326-year-old beeswax is washing up on Oregon beaches

In the late 1600s, a Spanish galleon from Manila went down in a storm off the Oregon coast. Its cargo? A bounty of beeswax, used for candles to light the churches and major institutions of the Spanish colonies. Beeswax and other artifacts from the epic shipwreck are still being found on beaches today. In this edition of Mossback's Northwest, Knute Berger recalls the complicated journey that some observers say resulted in the first-ever contact between Europeans and Northwest indigenous peoples. 

About the Authors & Contributors

Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.