A guide to the Richmond Yacht Club photographs, circa 1920s-1977

Processed by: M. Crawford and Amy Croft, April 2013.
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: 415-561-7030
Fax: 415-556-3540
SAFR_Historic_Documents@nps.gov
URL: http://www.nps.gov/safr
2013

A Guide to the Richmond Yacht Club photographs

P12-001

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, National Park Service
2013, National Park Service

Title: Richmond Yacht Club photographs
Date: circa 1920s-1977
Date (bulk): 1930s-1940s
Identifier/Call Number: P12-001 (SAFR 23370)
Creator: Unknown
Physical Description: 71 items.
Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Abstract: The Richmond Yacht Club photographs, circa 1920s-1977, bulk 1930s-1940s, (SAFR 23370, P12-001) are comprised mainly of photographs and some ephemeral material regarding yachts and yachting related to the Richmond Yacht Club and surrounding San Pablo Bay harbor in Northern California. The collection has been processed to the Series level with some Items listed and is open for use.
Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
Language(s): In English.

Access

This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

Publication and Use Rights

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Processing Note

Each photographic image and each piece of ephemera has been assigned an Item number. In the case of the two business cards in this collection, they have been assigned one number to share (Item 61) as they are duplicates.
Information about numeric stamps on the back of the photographs has been included in the scope notes at the Series level and physical description note at the Item level where applicable, because in the early 20th century the stamp often signified the customer number. This might help to identify which photographs came from particular people or which photographs were developed together.
Description Notes: Dates refer to when the original photograph was taken. It is possible that some of the photographic prints in this collection are copies that were made later than when the original photograph was taken.
Although the provenance of this material is unknown, it is possible that some of the Items were received from Gerald J. Heaphey as there are photographs, clippings, business cards, and a Richmond Yacht Club membership card that refer to him. Where Items are directly connected to Heaphey, it has been noted in the appropriate Series scope note or Item description, when applicable. At least one of the Items in the collection was created nearly seven years after Heaphey passed away, and so it is possible that all the material might not have come directly from Heaphey or that it came from persons directly affiliated with him.
The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

Preferred Citation

[Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P12-001 (SAFR 23370), Richmond Yacht Club photographs, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Acquisition Information

SAFR-02201
This collection was transferred from the J. Porter Shaw Library to the Historic Documents department by SAFR staff in January 2012. It contains photographs and ephemera related to the Richmond Yacht Club that was found stored in a box in the Library mezzanine for over 10 years. The materials were found in an envelope with the return address of "Graham & James; One Maritime Plaza, Third Floor; San Francisco 94111" postmarked August 12, 1988, with the address label removed. The original provenance of the material is unknown. It is possible that some of the materials are from Gerald J. Heaphey, but this could not be confirmed. It is also possible that this material is from multiple donors and was compiled into a collection by SAFR staff based on the subject matter.

Historical or Biographical Note

Richmond Yacht Club History: The Richmond Yacht Club (RYC) of Richmond, California, is a competitive and recreational boating club located on the San Pablo Bay in Northern California. The Richmond Yacht Club was incorporated in 1932 and its clubhouse has been in six different locations since it was established: 1) Foot of 8th Street (Ellis Landing); 2) Foot of 2nd Street; 3) Bulldog Point (Pt. Potrero); 4) Richmond City Hall; 5) Canal Street & Cutting Boulevard; 6) Brickyard Cove. The RYC was created under the auspice of forming an affordable sailing club, and members have made their own boats and sails, built their own club facilities, and facilitated their own races, earning the reputation of "the sailing-est club on the Bay." The RYC has a "proud tradition of hosting world class championships as well as a multitude of regattas for Bay Area racers, junior and youth boaters, and RYC members," facilitating training and outings for youth and providing a full social calendar for its members.
The Richmond Yacht Club began as an informal gathering of high school boys and men that shared their sailing experiences at the end of a day's sail along the Richmond waterfront. These men were invited to join the Aeolian Yacht Club, but the "South Side Boys," as they called themselves, came to the conclusion on August 4, 1932, that they would create a club of their own with dues that they could afford. The club was incorporated on October 21, 1932, and meetings were moved from the outboard club's tin shed on the waterfront to Commodore Lindsey's home in north Oakland. Plans for a clubhouse were put into motion.
After less than a year of incorporation, membership had risen to 33 dedicated members. Despite the club coming to fruition during the Great Depression, members were able to gather enough funds to build a clubhouse and facilities to store their boats. The "'Poor Man's' yacht club," raised money through treasure hunts on Red Rock Island, card parties, 50-cent dinners and picnics, and a Snipe boat raffle (Wootten et al., 37). In 1933, they were able to move forward on plans to build their own clubhouse. Through negotiations with H.P. Laurentzen, they rented a piece of waterfront at the Laurentzen Channel. The building site was at the foot of 8th Street, also known as Ellis Landing. Club members volunteered many hours -- sometimes coming out as early as two or three o'clock in the morning at low tide to drive piles for the dock -- to build the clubhouse and boat facilities from the ground up. Aware of the need for oversight, club members appointed Captain Shattuck as the port captain, who hauled his ark on shore to watch over the club.
Throughout the 1930s, the RYC established itself as a leader in San Francisco Bay yachting. As membership continued to rise, so did the Snipe fleet of the RYC. Due to the number of Snipe boats being launched at the point where the Laurentzen and Santa Fe Channels met, it became known as Snipe Point. The fleet was captained by Dorothy Hallender, at that time a captain who built her own craft. The club was off to a strong start and began to claim Yacht Racing Association (YRA) race titles, bringing home the first season championship award in 1934. By affiliating itself with the Northern California Power Cruiser Association in 1937, the club further diversified its interests and became an even more established club in the San Francisco Bay yachting scene. Besides organized racing, the RYC also enjoyed sails to Paradise Cove, Paradise Park and Red Rock Island; social events; and special sailing outings such as those organized by the women's group, the "Petticoat Skippers."
Towards the end of the 1930s, the club wanted to buy the property the clubhouse sat on, but H.P. Laurentzen refused to sell the property with the hope that industrialization of the area would prove lucrative. With membership in 1939 at 150-and-rising, the club started looking for a new site. Bulldog Point was chosen as the new location and leased for $50 per month. The clubhouse was moved by barge in April 1939, and it was ready for use by May. The club continued to enjoy success in racing and recreational sailing.
The RYC also became known for boat design by creating the El Toro class boat in 1939. The "El Toro International Yacht Racing Association Class Handbook (1973)" reports that "in 1939-1940, members of the Richmond Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay met to select a small boat for use as a yacht tender as well as a sailing dinghy. They chose MacGregor's 'Sabot,' an 8-foot pram, plans for which had been published by Rudder Magazine. The first hull was constructed in a night-school boat building class. It followed the lines of the Sabot exactly but was modified in other features. Before this was even launched, other Richmond members became interested and at their regular get-togethers decided that since the boat had been a product of their 'Bull Sessions', it should be named 'El Toro' and the shovel would be the sail insignia. Formal organization of the El Toro class occurred in 1946-1947. A survey of hulls was made and it was found that no two were identical in all respects; the first set of specifications was drafted to obtain official standing. After the basic rules and limitations were formulated, the El Toro was accepted by the Small Boat Racing Association of Northern California" (Cooper and Gentry). The El Toro later became a staple of the club's fleet: with the loss of facilities and new sailing restrictions, these smaller crafts were ideal for use in many locations, and putting in and taking out without difficulty.
The onset of World War II proved to be a challenging time for the RYC due to heightened fear surrounding the security of the Pacific Coast following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Coast Guard restrictions regarding ocean travel, and a dramatic decrease in membership due to enlistment of members in the armed forces. In 1942, the RYC was evicted from their clubhouse by the Maritime Commission in order to make way for shipyards to supply resources for the war. The City of Richmond allowed the club to meet in the basement of City Hall, and agreed to help them find a permanent waterfront location. In the meantime, the club brought suit against the government regarding their eviction and the demolition of their clubhouse. A $5,000 settlement was reached, although this was far below the actual value of the structure, as little documentation of the cost to build the clubhouse was retained and nearly all the labor was at free since it was volunteered by members.
During this time, despite the dedication to the club by the members, morale was faltering; in order to connect those dispersed by war and those that remained in the Bay Area, the publication the "Flying Jib" was used to maintain connections between those at home and abroad. In 1946, George Childs bought a portable building for $100, with the intent of establishing a new clubhouse. The new clubhouse was set in place May 15, 1946, near the turning basin in the Santa Fe Channel. Despite the benefits of moving back to the waterfront, there were concerns about the viability of the club. The Snipe fleet was nearly depleted due to the inconvenience of the relocation to the inland City Hall and the "Flying Jib" proved too expensive to produce and publication was subsequently canceled. However, many members rented berths at the new site and the club looked to reestablish itself financially, physically, and in membership in the post-war years.
In 1948, the club had little hope that the City of Richmond would help facilitate a move to a more permanent location. The RYC rebuilt the small boat house and began to host their own regattas again; events culminated with the Richmond Small Boat Racing Association Regatta, which was the largest small boat regatta ever held up until that time. Other events signaling a turnaround for the club in this year were the publication of the "Storm Jib," a pared-down and less costly version of the "Flying Jib," and the organization of the Yacht Club Widow's Mutual Protective Association (later known as the Ladies in Waiting, then the W.P.A., and then the Deckhands), a group of wives of members that met while RYC meetings were held. This social group proved to be an important stanchion of the club, supporting club activities in various ways.
In 1949, there were still no plans for moving. However an expansion for the club was necessary, so they built an addition to the clubhouse that was moveable, enabling them to move that portion in the future when the time came. Again, members pitched in and provided a considerable amount of the labor. Although the clubhouse remaining at the Cutting Boulevard and Canal Street site was disappointing, 1949 proved to be a good race year and it marked the return of the Beachcombers Ball, a popular social event that had stopped during the war years.
Throughout the 1950s, the RYC was energized and enthusiastic in hosting races and social activities and members enjoyed success in racing. In 1950, the RYC hosted the International 110 Class World Championships, and from there saw a resurgence of small boat activity within the club. Overall, the 110s and Bear class boats and crew were some of the most competitive boats on the bay and beyond, and the Mercury fleet was coming into its prime. 1951 brought the establishment of the Junior Program, a group that began as eight to sixteen year-olds that sailed El Toros from October to March. The acquisition of an on-site liquor license in 1951 proved to be lucrative and the paving of the boat yard in 1953 facilitated traffic in and out of the berths. Additionally, improvements were constantly being made to the premises, albeit with the understanding that they would sometime find a permanent home. Members were also participating in political causes such as the "Battle of the Delta," lobbying to preserve some of the natural environments of the Sacramento River, lobbying against building bridges across many sloughs and channels, and contacting elected representatives to save the delta for sailboats. In the 1950s it became difficult to sail small boats out of Richmond due to the industrialization of the waterfront, making pleasure boating challenging. However, this did not prove to be a long-term restraint for the RYC.
By 1961, membership had reached its limit of 225, and the membership ceiling was raised to 300, with the understanding that they would find a permanent home in the near future. It took a year of negotiations, but plans were made to purchase Lot No. 6 of the MacDonald-Henshaw property in Brickyard Cove. The club had been saving and investing money and the majority of the capital came from proceeds from the Polynesian themed bar erected on site. After a considerable search resulting in 11 proposed sites, the club obtained property at Brickyard Cove with space for a clubhouse, small boat facilities, and their own harbor.
In 1963, the contract for the property was signed, and Brickyard Cove Harbors (BYCH), Inc. was formed, the result of a committee of five established by the RYC Board of Directors to develop the harbor and clubhouse. It was a for-profit subsidiary of RYC, a non-profit, with only RYC members holding stock. The club members once again took to labor and began constructing the harbor. The following year was full of activities regarding the design of the new clubhouse and construction on that structure began in August 1964. The construction was contracted out more than in the past, but the club members still did a considerable amount of the work themselves.
The harbor was officially opened January 31, 1965, however many people found the conditions in the harbor less than ideal and many sailors left. The breakwater was found to be inadequate and modifications were made to make the harbor more hospitable and tenantable in September 1966. Progress on the clubhouse moved forward rapidly: a time capsule was placed in the fireplace stone on October 17, 1965; moving day was in February of 1966; and the clubhouse was dedicated on April 30, 1966. By 1969, the harbor slips were 100% occupied.
With the new clubhouse, conditions for hosting events were improved and the RYC facilitated events again on a national scale. Notable races sponsored by the club in the next decades were the 1965 Master Mariners Race, 1966 Nationals for the Finn Class, 1967 Heavy Weather One-of-a-Kind Regatta, Adams Cup Quarter and Semi-Finals, 1968 Olympic Class Kiel West, Olympic Trials for Dragons (for the 1972 Olympics), and other races including the Youth Nationals, FJ Worlds, and national races of OK Dinghies, O'Days, 110s, Lightenings, Fireballs, Tornados, and Sanatanas. Additionally, week-long cruises were added in 1969.
The 1970s and early 1980s brought some logistical changes to the harbor, but it was primarily a period of racing success and high participation in recreational activities. The club grew in membership, in diversity of those members on the water, in diversity of the fleet as Boston Whalers were added to the club, and by way of developing an already ripe cruising tradition. Families made up crews sailing closer to home on the bay, and members Norton Smith (who won the first singlehanded race to Hawaii and won the TransAtlantic in "time to spare") and Rod Park (who skippered the first monohull to finish in the 1980 Singlehand to Hawaii) were proving exceptional times in ocean crossings (Wootten et al., 243). Many women were making waves as racers: Jocelyn Nash, Elly Dowd, Poppy Truman, Marina Park and Susie Klein, just to name a few. It has been surmised that improvements in equipment for hauling and operating boats proved a motivating factor for women to participate in sailing. Organized Women's sailing didn't take a firm hold in the club until Kit Francis organized the "Sea Farers," even though membership and participation of women had been encouraged throughout the history of the club, as long as they voted and sailed. Women were contributing as competitive sailors as well as in terms of providing support to sailors and fundraising by way of the Women's Auxiliary Richmond Yacht Club (1966-1975), party planning and organization, and work days.
The Junior Program flourished along with adult racing during this time. RYC junior members won the Sears Cup and United States Yacht Racing Union 3-person Junior Championship. The years 1973 through 1976 brought summer camps run by parents for children, and overall, many juniors were sent to prestigious camps and races.
Although many members were dedicated to competitive sailing, the club was not without its share of informal outings and social events. Many informal races enjoyed by the Club during this time were: Tri-Island Race (Treasure Island, Angel Island, and Red Rock Island in no particular order); Juniors training programs; Spring Tune Up race with a Pot Luck Supper; Midwinter races; and Turkey Day. Social events, both continued historical events as well as newly introduced ones, included Pot-Luck Dinners, Crab Feeds, Opening Day Dinner-Dances, Tri-Island Race Barbeques, Brooks Island Picnics, Beachcombers Balls, Christmas Parties, New Year's Eve Parties, Crafts and Arts Shows, Fashion Shows, Friday Night Dinners, Sunday Night Dinners, Picture Parties, Geritol Cruises, Flag Officer Cruises, and Seafarers activities. Despite all the work on the water and social events on land, many members also found time to advocate for waterway usage and were delegates to national organizations as well.
In 1976, the IRS ruled that only RYC members could occupy the berths, and so after some reorganization, the harbor was members-only. Despite losing some revenue from the loss of slip income during the transition, by 1979, all debts were paid in full and the mortgage was burned in a ceremonial manner at a celebratory gathering. By the end of 1981, the club had grown to 720 members, and was a thriving and self-sustaining social, recreational, and competitive club.
Still today, the Richmond Yacht Club hosts its own annual regattas as well as several regional, national and often world Championships each year. RYC also hosts a significant portion of the local Yacht Racing Association (YRA) of San Francisco Bay calendar. As of 2013, the Club sponsored regattas are the Great Pumpkin and the Totally Dinghy in the fall, RYC Small Boat Midwinters, the Big Daddy and the Big Dinghy in the spring, and Beer can races.
This history was written primarily using the book, "Richmond Yacht Club 1932-1982," by Frank Wootten, et al., edited by Floyd Luther.
References: Cooper, D. E. and Gentry. 2004. Boat: El Toro Racing Dinghy, 1960-1965. SFMNHP, (SAFR 20415). Description note in an ICMS Catalog record written by SAFR staff members Cooper and Gentry. "Richmond Yacht Club." Last modified 2013. Accessed April 18, 2013, http://www.richmondyc.org/ Wootten, Frank [et al.], edited by Floyd Luther. Richmond Yacht Club 1932-1982. [s.l.: s.n.]

Chronology:

  • 1932 - Richmond Yacht Club is established.
  • 1933 - Site is chosen and the first clubhouse is erected at the outer end of Laurentzen Channel.
  • 1934 - Captures its first YRA season championship award.
  • 1934 - The first issue of "Flying Jib" was published.
  • 1937 - Creates an affiliation with the Northern California Power Cruiser Association.
  • 1939 - The clubhouse was moved by barge to Bulldog Point in April and was ready for use by May.
  • 1939 - The El Toro class boat was created by the club, later becoming a staple of the club's fleet.
  • 1942 - Evicted by the Maritime Commission, the club is forced to relocate to the basement of Richmond City Hall.
  • 1946 - Introduction of El Toros as an organized racing class. The Bear class boats were also popular with members at this time. Site selection and building of a new clubhouse near the turning basin in the Santa Fe Channel.
  • 1947 - "Flying Jib" went out of print.
  • 1948 - The small boat house was rebuilt and RYC began to host regattas again; the publication "Storm Jib" replaced the "Flying Jib".
  • 1951 - The Junior Program was established.
  • 1951 - An onsite liquor license was acquired for the creation of a revenue-generating bar.
  • 1953 - The boat yard was paved, facilitating access to the water which increased use of the club facilities.
  • 1963 - The contract for the property was signed and Brickyard Cove Harbors (BYCH), Inc. was formed.
  • 1965 - New harbor officially opened January 31. A time capsule was placed in the fireplace stone on October 17. From its opening in 1965 until 1978, the harbor at the Brickyard Cove was operated by a concessionaire, Gary Rule.
  • 1966 - The new clubhouse was dedicated at Brickyard Cove on April 30. Renovations made to the harbor in September.
  • 1969 - Harbor slips were 100% occupied and week-long cruises were added.
  • 1976 - The IRS ruled that only RYC members could occupy the berths and the harbor became members-only.
  • 1979 - All club debts were paid in full.
Biography: Gerald Heaphey (1895-1970) was a San Francisco, California, native and an active member of the Richmond Yacht Club. He worked for Richmond Yacht Service, and was a resident of Richmond, California, for nearly half of his life.
Gerald Joseph Heaphey was born in California on September 27, 1895, and resided in San Francisco in his youth. His mother, Nellie A. Mahony Heaphey (1867-1947), was a native Californian and his father, Michael (died between 1898-1899), was Canadian. Gerald was one of at least five children in the Heaphey household and their names were likely Gertrude, Rose, Ethel and Andrew. Gerald attended Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco from approximately 1909-1913.
Gerald was a freight clerk for Independent Steamship Company from 1917-1918. He married Marie Jane Lynch Heaphey (July 26, 1895-August 3, 1987) in 1921 or 1922. Gerald then worked for the Andrew F. Mahoney Lumber and Shipping Company, most likely from 1921-1935. The San Francisco City directories list Heaphey as being the vice president at A.F. Mahoney from 1921-1922. It appears that Marie and Gerald spent several years in Southern California, as the San Pedro City directories for 1923-1924 list Gerald as a Manager of the company in that location. The San Francisco City directories confirm their return to the Bay Area, listing Gerald as a salesman in 1929, a clerk in 1930-1931, and a secretary in 1935.
In 1934, Gerald and Marie were living in Richmond, California (it is unknown when they moved to Richmond). Gerald was listed as a clerk in the Richmond City directories for 1934, 1937, and 1939. The 1940 and 1942 Richmond City directories list Heaphey as a boat builder at the foot of East Richmond Avenue. He was likely working for the Richmond Yacht Service from 1940-1942, if not earlier. At one point, Gerald was a partial owner of this business. The Richmond Yacht Service was located across the Santa Fe Channel from the Richmond Yacht Club's original site. It was established in 1935 and operated by one of the founding members of the Richmond Yacht Club: Captain Raymond H. Clarke, a tugboat skipper and a ferry boat captain (Wootten et al., 10).
Sometime after Heaphey's employment with Richmond Yacht Service, he became the superintendent of the St. Joseph Cemetery in Richmond. He worked here from at least 1953-1960 (years outside this range have not been confirmed). He was a member of the Richmond Yacht Club, sailing his yacht MARY JANE competitively (also seen spelled as MERRY JANE in publications).
Heaphey died in Walnut Creek, California, on June 2, 1970. He was buried at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Lafayette, California.

References:

  • 1920 Federal Census: San Francisco Assembly District 26, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_135; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 111; Image: 397. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed on April 19, 2013.
  • California, Death Index, 1940-1997: Sacramento, CA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed on April 19, 2013.
  • California; Registration County: San Francisco; Roll: 1544241; Draft Board: 6. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc. 2005.
  • Gerald Heaphey family tree. Compiled by user prideaux. Ancestry.com. Accessed April 19, 2013. http://trees.ancestrylibrary.com/tree/4000763/person/-1663418943
  • Heaphey, Gerald J. Grave marker. Accessed on April 19, 2013. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=HEA&GSpartial=1&GSbyrel=all&GSst=6&GScntry=4&GSsr=2041&GRid=103474352&
  • Heaphey, Marie Jane Lynch. Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2011. Accessed on April 19, 2013.
  • Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Number: 553-03-5331; Issue State: California; Issue Date: 1952. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2011. Accessed on April 19, 2013.
  • U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed on April 19, 2013.
  • Wootten, Frank [et al.], edited by Floyd Luther. Richmond Yacht Club 1932-1982. [s.l.: s.n.]
  • World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc. Accessed on April 19, 2013.
  • World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; State Headquarters: California. Ancestry.com Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Accessed on April 19, 2013.

Collection Scope and Content

The Richmond Yacht Club photographs, circa 1920s-1977, bulk 1930s-1940s, (SAFR 23370, P12-001) are comprised mainly of photographs and some ephemeral material regarding yachts and yachting related to the Richmond Yacht Club and surrounding San Pablo Bay harbor in Northern California. The collection has been processed to the Series level with some Items listed and is open for use.
Contains photographs of the Richmond, California, harbor and yachts as well as ephemeral items relating to the Richmond Yacht Club and Richmond Yacht Service, 1920s-1977. There are 70 unique items in 71 physical forms (60 photographic prints, 6 clippings, 2 business cards, 1 membership card, 1 souvenir program, and 1 map).
Photographs depict Richmond Yacht Service; men working on yachts and yachts underway; various views of what is most likely Richmond Harbor; Liberty Ships launching from a Richmond shipyard; and two unidentified people on board passenger steamers. Ephemeral material includes periodical clippings; business cards from Gerald J. Heaphey of Richmond Yacht Service; Heaphey's membership card for the Richmond Yacht Club; a souvenir program from a Pacific Yacht Association regatta; and a map of the city of Richmond, California.

Collection Arrangement

The collection has been arranged into two Series: Series 1: Photographs; Series 2: Ephemera. Items are arranged chronologically within each Series.

Related Materials

Wootten, Frank [et al.], edited by Floyd Luther. Richmond Yacht Club 1932-1982. [s.l.: s.n.]
Richmond Yacht Club Burgee (Flag), circa 1940-1980. SFMNHP, (SAFR 1448). Small triangular, blue, red and white flag.
El Toro Racing Dinghy, early 1960s. SFMNHP, (SAFR 20415). Painted plywood and varnished natural wood.
Harold Huycke Collection, 1868-2007. SFMNHP, (SAFR 22224, HDC 1600). Box 183, File Unit 015: Richmond Yacht Club and vessels photographed by Carl Christensen, circa 1938, of the RYC harbor, San Pablo Bay, and docked vessels.
Researchers should note that there are other books and collections with materials related to San Francisco Bay Area yachting and yacht clubs in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. They can search the Park's web catalog for more information.
  • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Richmond Yacht Club (Richmond, Calif.)--History
Richmond (Calif.)--History
Yacht clubs
Yachting--History
Yachting--California--San Francisco Bay
Yacht racing--Pictorial works
Yacht racing/cruising
Yacht racing--History
Dinghies
Sailboats
Sailboat racing
Marine photography
Snipe Class yachts
El Toro Class yachts
Bear Class (Sailboats)
110 Class (Sailboats)
Mercury Class (Sailboats)
Boatyards
Heaphey, Gerald J.
Richmond (Calif.) Yacht Club
Richmond Yacht Service
Mary Jane (yacht)
Ocean Vanguard (built 1941; cargo vessel: Liberty ship)
Ocean Venture (built 1941; cargo vessel: Liberty ship)
San Pablo Bay (Calif.)
San Francisco Bay (Calif.)
San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)
Richmond (Calif.)
Harbors--California--Richmond
Harbors--California--San Pablo Bay
Harbors--California
Pacific Coast (Calif.)
Black-and-white prints (photographs)
Gelatin silver prints
Booklets
Photograph albums
Clippings (information artifacts)
Regional maps
Business cards
Souvenir programs
Membership cards

Collection Contents

Shared collection box, Enclosures 1-9

Series 1.  Photographs, circa 1920-1970s (bulk 1930s-1940s)

Extent: 60 photographs (60 physical forms: black-and-white photographic prints of various sizes, ranging from 2.5 x 3.5 in. to 5 x 8 in.)

Scope and Content Note

Items 01-60. Contains mostly various views of the Richmond, California, waterfront and yacht harbor. Topics include portraits of people on passenger vessels; Richmond Yacht Service; Standard Oil fueling stations; Liberty Ship launchings; yachts, including MARY JANE (yacht); and what appear to be yacht races.
Some of the photographs have the same number stamped on the back, as if they were from the same original group of developed photographs. Many of the photographs were developed by Bear Photo Service and two of the photographs are attributed to F. Pierce Sherry Photography of Sausalito.

Item List:

  • Items 01-03: Portraits of two people on board passenger steamers HARVARD (built 1907; merchant vessel) and AVALON (built 1891; passenger vessel), possibly Gerald and Marie Heaphey, circa 1920-1930s.
  • Items 04-11: Photographs of Richmond Yacht Service exterior and men working on boats, circa 1930s-1940s.
  • Items 12-13: Exterior view of Standard Oil Company fueling stations, circa 1930s-1940s.
  • Items 14-24: Various views of unidentified harbors and waterfronts, most likely during some point of development. The location is most likely Richmond, California, and possibly the yacht harbor, Santa Fe Channel, Laurentzen Channel or Bulldog Point, circa 1930s-1940s.
  • Items 25-30: Various views of yachts, including one photograph (Item 30) of Gerald Heaphey's yacht MARY JANE, which was most likely built in 1940, with a person (who is most likely Heaphey) captaining the vessel, circa 1930-1950s.
  • Items 31-38: Various views of Richmond Yacht Harbor, circa 1940. Most likely includes views of MARY JANE (yacht), Gerald Heaphey's yacht. Items 31 and 32 were originally part of the paper photograph album that houses Items 33-38. The photograph album has "Krystal [sic] Gloss Prints; Guaranteed Forever; An Exclusive Product of; Bear Photo Service; At Leading Druggists" printed on the front. All photographs are 3 x 4.75 in. and have "757" stamped on the back of each print. "Richmond Yacht Harbor, 1940? 'Mary Jane'" is written on the back of the album.
  • Items 39-54: Various views of OCEAN VANGUARD (built 1941; cargo vessel: Liberty ship), the first ocean class Liberty Ship, launched on August 16, 1914, and an unidentified ship that may be the same vessel at the shipyard across from the Richmond Yacht Harbor. All photographs are in a paper photograph album. The photograph album has "Krystal [sic] Gloss Prints; Guaranteed Forever; An Exclusive Product of; Bear Photo Service; At Leading Druggists" printed on the front. All photographs have the Bear Photo Service stamp with a processing date of August 27, 1941, and "2" stamped on the back. "Gerald Heaphey, from [Gallen] Best of Luck" written on the inside of the front cover of the photograph album. "Shipyard across from Yacht Harbor" written on the back of the photograph album.
  • Items 55-58: Launching of OCEAN VENTURE (built 1941; cargo vessel: Liberty ship), Hull #4 at Richmond, California, September 27, 1941. Four views of a crowd in the foreground and the vessel in the background; two of the photographs have a small sailboat in front of the vessel. All four of the prints are annotated on the back with various forms of the date, hull number, and vessel name.
  • Items 59-60: Two photographs of what appear to be yacht races, most likely in or around San Pablo Bay, circa 1950-1970s. Port views of groups of vessels with crew visible on board.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.
Shared collection box, Enclosure 2

Item No. 05.  Exterior view of Richmond Yacht Service, Richmond, California, circa 1930s-1940s

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 2.5 x 4.5 in. "16" printed on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

"Richmond Yacht Service; Berthing Space; Paint and Boat Surveys; Phone RICH 96" is seen painted on the broadside of a building. A small boat hull is on a cradle in the foreground.
Shared collection box, Enclosure 4

Item No. 16.  Waterfront along the Richmond Inner Harbor, Richmond, California, circa 1930s-1940s

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 2.75 x 4.5 in. "5" printed on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

Sailboats are docked in the foreground and anchored at mid-distance. The waterfront appears to be developed in the background, and not developed in the foreground. There are also cars parked along the waterfront in the foreground.
Shared collection box, Enclosure 4

Item No. 18.  Richmond Inner Harbor Waterfront, Richmond, California, 1937 March 1

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 2.75 x 4.5 in. "122" and "Genuine Krystal [sic] Gloss; Guaranteed Forever by Bear Photo Service; Mar. 1 1937" printed on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

As many as twenty-five small boats are docked at a small marina in the foreground. There are other small boats at anchor and the otherside of the harbor in the background.
Shared collection box, Enclosure 5

Item No. 30.  Mary Jane (yacht) underway, port broadside view, circa 1940

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 5 x 8 in. "Pacific [Inter] Club Class" and "Mary Jane" are written on the image frame on the front of the print. "Jerry's 1940 yacht" written on the back and "F. Pierce Sherry; Mill Valley, California" stamped on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

A man, presumably Gerald J. Heaphey, is captaining the yacht as she leans port, underway. The number 14 and a triangle with "P" line "C" are visible on the sail.
Shared collection box, Enclosure 8

Item No. 58.  Ocean Venture (built 1941; cargo vessel: Liberty Ship) in the water on launching day, view off the port quarter, 1941 September 27

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 2.5 x 3.5 in. "Sun. Sept. 27 1941. Hull #4. Ocean Venture" written on the back of the print. "1" is stamped on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

The vessel is dressed, sitting in the water with up to fourteen men visible on deck. There is a small boat in the water in front of the hull and two men wearing hats standing in the foreground.
Shared collection boxes, including oversized storage, Enclosures 10-12

Series 2.  Ephemera, circa 1934-1977 (bulk 1930s-1940s)

Extent: 10 items (in 11 physical forms: 2 business cards, 6 clippings, 1 membership card, 1 souvenir program, 1 regional map)

Scope and Content Note

Items 61-70. Various clippings, membership affiliations and business cards related to Gerald Heaphey, Richmond Yacht Service, and the Richmond Yacht Club.

Item List:

  • Item 61: Two identical business cards for G. J. Heaphey of the Richmond Yacht Service, Santa Fe Channel, Richmond Inner Harbor, circa 1930s-1940s.
  • Item 62: Newspaper article "Aeolians Win Five Firsts in Regatta," by Harry Borba, sports writer for "The Examiner" circa 1934-1950. The article mentions Heaphey's victory over fellow RYC member Alan Clarke at the helm of MERRY JANE [sic].
  • Items 63-65: Three newspaper articles regarding the emergency landing of an army transport plane in the San Francisco Bay, circa January 6, 1938. One of the articles mentions that the first boat to arrive at the site was manned by "Joe Argento, shop foreman for the Richmond Yacht Service, Port Captain Ken Eastman, and Charles Pendola, Alexander G. Center and G. J. Heaphey." None of the articles have dates or bylines. These items are located in oversized storage.
  • Item 66: Gerald J. Heaphey's membership card for the Richmond Yacht Club, 1941. Details include: Member's card 75 and embossed with the RYC seal. The card is printed on both sides.
  • Item 67: Souvenir program from the Pacific Coast Championship Regatta, San Francisco Bay, August 17-21, 1949. The cover has a ship wheel and Pacific Coast Yachting Association burgee on the cover and a compass on the back cover.16 pages. Includes but is not limited to member associations; officers; committee members; sponsors; participating clubs; maps; program; classes, signals, time and courses; racing divisions; and race instructions as well as photomechanical prints on the pages.
  • Item 68: Regional Street Map of Richmond and Vicinity, published by the City of Richmond Chamber of Commerce, circa 1955. 17 x 22 in. Includes street key and profile of Richmond, "All-American City."
  • Item 69: "The Watch Cap," "Daily Guide," page 1, by Ralph J. Brady, August 22, 1972. The article references the history of the Richmond Inner Harbor and Ellis Point, the first location of the RYC. This item is located in oversized storage.
  • Item 70: Clipping of an advertisement for real estate development of the Port of Richmond, specifically for Port related industry, "Marine Digest," June 4, 1977. Includes a photomechanical print of an aerial view of the port.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.
Shared collection box, Enclosure 10

Item No. 61.  G. J. Heaphey, Richmond Yacht Service business card, circa 1930s-1940s

Extent: 1 identifying card.
Physical Description: 1 business card on white card stock, printed with blue ink on one side, 2 x 3.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

The logo for the Richmond Yacht Service is a ship's wheel with the business name over it. Services are listed as "Marine Ways; Berthing Facilities; Repairs; Yacht Supplies; Gas and Oil Brokerage." Contact information is "P.O. Box 96, Richmond, Calif., Telephone Richmond 96; Santa Fe Channel, Richmond Inner Harbor."
Shared collection box, Enclosure 10

Item No. 66.  Gerald J. Heaphey's Richmond Yacht Club of California, Inc. membership card, 1941

Extent: 1 identifying card.
Physical Description: 1 card on white card stock, printed with blue and red ink, printed on both sides, 2 x 3.5 in. Embossed with the Richmond Yacht Club seal.

Scope and Content Note

Member's card 75 signed by J. A. Vincent, Jr., Commodore, and F. K. Fox, Treasurer. Richmond Yacht Club flag in the middle. Club membership rules on verso.
Shared collection box, Enclosure 11

Item No. 67.  Pacific Coast Championship Regatta souvenir program, 1949 August 17-21

Extent: 1 souvenir program.
Physical Description: 16 pages, 6 x 9 in. Cover printed with blue, red and gold ink; pages printed with black ink. Includes maps.

Scope and Content Note

Program for the event, sponsored by the Pacific Coast Yachting Association. Contains sponsorship, rules, regulations, program and other supplemental information for the event of the regatta. The front cover has a ship wheel and Pacific Coast Yachting Association burgee. There is a compass on the back cover.