Portrait of the Joe Fellows Family, Joe and Josie Fellows with their two sons, Robert and Rusty, circa 1912.
Joe Fellows was born in Barth, England in 1865, immigrating to first to Canada as a boy and then later to the West Coast in 1890’s. His trade was designing sail and motor boats and he opened a boat shop on Terminal Island in 1896. The firm grew from a rather small operation into a well-known and respected firm that built, repaired and refurbished boats.
Before retiring in 1937, Joe led an active and dynamic life designing and selling pleasure boats. Of the boats designed by Joe Fellows, his racing sailboats, motor cruisers and speedboats were prototypical of classic designs.
Looking at the photographs of Joe and the family, it would appear he placed a high value on travelling in the state of California with his family.
Snapshot of Joe and Josie Fellows on a Road Trip with Rusty, circa 1915.
An account from a magazine tells of Joe’s early experience building river steamers in San Francisco appeared in Pacific Motor Boat, October 1940 issue in an article entitled: “Joe Fellows – Boat Builder”. According to the author, Fellows was no stranger to near disaster, which may be why he kept cool and calm, and survived the experience. For a selection from the biographical sketch, please see Stories, Joe Fellows' yacht..
Two other stories about Fellows stand out from the usual biographies written about him for the 50th anniversary of his firm in 1949. One chronicles just how much a daredevil appears to take chances, while an earlier story tells of sailing home during a spring storm in San Pedro Bay.