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A guide to the San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park photographs and motion picture, 1956-1977
P91-078 (SAFR 22247)  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park photographs and motion picture
    Date: 1956-1977
    Identifier/Call Number: P91-078 (SAFR 22247)
    creator: San Francisco Maritime State Historical Park
    Physical Description: 115 items
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park photographs and motion picture collection, 1956-1977 (SAFR 22247, P91-078) consists of photographs and media created by San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park staff during the course of their work from 1956-1977 and several postcards of the ships and facilities. The collection is described at the file unit level with items listed, and is open for use without restriction.
    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

    Note on Description: 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.
    The original accessions have been physically left together and are housed within the envelopes in accession number order, with later accessions at the end. The material has been intellectually arranged in the finding aid in chronological order while the physical locations will remain fixed. If new material is added to this collection it will be physically placed at the end of the collection and intellectually arranged in chronological order in the finding aid for ease of access.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P91-078 (SAFR 22247), San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park photographs and motion picture, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-00432
    SAFR-00401
    SAFR-00401 consists of photos and negatives of various vessels and scenes around Hyde Street Pier and Victorian Park, circa 1961-1977. These materials were found in a desk drawer by Sue Garfield and were accessioned on October 4, 1991.
    SAFR-00432 consists of photographs (circa 1960), postcards, and one roll of motion picture film found in Sue Garfield's office in the Ark during a move. These items were accessioned on December 10, 1991. Other material received as SAFR-00432 (2 bank statements and 33 cancelled checks, probably from the personal account of H.H. Chisholm. Check were drawn from the American Bank, San Francisco) have been cataloged as HDC 1227, SAFR 20065. One picture postcard of the ferryboat SOLANO has been cataloged separately as P91-081, SAFR 22587.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    The San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park was established in 1956 and existed under this name until 1977 when it became the National Maritime Museum, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 1988 the National Maritime Museum (sometimes referred to as the Maritime Unit) became a separate national park called the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the name it is still known by today.
    The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (SFMNHP) provides services for millions of visitors annually and acts as a custodian for historic vessels, small watercraft, museum artifacts, archives and a maritime library. The SFMNHP is responsible for maintaining 35 acres of urban parkland which include the Aquatic Park Bathhouse (a National Historic Landmark which serves as a museum exhibit facility), the Hyde Street Pier (where the historic vessels are moored), and the Haslett Warehouse. Five of the historic vessels moored on Hyde Street Pier are designated National Historic Landmarks: the ALMA, BALCLUTHA, EUREKA, HERCULES, and C.A. THAYER. The park also operates a library and archives in a Historic Landmark building at nearby Fort Mason which houses a variety of documents, vessel plans, photographs, motion picture film, books, periodicals and oral histories.
    Many of the park's programs and collections were formed by several predecessor organizations. In 1941 the San Francisco Museum of Science and Industry opened through the efforts of Mrs. Alma de Bretteville Spreckels. It was comprised mainly of an impressive collection of ship models and artifacts, which were exhibited at Aquatic Park and various other locations in the Bay Area during World War II.
    Karl Kortum, a maritime history enthusiast and able bodied seaman freshly returned from a voyage on the bark KAIULANI (1948), contacted Mrs. Spreckels to discuss his vision of a maritime museum for San Francisco. He believed that historic ships, on exhibit and available to the public, would create a more interesting and economically viable museum than ship models. The San Francisco Maritime Museum Association (SFMMA) was formed in 1950 and provided funding for the purchase of the first of the historic sailing vessels in 1954. BALCLUTHA was restored and opened to visitors at Hyde Street Pier in 1955.
    In 1954, the San Francisco Maritime Museum Association undertook the purchase and restoration of the historic sailing vessel BALCLUTHA. A year later, after extensive restoration primarily through volunteer efforts, the BALCLUTHA opened to the public at Pier 43.
    In 1956, a bill was passed through the state legislature that called for the purchase of the schooners C.A. THAYER and WAPAMA, and also created the San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park. The ferry EUREKA and scow schooner ALMA were acquired (1958-1959) and in 1960, the State Public Works Board approved the expenditure of $75,000 for the creation of an authentic Victorian Park.
    The resources needed for the state park were underestimated and both the state and SFMMA turned to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) for help. In 1977, the San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park became the National Maritime Museum, part of the GGNRA. However, the Maritime Museum's visibility (and fund-raising opportunities) was swallowed up as part of this large, disperse national park. To gain more direct federal support for the maintenance-intensive historic sailing vessels and preserve visibility, the National Maritime Museum became a separate national park in 1988.
    [Agency History written by SAFR staff (primarily Lisbit Bailey). Slightly revised by Amy Croft, October 2011.]

    Chronology

    1955 Jul 19 The BALCLUTHA is towed to Pier 43 at Fisherman's Wharf for rechristening.
    1956 A bill was passed through the California State legislature that called for the purchase of the schooners C.A. THAYER and WAPAMA, and also created the San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park.
    1957 The State of California purchased the C.A. THAYER.
    1957 The ALMA is the last scow schooner \x20at work on the San Francisco Bay.
    1957 Feb 20 The main crankpin of the ferry EUREKA's walking beam engine breaks while en route to San Francisco from the Oakland mole, just after her 11:40pm departure. The walking beam was separated from the cylinder and the EUREKA had to be towed back to Oakland. This was her last trip as a passenger ferry.
    1958 State of California's State Maritime Historical Park acquired the TONGASS and she was towed to San Francisco Bay where restoration work was done. After the initial restoration was completed and her original name of the WAPAMA was restored.
    1958-1959 The ferry EURKA and scow schooner ALMA were acquired.
    1960 The State Public Works Board approved the expenditure of $75,000 for the creation of an authentic Victorian Park.
    1966 Nov C.A. THAYER becomes a National Historic Landmark.
    1977 Sep 16 The San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park became the National Maritime Museum, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
    Vessel Histories
    C.A. THAYER
    The C.A. THAYER is a three-masted schooner built in Fairhaven, California, in 1895. The original hull was made of dense, old-growth Douglas fir carefully chosen for shipbuilding. She was named for Clarence A. Thayer, a partner in the San Francisco-based E.K. Wood Lumber Company. This schooner is representative of hundreds that sailed the Pacific Coast in the early 1900s. C.A. THAYER is 219 feet in length and has a cargo capacity of 575,000 board feet (1360 cubic meter). She carried about half of her load below deck, with the remaining lumber stacked ten feet high on deck. In port, her small crew of eight or nine men were also responsible for loading and unloading the ship. Unloading 75,000 to 80,000 board feet (180 to 190 cubic meter) was an average day's work.
    The C.A. THAYER had several careers: it carried lumber to 1912, was a salt and salmon packet to 1924, and was in the cod fishery to 1950, when it was the last commercially working sailing vessel on the west coast. The ship had a number of owners during this time: E.K. Wood Lumber Co. (S.F.) (1895-1912); Captain Peter Nelson (S.F.) (1912-1925); Pacific Coast Codfishing (Seattle) (1925-1952); Charles Macneil (Seattle) (1952-1957).
    The State of California purchased the C.A. THAYER in 1957. After preliminary restoration in Seattle, Washington, a volunteer crew sailed her down the coast to San Francisco. The San Francisco Maritime Museum performed more extensive repairs and refitting, and opened C.A. THAYER to the public in 1963. The vessel was transferred to the National Park Service in 1978, and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984.
    After 40 years as a museum ship, the C.A. THAYER has again been restored, a restoration which took three years starting in 2004, and which resulted in her temporary removal from her berth at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Approximately 80% of the ship's timbers were replaced with new timbers matching the original wood. The ship sailed back to the Hyde Street Pier on April 12, 2007. She is currently missing her masts and bowsprit.
    [History written by SAFR staff and information also taken from http://www.nps.gov/safr/historyculture/ca-thayer-history.htm, accessed October 27, 2011]
    EUREKA
    The EUREKA was originally named the UKIAH and was built in 1890, at Tiburon, California, for the San Francisco and North Pacific Railway (SF&NPR). She was named UKIAH to commemorate SF&NPR 's recent rail extension into that California city. A freight-car ferry, UKIAH was SF&NPR's "tracks across the Bay," ferrying trains from Sausalito to San Francisco.
    The ferry originally carried commuters between San Francisco and Tiburon during the day and hauled railroad freight cars at night. In 1907, UKIAH was re-routed to the Sausalito-San Francisco Ferry Building route by her new owners, Northwestern Pacific Railroad.
    During the World War I, UKIAH carried munition-filled rail cars for the war effort. After WWI, UKIAH needed extensive repair, and shipwrights at the Southern Pacific yard labo\x20red for two years - eventually replacing all of her structure above the waterline. This kind of reconstruction was called "jacking up the whistle and sliding a new boat underneath." In 1923 she was re-christened EUREKA and was launched from the Southern Pacific yard as a passenger and automobile ferry (her present form).
    At one time, Southern Pacific Railroad operated forty-two ferryboats on the Bay (they transported 50,000,000 passengers per year). Construction of the Bay and Golden Gate bridges (mid 1930s) signaled the end of the ferryboat era, however. In 1941, EUREKA had the distinction of making the last Marin County run, and by the 1950s regular ferry service was limited to railroad connections. Eureka kept working, but on February 20, 1957, the main crankpin of the walking beam engine broke while en route to San Francisco from the Oakland mole, just after her 11:40pm departure. The walking beam was separated from the cylinder and the EUREKA had to be towed back to Oakland. This was her last trip as a passenger ferry. Just one year later on July 30, 1958, the only remaining ferry boat SAN LEANDRO made the last transbay ferryboat run.
    The EUREKA was acquired by the San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park in 1958 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1985. EUREKA is the only surviving wooden-hulled ferryboat.
    [History written by SAFR staff. Information also taken from http://www.nps.gov/safr/historyculture/eureka-history.htm and from Levingston, Steven E., "Historic Ships of San Francisco", 1984.]
    HERCULES
    The tugboat HERCULES was built by John H. Dialogue and Son, of Camden, New Jersey, in 1907. She had been ordered by the San Francisco-based Shipowners' and Merchants' Tugboat Company, to join their Red Stack fleet (named for their red-painted smoke stacks).
    When completed, HERCULES towed her sister ship, the GOLIAH, through the Strait of Magellan to San Francisco. Both vessels were oil-burners; GOLIAH carried fuel, water and supplies for her sister. HERCULES towed barges, sailing ships and log rafts between Pacific ports. Because prevailing north-west winds generally made travel up the coast by sail both difficult and circuitous, tugs often towed large sailing vessels to points north of San Francisco.
    In 1916, HERCULES towed the C. A. THAYER to Port Townsend, Washington. The trip took six days. She also towed the FALLS OF CLYDE, now a museum ship in Hawaii. On trips back down the coast, HERCULES often towed huge log rafts, laden with millions of board feet of Northwest timber, to Southern California mills. At other times, HERCULES towed barges of bulk cargoes between other West Coast Ports, and to Hawaii. During the construction of the Panama Canal, she towed a huge floating caisson (a steel structure used for closing the entrance to locks) to the Canal Zone.
    In her deep-sea days, HERCULES usually carried a crew of fifteen; enough manpower for her Engine Department to stand three watches while underway. The deep, narrow hull made life uncomfortable at times, because it rode low in the water, and the main deck was often awash. However, the food was good and, for an experienced hand, the work was steady. Tugboat captains were generally well-paid and highly respected, for it took considerable experience to bring a tug and a heavy tow through high seas in bad weather- and good judgment to navigate the shallow bars and narrow entrances of West Coast ports.
    HERCULES was eventually acquired by the Western Pacific Railroad Company. Her career changed significantly; she no longer served as an ocean-going tug, but shuttled railroad car barges back and forth across San Francisco Bay. She worked until 1962, when changing transportation patterns (the decline of the railroads) and the introduction of diesel-powered tugs sealed her fate.
    HERCULES avoided the scrap yard, but languished until the California State Park Foundation acquired her for the San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park in 1975. The National Park Service took over the task of her restoration in 1977, and in 1986 she was\x20 designated a National Historic Landmark. HERCULES has been documented as part of the Historic American Engineering Record's Maritime Record.
    [History written by SAFR staff and information also taken from http://www.nps.gov/safr/historyculture/hercules-history.htm]

    Collection Scope and Content

    The San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park photographs and motion picture collection, 1956-1977 (SAFR 22247, P91-078) consists of photographs and media created by San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park staff during the course of their work from 1956-1977 and several postcards of the ships and facilities. The collection is described at the file unit level with items listed, and is open for use without restriction.
    The collection includes black-and-white photographs of Hyde Street Pier and Victorian Park in the 1960s, staff including Harry Dring and people at work on vessels, C.A. THAYER under repair in 1972 and 1976, EUREKA on Sea Shanty Day in 1977 and going to dry dock in 1978, and HERCULES in the water. There are also several postcards, a photograph of a two cycle diesel engine, and motion picture film of an unidentified C.A. THAYER voyage.

    Collection Arrangement

    Arranged into the following series and subseries with subseries and file unit arranged in chronological order:

    SERIES:

    • Series 1: Museum Vessels,
    • Subseries 1.1: C.A. Thayer,
    • Subseries 1.2: Eureka,
    • Subseries 1.3: Hercules.
    • Series 2: Facilities,
    • Subseries 2.1: Park grounds,
    • Subseries 2.2: Staff and people associated with the park.
    • Series 3: Other photographs.

    Related Materials

    San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park photographs and motion picture, 1956-1977. (P91-078, SAFR 22247); Harry Dring photographs, 1870-1983 (bulk 1954-1982) with restoration and preservation of the vessels and daily activities at Hyde Street Pier. (P91-015, SAFR 9318); Golden Gate National Recreation Area Maritime Unit photographs, 1980-1987. (P92-106, SAFR 22307); Golden Gate National Recreation Area National Maritime Museum photographs and media, 1977-1988. (P91-069, SAFR 22245); and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Facilities and Ships Division photographs and media, circa 1977-1991 (P91-071, SAFR 22585)
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Ship models
    Historic ships--Conservation and restoration
    Ships--Preservation
    Photography of ships
    Dring, Harry
    Ronberg, Mabel
    Ronberg, Niels C.
    C.A. Thayer (built 1895; schooner, 3m)
    Eureka (built 1890; ferry)
    Hercules (built 1907; tugboat)
    Preussen (ship model)
    San Francisco Maritime State Historic Park (Calif.)
    Victorian Park (San Francisco, California)
    Hyde Street Pier
    Black-and-white prints
    Black-and-white negatives
    Photograph albums
    Postcards
    Motion pictures