Girl, 17, Swims From Alcatraz

Crossing Easily Made by Soldier’s Daughter

Anastasia Scott, 17-year-old San Francisco mermaid, swam from Alcatraz island to the San Francisco mainland yesterday without batting a dusky eyelash.

The first woman to swim from the prison island, so far as the records show, and one of the few people who have ever done it, Miss Scott made the crossing of about a mile and a half in 43 minutes, landing safely at the Dolphin Swimming Club dock.

The daughter of Staff Sergeant George A. Scott of the quartermaster corps, stationed at Alcatraz, Miss Scott has won a number of medals for her swimming under the colors of the Western Women’s Club.

She said she has wanted to try the swim for some time, but the weather and tides were always against her.

Yesterday morning she told her family she was going fishing and then, in her own words, she “just jumped off a rock and started swimming at 10 minutes of 10.”

She was accompanied by a rowboat containing her pilot, Herbert Derham and Ralph Davie, both of the Dolphin Club, and Edna Curry, well known local swimmer.

“I had no difficulty at all,” she said, “except some of the waves from the ferry boats were pretty big.”

Slender, red-haired and full of vivacity, Miss Scott was graduated last year from Galileo High School.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 18 October 1933.

Women Fight Alcatraz Devil's Island Plan as 2 Girls Make Swim

Pair Easily Best Strong Bay Tides

Feminine Clubs Send Protests on Idea to House Criminals Here to Washington

While action by the San Francisco club women against the Government’s decision to make Alcatraz Prison a “Devil’s Island” for hardened criminals gained momentum yesterday, two more San Francisco girl swimmers easily negotiated the waters that are supposed to make the prison “escape proof.”


Meanwhile, Army officials were preparing to turn the island over to the Department of Justice.

Miss Doris McLeod swam from shore to the island and then around it. She started from pier 45, bucked the tide all the way out and half the way back and landed at the South End Rowing Club in 2 hours flat.


The other swimmer was Gloria Scigliano, a national junior champion. She swam to the island in 57 minutes and then climbed aboard a launch in which Phil Patterson and Andrain Pitto followed the girls.

It was also ascertained that in 1923 Mabel Green swam out to the island, touched it, and swam back again.

According to officials in Washington, Alcatraz was selected as a gangster prison because it is surrounded by “deep rushing waters and is 100 per cent escape proof.”


Early this week these same officials were startled to learn Anastasia Scott, 17-year-old girl, had successfully undertaken the swim in 47 minutes.

The clubwomen yesterday notified the California, San Francisco and Junior Chambers of Commerce of their stand.

Mrs. Albert W. Stokes, president of the San Francisco District Federation of Women’s Clubs; Mrs. Harry Geballe, president of the City and County Federation, and Mrs. James Ellis Tucker, social and civic leader, prepared to obtain women’s support in their fight.


Mrs. Geballe, having had the consent of her executive committee to take action with the district group, will present her plans to her executive board this morning at the Western Women’s Club. And the three were receiving last evening many offers of support from individual women.

The San Francisco District of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs representing 14 northern counties with an approximate membership of 8000 women  vigorously protests against the conversion of Alcatraz Island into a Federal prison.

“There is a general opinion expressed that should the island become a Federal prison, it would bring to the city and its immediate vicinity undesirables, such as racketeers, associates and relatives of the prisoners.”


“Our island is small and situated as it is in the bay, in close proximity to San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley where is located the State University of California with its 10,000 or 12,000 young people attending school—the bringing of a Federal prison to this locality would be detrimental.

“We respectfully urge you to use your influence in preventing the transfer.”

There called at the federation office yesterday, Mrs. Mary Boffre, for seven years Deputy Sheriff of St. Paul, Minnesota. Mrs. Boffre declared that from her experience with the insane and criminals, she knew the local women were right in their protest.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 20 October 1933, page 1.


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