The U.S. Naval Schooner Shark arrived at Astoria in August, 1846 to survey the harbor at the mouth of the Columbia.
On September 10, 1846, upon completion of the mission, she started for Vancouver, but ran aground on the south spit and became a total wreck (Morning Oregonian, 31 July 1899).
All on board got ashore safely, but the sloop soon began to break up. The upper portion came loose from the hull and floated away with her 12 cannon on board. A few days later Richard Hobson was walking down the beach, and directly opposite where the Austin cottage now stands he found the wreck of the Shark, or rather the portion of it that had floated away from the south spit. Three of the cannon were still on board, and he and two Indians who were with him rolled one overboard and well up on the beach. The other two they got overboard, but the returning tide made it impossible to get them ashore. From this incident the beach gradually came to be called Cannon beach.
A cannon from the USS Shark found near Arch Cape gave the town of Cannon Beach its name.