contributor Jerry Elfendahl in a three-part story that was first published in 2008.

The old boat, however, has been consumed in the fires that have ravaged Eastern Washington.

“Our family just heard that the Zina, while in its barn out in the Okanogan, was burned as a casualty of the forest fires, and a total loss,” Christopher Wilton told the Review.

“We’re pretty heartbroken over here,” he said. “We heard it from the family that moved the boat over to Eastern Washington. It was a cool boat,” he said. “It’s quite the loss.”

Wilton’s cousin told him of the loss after Robert Spanfelner first informed him of the sad news via email.

“I mentioned a while back that Zina had been purchased by someone from Okanogan and had been moved to a barn in a place called the Chiliwist with the idea that she would be rebuilt,” Spanfelner wrote. “Wonderful dream, but the news is not good. Zina has found her final anchorage as part of the ruin and devastation of the recent fires.”

Spanfelner said he  heard of the loss by friends who live nearby where the boat was being kept.

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