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A guide to the Ships' papers, 1860-1905
HDC0021 (SAFR 13566)  
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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

  • Title: Ships' papers
    Date: 1860-1905
    Identifier/Call Number: HDC0021 (SAFR 13566)
    Physical Description: 27 items
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: Dating from 1860 to 1905, these Ships' papers (SAFR 13566, HDC 21) contain documents such as vessel bills of sale, mortgages and tonnage reports for 19 different vessels. The collection is available for research use without restrictions.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.


    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. P lease 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], HDC0021 (SAFR 13566), Ships' papers, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was transferred from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area museum collection to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park museum collection.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    Vessel Histories
    The documents under this catalog number contain ships' records, primarily certificates of enrollment, inspection certificates, and various bills of sale reflecting changes in ownership. The documents were prepared by San Francisco Customs Brokers (in most cases), and concern 20 named vessels which, for the most part, were engaged in coastal trading. Because of their domestic function, most of these vessels were not listed in the international ship registries. Dates are given where known.
    Schooner AGNES JONES was built in 1877 in San Francisco. 24 gross tons, measuring 48 x 19 x 4. Builder was Henry J. Ervin. The "San Francisco Call" of April 12, 1889, refers to a vessel of this name being burned in Sonoma County. If the same schooner, it was repaired; as the collection contains a bill of sale and enrollment dated August 14, 1909, when it was sold to Mr. Duke Stairley.
    The BRISK is identified as a "Propeller" ship, built in 1869. It measured 122 x 22 x 8, and classed at 132 gross tons. The collection contains a formal survey and measurement taken in 1869.
    C.H. WHITE was a schooner built in San Francisco by C.E. White, in 1888. She measured 87 x 23 x 9 and rated at 89 gross tons. The ship made a number of sealing voyages to the Pacific Northwest, for seals and otter, in 1890, under the master George Scott. The collection contains a mortgage document from September 1888.
    The ELK was a small coastal steamer of 24 tons, measuring 78 x 4 x 3. The collection contains a survey document from 1869.
    The EMILY BANNING was a bark of 283 tons. The collection contains a document wherein its owner, William Tardif, is designating Mr. N. C. Paddock to have power of attorney regarding the bark. The document is from September, 1860.
    HUICHICA was a schooner of 35 tons, measuring 54 x 20 x 5. The collection contains a tonnage measurement from 1865. The name HUICHICA was also the name of a ranch and a creek in the Napa region; the ranch was part of an original Mexican land grant in 1841. The vessel was later stranded at Stewart's Point on the Sonoma coast (Mitchell, Commerce of the North Pacific Coast.)
    The JOSEPH PERKINS was three masted schooner (also listed as a barkentine). She was built in Vallejo in 1875 by J. Perkins for A. Powell. The schooner was of 296 gross tons and measured 127 x 33 x 10. On May 14, 1880, the JOSEPH PERKINS was beating out of Kahului (Hawaii) bound for Port Gamble when she missed stays and went ashore on Waihee reef, a total loss. The collection contains an enrollment document from June 22, 1876.
    The collection here contains 4 documents referring to the JOSEPHINE, but they appear to concern 4 different ships of the same name: a Bill of Sale dated in 1874, for an 18 tons schooner, 44 x 16 x 4; an enrollment and Bill of Sale from 1888, for a Vallejo built schooner of 16 tons, measuring 40 x 15 x 5; an enrollment from August 15, 1882 for a brig of 218 tons, measuring 104 x 28 x 9 and a Bill of Sale from December 18, 1886, for a 3 masted ship of 1396 tons, measuring 213 x 39 x 24.
    The JOSEPHUS was a ship, built in 1876 in Newcastle, Maine. Measured 213 x 39 x 24, and 1470 gross tons. Originally built in Maine and registered in New York, the ship was later on the west coast and trading between San Francisco and Australia in 1889 (per SF Chronicle, 2/19/89). The collection contains a bill of Sale from 1886.
    The LITTLE RIVER was built in Little River, California in 1869, by Tom Peterson. Its master was Nelson Cook. On February 5, 1885, it was lost on the rocks in a gale off Whitesboro harbor near Mendocino. The collection contains an enrollment and Bill of Sale dated December 2, 1879. This showed the LITTLE RIVER to measure 88 x 27 x 7, and rated 96 tons.
    NATHALIE was a scow schooner built in 1861 in San Francisco. It was a small vessel of 29 tons, measuring 49 x 18 x 4. The collection contains a Bill of Sale and enrollment dated March 15, 1900.
    The schooner NEPTUNE was built in 1882 at Fairhaven, CA. Measurements were 106 x 30 x 9, and gross weight of 184 tons. The collection contains a document giving the vessel permission to sail from Eureka to San Francisco for official measurement and documentation. The vessel later came into the ownership of the well known Robert Dollar, who sold off his shares in the NEPTUNE in 1900.
    The NEWARK was a schooner built in 1887 in Benecia for owner C.L. Dingly, and its master was J.G. Beck. Its dimensions were 94 x 27 x 8, and gross tonnage of 115. The schooner was home ported at San Francisco. The collection contains a Bill of Sale and enrollment dated April 23, 1900. After a long career, after 1913 the NEWARK was used as a sardine reduction plant, and finally moved to owners in Los Angeles and San Diego, where it was eventually hulked.
    NOME CITY was a steam schooner built in 1900 at Bendixsen Shipyard in Fairhaven, CA, for W.A. Mitchell. She was of 1660 gross tons, measuring 230 x 38 x 24. She had a 1000 HP engine and was used to carry lumber, primarily. The NOME CITY had various changes in ownership and transfers of shares, and the collection contains 3 Bills of Sale and enrollments reflecting ownership changes in 1900, 1901 and 1902. The steamship was eventually scrapped in Antioch, circa 1926. A picture can be found in Lyman, Pacific Coast Wooden Steam Schooners, pgs 6 & 23.
    NORTHERN LIGHT, a three masted bark, was probably built in 1851 in Rochester, Massachusetts. The collection contains an enrollment document from 1900, showing the vessel as 125 x 30 x 17, and 384 gross tons. The San Francisco Call has records of the ship from 1889, 1891, and 1892. However, the enrollment may refer to a later ship of the same name.
    The RIVAL was a wooden steam schooner built in 1888 in San Francisco, by Boole & Beaton. It was rated at 266 tons and could carry 300 board feet of lumber. It had a 250 hp engine. The ship was owned by Robert Dollar, and later by the Metropolitan Redwood Lumber Co. The collection contains inspection certificates from 1905 and 1906. After several changes of ownership, the RIVAL was eventually abandoned in Oakland Creek.
    A schooner built in San Francisco in 1862, the ROCK OF CASHEL was rated at 22 tons and measured 49 x 19 x 4. The collection contains enrollment and Bill of Sale documents dated March 26, 1877 and July 26, 1880.
    TWILIGHT of San Francisco was a schooner built in Port Ludlow, Washington, in 1874. It was of a type known as a dog schooner, and measured 112 x 30 x 9, and 184 gross tons. The collection documents are two Bills of Sale and enrollment, dated December 3, 1884, and September 23, 1887. The schooner was reportedly driven ashore at Whitesboro Cove, Mendocino County on November 19, 1892.
    Probable identity of the TWIN SISTER was a steam schooner built in 1869 and originally named the CALIFORNIA CITY. This ship measured 73 x 25 x 6, and 74 tons. The collection contains an enrollment document dated April 30, 1874. A schooner of this name was stranded at Trinidad, CA in 1878.
    WESTERN HOUSE is how the name of this vessel appears on this collection's documents. It's proper name is WESTERN HOME. It was a schooner built in 1874 at Maine Prarie, on the Sacramento River, by Ludwig Mortenson for D. Steffins of San Francisco. Its dimensions were 96 x 29 x 7, and rated at 135 gross tons. Collection documents are an enrollment and Bill of Sale from 1874. The WESTERN HOME was wrecked at the Coquille River bar in Oregon on November 13, 1904.

    Collection Scope and Content

    Dating from 1860 to 1905, these Ships' papers (SAFR 13566, HDC 21) contain documents such as vessel bills of sale, mortgages and tonnage reports for 19 different vessels. The collection is available for research use without restrictions.

    Collection Arrangement

    Twenty seven items are arranged in one folder.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Ships' papers
    Agnes Jones (built 1877; schooner, 2m)
    Brisk (built 1869; propeller ship)
    C.H. White (built 1888; schooner, 2m)
    Elk (steamer)
    Emily Banning (bark)
    Huichica (schooner, 2m)
    Joseph Perkins (built 1875; schooner, 3m)
    Josephine (brig)
    Josephine (schooner)
    Josephine (ship, 3m)
    Josephus (built 1876; ship)
    Little River (built 1869)
    Nathalie (built 1861; scow schooner)
    Neptune (built1882; schooner)
    Newark (built 1887; schooner)
    Nome City (built 1900; steam schooner)
    Nothern Light (built 1851?; bark, 3m)
    Rival (built 1888; steam schooner)
    Rock of Cashel (built 1862; schooner)
    Twilight (built 1874; schooner)
    Twin Sister (built 1869; steam schooner)
    Western Home (built 1874; schooner)