Preferred Citation note
Custodial History note
Conditions Governing Use note
Processing Information note
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Other Finding Aids note
Conditions Governing Access note
Scope and Contents note
Title: Port of Sacramento records
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 1986/02
California State University, Sacramento Special Collections & University Archives
Language of Material:
7.5 Linear feet
(6 record cartons)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1963-1986
Date (inclusive): 1916-1991
The collection consists of files documenting the construction projects, legislative issues, convention and financial aspects
of the Port of Sacramento. It also includes publications, pamphlets, and other ephemera generated by the Market Department
to promote the vision and goals of the port district.
Language of Materials note:
Preferred Citation note
[Identification of item including date], [Folder Title], MSS 1986/02, Port of Sacramento records, Department of Special Collections
and University Archives, The Library, California State University, Sacramento.
History of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District
Although the efforts to build a deep water ship channel to Sacramento date from the second decade of the twentieth century,
the project took three full decades to become a reality. In the spring of 1946, the 79th Congress approved Public Law No.
525 (ch. 595), which authorized the construction of the Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel project. On 24 July 1946, President
Harry Truman signed the bill into law.
The same day the act became law, Roy G. Deary, president of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, appointed a port district
organization committee. The chamber then invited boards of supervisors from Sacramento and Yolo counties to a joint meeting,
which resulted in the members approval of holding an election to create a port district. As a special district (i.e. a local
government jurisdiction that is neither city, county, nor township), the California Harbors and Navigation Code, sections
6800-6963, provided the authorization for the port district.
On 15 April 1947, voters in Sacramento County and Supervisorial District No. 1 (comprised of West Sacramento, Broderick, and
Clarksburg) approved the creation of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District by a four-to-one majority. A month later the California
Legislature approved the project and appropriated $750,000 to the port district for the purchase of rights-of-way, easements,
and so on.
The Harbors and Navigation Code, sections 6800-6963 (chapter 2) set forth the policy-making powers of the five-member port
commission, comprised of two commissioners appointed by the Sacramento Board of Supervisors, two by the Sacramento City Council,
and one by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. Each commissioner was appointed to a four-year, staggered term. The commission,
in turn, appointed the port director. On 19 May 1947, the first five members of the port commission, to wit, Roy G. Deary
(SCC), Walton E. Holmes (SCBS), Frank A. Lawrence (SCC), Ivory J. Rodda (SCBS), and Earl Withycombe (YCBS), took office. They
appointed William G. Stone the first port director.
The responsibilities of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District Commission are many. First and foremost, the commission governs
the operating policy of the port. The commission also has statutory responsibilities for planning, leasing, and bond sales.
In addition, commissioners are the port's spokesmen to the public and to elected officials. Finally, the commissioners assist
with domestic and international trade development.
Prior to the opening of the port in 1963, the district actively raised revenue through bond sales. On 4 November 1947, the
district authorized the sale of a bond issuance of $3,750,000 to construct necessary port facilities. Voters approved of the
bond measure by a six-to-one majority. In 1961 the district authorized the sale of another general obligation bond, totalling
$9,850,000, which the voters again approved.
Since the port opened to commercial vessels in June 1963, the Sacramento-Yolo Port District Commission has been involved with
many tasks, which include overseeing expansion projects, raising revenue (primarily through bond sales), negotiating contracts
with domestic and international companies, and negotiating labor agreements. Two major accomplishments of the commission,
in conjunction with the port director, have been the attainment of financial self-sufficiency (i.e. not relying on taxpayer
support) since Fiscal Year 1966-67 and for exceeding the 1963 financial projections made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Sacramento District, as necessary to justify the initial investment.
By the end of 1992, the port commission increased from five to seven members in response to demands from the city of West
Sacramento, which incorporated in 1987. Appointments are now as follows: The Sacramento City Council and the Sacramento Board
of Supervisors appoint two port commissioners each and one jointly; West Sacramento's City Council and Yolo County's Board
of Supervisors each appoint one commissioner.
History of the American Association of Port Authorities
In December 1912, a small circle of port managers convened in New York to promote the exchange of port information and to
develop uniform methods of administration. The eleven representatives in attendance approved the proposal of one official,
Calvin Tomkins, to create a permanent association of U.S. port authorities, thus founding the National Association of Port
Authorities. In 1930 the association incorporated.
Early on, the association broadened its scope to include international membership. During the third annual convention at Baltimore
(1914), the officers changed the name of the organization to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and revised
their constitution to reflect the first inclusion of a foreign port, Montreal. Beginning in 1921, the association has actively
pursued the support and membership of Latin American countries. When Sacramento Port Director Melvin Shore chaired the AAPA
in 1983, the association represented a total of 189 deep water agencies in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the
Two of the more important activities of the AAPA are its annual conventions and its committee system. The AAPA annual conventions
provide a forum for both the discussion of issues confront port managers and for the development of policy positions to guide
the association during the upcoming year. The biggest events at each convention, which is held at a different location each
year, are the port inspections, which give managers the opportunity to study different port works and terminal operations.
Through committees the AAPA has been able to advance federal legislation conducive to port management interests. A major success
of the AAPA was the passage by Congress of the Foreign Trade Zone Act of 1934, which attracted foreign shippers by exempting
manufacturers from duty charges and taxes until their products left the zone for U.S. markets. Beginning with three permanent
standing committees in 1918, the number of AAPA committees had grown to over twenty by 1982. In addition to the Committee,
the U.S. Legislative Policy Council, and the U.S. Transportation Policy Committee are among the best represented in the Port
of Sacramento Collection.
Melvin Shore was born in Montreal, Canada in 1924 and raised in New York City. During the Second World War he served in the
U.S. Air Force, where he received training as a bombardier, navigator, and a B-29 flight engineer. The catalyst which brought
him to California was the engineering program at the University of California at Berkeley, which he graduated from in 1948.
After working for the General Electric Company and for the California government, Division of Architectuure, he joined the
Port of Sacramento as an "Engineer Aide to the Port Director" in 1949, when the "port" was still an alfalfa field. He remained
at the port, during both the construction and operational phases, for a total of 37 years before retiring in June 1986. For
the latter 23 years (i.e. from 1963 until 1986), Shore served as the port's director, replacing William G. Stone in October
Among Shore's accomplishments include helping to create a viable port out of an alfalfa field, switching from general to bulk
cargo to compete with U.S. railroad rate reductions, far exceeding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tonnage projections, operating
in a reducing (rather than expanding) staff, attaining financial self-sufficiency for the port, and negotiating cargo contracts.
California State University, Sacramento honored Shore in 1986 by establishing the Annual Melvin and Audrey Shore Endowed Lecture
on International Trade.
Shore has served in a number of other positions besides director of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District. As previously mentioned,
Shore was the chairman of the board of the American Association of Port Authorities (1 Oct 1982 to 16 September 1983). He
also represented the South Pacific Region on the Steering Committee of the U.S. Port System Advocates. He was president of
at least three associations, to wit, the Sacramento section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the California Association
of Port Authorities, and the Northern California Ports and Terminals Bureau (later called the Golden Gate Ports Association).
In addition, he was also served as a board member of various associations, programs, and businesses, including the Pacific
Coast Association of Port Authorities, the California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference, the Sacramento Valley Bank,
and the Port of Sacramento Japanese Language School, the latter which he founded for the benefit of the children of Japanese
businessmen assigned to Sacramento.
1821 - Captain Luis Arguello and an expedition of Spanish missionaries sail up the Sacramento River as far as present Colusa,
marking the first recorded navigation of the Sacramento.
1837 - Russian Colony at Fort Ross used boats on the Sacramento River to carry trade with inland ports.
1841, August - John Augustus Sutter's 40-ton schooner, the
Isabella, sails up the Sacramento River.
1849-1850 - Large numbers of sailing and steam-powered vessels bound for the gold fields of the Sierra Nevada leave from San Francisco
and navigate the Sacramento River.
1849, April - Sacramento entrepreneur Sam Brannan constructs waterfront stores for commerce. Other businessmen who seized this trading
opportunity include George McDougal, Sam Kyburz, Barton Lee, and Pierre Cornwall. Activity centered around Front Street.
1849, May 7 - The
Whiton, a three mastered schooner, was the first known inter-coastal vessel to arrive at Sacramento.
1849, October - The
McKim, one of the first large vessels to navigate the Sacramento River by steam power, reaches Sacramento. Other steamships navigating
on the Sacramento River in 1849 include the
1857 - By this year, over 1,000 riverboat passengers were arriving in Sacramento every day. At least six steamships (each carrying
300 to 400 tons of cargo) operate on the Sacramento River, along with hundreds of sailing vessels. About a quarter of imports
are transshipped to Colusa for delivery to the Sierra mining towns.
1869 - The completion of the first transcontinental railroad offers the first major overland competition to shipping.
1874 - The Army Corps of Engineers is given the job of maintaining deep water ship channels which were previously dredged to provide
ocean vessels with access to the ports of Sacramento and Stockton.
1884 - The United States Circuit Court prohibits hydraulic mining. This mining technique threatened the viability of shipping
lanes by filling the Sacramento River with runoff silt and gravel.
1900s, early - New highways and railroads minimize the importance of the Sacramento River in transporting commercial goods to markets.
1911 - The California State Legislature authorizes a study of navigation on the Sacramento River to determine the feasibility
of bringing deep water shipping to Sacramento. The legislature provides no funds for the study.
1914 - The steamship
S.S. Grace Dollar unloads one million board feet of lumber at Knox Lumber Company's yard, Sacramento, demonstrating the economic potential
of a deep water ship channel.
1916, Feb. 24 - Major Paul M. Norboe, assistant state engineer, re-activates the 1911 study and collects data. This action leads to the
acknowledgement of a deep water port's economic potential by the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.
1916, October - The Sacramento Chamber of Commerce and the California State Legislature agree to a jointly financed survey. Sacramento
Chamber of Commerce secures a $3,500 appropriation from the Sacramento Board of Supervisors to cover half the survey cost;
the State matches an equal sum.
1916, Dec. 5 - Governor Hiram W. Johnson initiates the Sacramento ship canal survey.
ca. 1917-1952 - Sacramento is involved in numerous litigation to retain navigation rates at a competitive basis with coastal ports.
1917-1918 - The need for engineers during World War I halts the port project.
1922, Oct. 7 - Paul Norboe submits his Sacramento ship channel report, which he began in 1916. The California State Legislature recommends
a deep water channel project. The State takes little action for the next three years.
1924 - William G. Stone, traffic manager for the Thomson-Diggs Company of Sacramento, visits Houston, Texas and sees, firsthand,
the benefits of the Port of Houston. After returning to Sacramento, he suggests to the Sacramento City Council and the Sacramento
Chamber of Commerce that the Norboe report, to build a Sacramento port, should be revived. Thereafter, the Sacramento City
Council creates the Sacramento Deep Water Commission.
1925, Feb. 28 - The San Francisco engineering company of C.E. Grunsky submits a report to the Sacramento Deep Water Commission that advocates
an alternative route to that of the 1922 report. The city of Sacramento takes little action for the next eight years.
1933, October - The Sacramento Chamber of Commerce appeals to U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson to reactivate the Sacramento channel project.
The U.S. Senate passes Resolution No. 142, which instructs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete a study for deep water
navigation on the Sacramento River.
1934, March 2 - To demonstrate the Sacramento River's shipping potential, the S.S. Harpoon steams from San Francisco to Sacramento in thirteen
hours. It returns to San Francisco two days later in nine hours.
1935 - Assemblyman Roy J. Nielson introduces Assembly Bill 527 during a session of the legislature to provide for an enabling
act to create a Sacramento port district. The governor signed the bill on 11 June 1935; however, the act was not used until
1937 - The California State Legislature amends the Harbors and Navigation Code to make possible the creation of a bi-county port
1942 - The Sacramento Chamber of Commerce raises $100,000 for research and promotional purposes. (Private donations aount to $42,500;
city and county governments raise the balance.)
1943, Oct. 12 - The chamber asks the Army Corps of Engineers for a review of the earlier deep water channel project.
1945, Feb. - The Sacramento Chamber of Commerce submits a survey to the Sacramento district engineer which includes the responses of
3,000 shippers and receivers of freight in the Sacramento area. The cost of the survey ($15,000) comes from the funds raised
1945, June 1 - The U.S. District Engineer at Sacramento completes the survey and recommends the construction of a 30-foot deep and 200-300
foot wide ship channel from Lake Washington (near Sacramento) to connect with Suisun Bay (near Collinsville), a distance of
over 40 miles.
1945, Sep. 10 - The Board of River and Harbors holds a hearing on the project.
1946, July 24 - The 79th Congress, 2nd Session, passes Public Law No. 525 (chapter 595), which authorizes the construction of the Deep
Water Channel Project (i.e. the present channel). The act stipulates that the federal government would do the initial channel
dredging, construct the harbor and navigation locks, and take care of the future maintenance needs of the channel. In return,
local interests are expected to provide rights-of-way and easements, relocate utilities, provide belt railroads, and construct
adequate terminal facilities.
1947, Apr. 15 - Popular vote with a four to one majority (27,309 to 7,516)creates the Sacramento-Yolo Port District (SYPD) to govern the
port facility. The district consists of all of Sacramento County and includes Supervisorial District No. 1 in Yolo County.
Authorization for the port district is found in an enabling act, Harbors and Navigation Code sections 6800-6963.
1947 - The California State Legislature endorses the project and appropriates $750,000 to the SYPD to defray a portion of the
port district's cost to acquire rights-of-way, etc.
1947, May 19 - The first five members of the port commission take office.
1947, Nov. 4 - The port district votes on a bond issuance totalling $3,750,000 in order to construct necessary port facilities. Voters
approve the bond measure by a six-to-one margin (48,298 to 7,942 votes).
1948 - Sacramento River barges (towed by tugboats) meet the post-war demand for petroleum products until 1963, when a new pipeline
between the Bay Area and Sacramento began carrying oil.
1948, Sep. 21 - The port district proceeds with the purchase of rights-of-way.
1949 - To permit preliminary dredging and allow the construction to proceed immediately, the 80th Congress, 2nd Session appropriates
$275,000 to the port district.
1949, Aug. 7 - The U.S. Corps of Engineers, working through contractors, begin the construction of the port facilities (i.e. Sacramento
River Deep Water Ship Channel, harbor, barge canal, William G. Stone navigation lock, and a bridge). July 1953 is the target
date for completion.
1949, Sep. 19 - SYPD awarded contract for the construction of a 500,000-bushel capacity grain elevator and leases it for 30 years to Kerr
Gifford and Company of California. The elevator begins operation on 1 July 1950.
1950 - Congress appropriates $1,700,000 for channel construction.
1950, May 15 - The SYPD completes the belt railroad and highway pavement.
1950-1955 - The Korean War (and resulting lack of funds) temporarily halts construction.
1953 - The House of Representatives appropriates $10,000 for another feasibility study.
1953, Sep. 1 - The Farmers Rice Growers Cooperative occupy their new million-dollar rice storage and drying facilities at the port.
1954 - Congressman John E. Moss, Third Sacramento District, submits to Congress a new feasibility study made by the Army Corps
of Engineers. The new report concludes that the port would return $1.27 for each $1.00 of federal investment.
1954, Sep. 20 - Haslett Warehouse Company occupies its new 80,000 square foot concreate warehouse at the port.
1955, Jan. 21 - The California State Legislature unanimously passes Assembly Joint Resolution No. 11, which requests the president, U.S.
Congress, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate steps to resume port construction.
1955 - Largely from the efforts of Congressman Moss, Congress approves an appropriation of $550,000 for the channel project.
1956 - Construction resumes following the end of the Korean War.
1958 - The Deleuw-Cather report, which is jointly financed by the California State Division of Highways, the city of Sacramento,
and the county of Sacramento, surveys highway needs in the Sacramento area. The report, which provides for a 15-year, $263
million highway program, includes highway facilities to and through the port terminal area.
1961, April - The district endorses a $9,850,000 general obligation bond issue to complete necessary terminal facilities. Voters approve
the bond measure by a seven-to-one majority.
1962 - Congress appropriates $4,300,000 for the channel project.
1963 - Congress appropriates $5,900,000 for the channel project.
1963, June 29 - The completed port, at a total cost of $55 million, opens to deep water traffic with the call of the
M.V. Taipei Victory.
1963, July 19 - Official dedication and ceremonies commemorate the formal opening of the deep water port.
1963, Aug. 1 - The Sacramento City Council appoints T.H. Richards, Jr. as a port commissioner.
1963, Oct. 1 - The port commission appoints Melvin Shore to replace William G. Stone as port director.
1964, June 30 - By the end of the first fiscal year of operation, 51 vessels, with a cargo volume exceeding 260,000 tons, call at the port.
1964, Dec. - Port Director Shore and Port Commissioner Elorduy make a trade development trip to Europe.
1965, Feb. - The port commission ratifies an agreement with the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU), thereby
establishing a new Sacramento local.
1965 - The Sacramento City Council appoints G. Wayne O'Brien to replace T.H. Richards as port commissioner.
1965, June 30 - By the end of the 1964-65 fiscal year, the port commission completes two major expansion programs (i.e., the bulk material
storage and loading facility and an automated bulk rice facility).
1965, August - Adverse weather leads to the loss of some California agricultural export revenue.
1965, Sep. 2 - Dedication ceremony of the port's Bulk Rice and Loading Terminal.
1966, January - Handling of the first one million tons of cargo.
1966 - The Sacramento Board of Supervisors appoints Richard E. Crow to replace Robinson N. Crowell as port commissioner.
1966, June 30 - By the end of the 1965-66 fiscal year, the Port of Sacramento establishes its first regular berthliner service (i.e., the
NKY line) and handles its first military cargo.
1966, Oct. 24 - The port commission adopts Ordinance No. 23, the issuance of $3,100,000 in SYPD 1966 Bulk Facilities Bonds. The district
sold the bonds in December 1966 and commenced project operations on 15 September 1967.
1967, June 30 - By the end of the 1966-67 fiscal year, the Port of Sacramento becomes a self-sufficient business, no longer requiring tax
support for maintenance and operation costs. Rice becomes the most significant single crop for export (with a volume of 445,899
tons). The port also signs its first long-term (eight year) contract with a Japanese Company, Mitsui and Co., for the handling
of wood chips.
1968, July 1 - The SYPD changes its accounting system.
1969, Jan. 13 - SYPD sells $2,550,000 1969 Port Facilities Expansion Bonds, Series A, to enlarge bulk cargo handling capacity.
1970, Jan. - The Port of Sacramento begins its Container Barge Service, providing transport services to and from the container terminals
of the San Francisco Bay Area.
1970, June 30 - By the end of the 1969-70 fiscal year, the eighth year of operation, the port's tonnage, operating revenue, and ship calls
are nearly double the projected average for a fifty-year port-life. The SYPD undergoes a study to deepen the channel and diversifies
its cargo to over 40 varieties.
1971, June 30 - By the end of the 1970-71 fiscal year, the Port of Sacramento implements its Transmodal Distribution Service (a total service
concept) and attains full terminal port status from the Trans Pacific Steamship Conference. Other activities during the 1970-71
fiscal year include the port holding its first annual open house during World Trade and National Transportation Week. Also,
the Farmers Rice Cooperative moves its headquarters from San Francisco to the Wrold Trade Center, Sacramento, signifying the
port's importance as a rice handling center.
1971, July 1 - After failed contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association, ILWU President Harry Bridges begins a West
Coast strike that ultimately lasts 134 days. On 6 October, the Taft-Hartley injunction forces a temporary halt in the strike.
The ILWU resumed the strike during the second week of January 1972 and continued until reaching an agreement in late February.
The Port of Sacramento looses significant revenue due to the strike. The port commissioners sign a two-year contract with
1972, June 30 - By the end of the 1971-72 fiscal year, the Port of Sacramento expands its handling base to include the importation of autos,
bicycles, and meats, and the exportation of alfalfa and butter. The port also undertakes initial steps toward its expansion
of its bulk facility.
1972, Oct. 24 - The SYPD sells $6,000,000 1972 Bulk Facilities Expansion Bonds, Series A, to finance the expansion of flat bulk storage,
loading, and receiving capacity, including wood chip storage and conveyor systems. (The port commission passed and adopted
Ordinance No. 28 on 28 Aug. 1972.)
1973, June 30 - By the end of the 1972-73 fiscal year, the cargo lifted from 171 vessels exceeds one-and-a-half million tons, twice the
tonnage projected in 1963 by the Sacramento Army Corps of Engineers as necessary to justify the investment. The port commission
approves the construction of another bulk expansion of the port facility. The project costs $6 million.
1974, Jan. 21 - The SYPD sells $1,150,000 1972 Bulk Facilities Expansion Bonds, Series B, to finance the expansion of flat bulk storage,
loading, and receiving capacity, including wood chip storage and conveyor systems.
1974 - The Sacramento City Council appoints Edward P. Park to replace Mike R. Elorduy as port commissioner.
1974, June 30 - During the 1973-74 fiscal year, the Port of Sacramento does not make a profit.
1974, Sep. 23 - SYPD sells $425,000 1969 Port Facilities Expansion Bonds, Series B, to finance the expansion of the wood chip facilities.
(The port commission passed and adopted Ordinance No. 26 on 21 Oct. 1968.)
1975, Feb. - In the midst of the world-wide economic recession, the Port of Sacramento suspends the Container Barge Service.
1976 - The Sacramento Board of Supervisors appoints Thomas G. Campbell to replace Richard E. Crow as port commissioner.
1976, Apr. 20 - The Port of Sacramento sponsors the First International Dry Bulk Cargo Handling Conference at the Sacramento Convention
1976, June - A labor strike brings handling to a standstill for two weeks.
1976, June 29 - A fire burns wood chip storage piles. Port officials estimate the damages exceed $5 million.
1977, June 30 - During the 1976-77 fiscal year, the Collier Carbon and Chemical Company constructs its own wharf at the port. The Nissan
Motor Company of Japan locates its major West Coast parts distribution center within the Sacramento area.
1978, May - Union Chemical Company begins operating its private wharf at the Port of Sacramento.
1978, June 30 - By the end of the 1977-78 fiscal year, the Port of Sacramento has made the final payment to bond holders on the $2,975,000
revenue bond sold in 1969 (q.v.). Also during the fiscal year, the Best Pipe Company purchases a site for handling imported
1980, Sep. 10 - The SYPD sells $10 million 1980 Port Revenue Bonds, Series A, to finance the construction of new facilities, consisting
of warehouses and conveyor systems. (The port commission passed and adopted Ordinance No. 36 on 11 August 1980.)
1981, June 30 - By the end of the 1980-81 fiscal year, the SYPD withdrew $9.2 million bond issue it intended to sell on 10 June 1981 (1980
Port Revenue Bonds, Series B, Ordinance No. 36) when interest rates failed to drop as expected. Also, the 25th millionth ton
of cargo projected by the Sacramento Army Corps of Engineers for the year 2060 moved through the port.
1981, Dec. 15 - The SYPD sells $5 million Sacramento-Yolo Port District Revenue Bonds, Series B, to finance the construction of a new warehouse.
(The port commission passed and adopted Ordinance No. 36 on 11 August 1980, as well as Ordinance No. 38 on 23 November 1981.)
1982 - The Sacramento Board of Supervisors appoints Edward L. Lammerding and Willie A. Bell to replace Ivory J. Rodda and Thomas
G. Campbell as port commissioners. The Yolo County Board of Supervisors appoints James W. Cameron to replace Curzon Kay as
1982, June 30 - During the 1981-82 fiscal year, the port district completed a $10 million expansion program and began another $5 million
addition. Also during the year, the Sacramento Army Corps of Engineers completed a 13-year study on the proposal to deepen
the channel (and reported favorably to the Secretary of the Army). The port commission participated in Yolo County studies
that led to the preparation of the Southport area for industrial development.
1982, Oct. 1 - The American Association of Port Authorities elected Port Director Melvin Shore chairman of the board for a one-year term
(until 16 September 1983) during the association's 71st Annual Convention in New York City.
1982, Dec. 31 - For the calendar year 1982, the Port of Sacramento ranks the second (after Oakland) in tonnage among eight northern California
1983 - The Sacramento City Council appoints Virginia S. Mueller to replace G. Wayne O'Brien as port commissioner.
1983, Jan. 25 - President Ronald Reagan advocates a port modernization bill in his State of the Union address.
1983, circa - The Inland International Trade Association, Inc., a local trade organization, and the Port of Sacramento create the "International
Resource Center" to provide access to research materials.
1984 - The Sacramento City Council appoints Alfonso Z. Gonzalez to replace Edward P. Park as port commissioner.
1986, Jan. - The Sacramento Port Commission states it will let five dock superintendents keep working in new assistant operations manager
positions that would take them out of their union's jurisdiction. The decision followed weeks of negotiation by port officials
and the Engineers and Scientists of California, which claimed that the port was retaliating against the superintendents (by
abolishing their positions) for participating in a strike.
1986, April - The Port of Sacramento won initial approval from the California Urban Waterfront Area Restoration Financing Authority for
a bond issue. The issue would provide up to $30 million for a channel deepening project to dredge the 47-mile channel an additional
five feet (from 30 to 35 feet), thereby opening the port to vessels unable to negotiate the 30-foot draft.
1986, May - Port of Sacramento officials release a long-range plan, dubbed "Seaway Center," that calls for the development of new truck,
rail, and water transportation services to generate more general cargo business.
1986, June 30 - Port Director Melvin Shore retires (age 62) when his contract expires after 37 years of service with the Port of Sacramento,
23 of those years as port director.
1986, Oct. - The SYPD appoints Dennis G. Clark as the new port director.
Custodial History note
The records were originally collected and maintained by the Sacramento-Yolo Port Authority, before being donated to the Department
of Special Collections and University Archives in 1986.
Conditions Governing Use note
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. Requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce
from collections must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.
Permission for publication is given on the behalf of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Library,
California State University, Sacramento as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Processing Information note
Shortly after receiving the Port of Sacramento donation, a volunteer student intern began processing the collection but ended
his internship before completing the project. Ms. White provided a preliminary inventory for patron use, but did not reassign
the project until she was certain the next processor would complete the project. The current processor completed this project
in the spring of 1996.
The preparer gratefully acknowledges the help of several individuals in the completion of this inventory: Melvin Shore, who
proofread the background information and appendices; Robert Watson, who supplied information about the Port of Sacramento;
and Rexford Sherman, who supplied information about the AAPA.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The California State University, Sacramento Special Collections and university Archives acquired the Port of Sacramento records
in 1986 as a donation from Melvin Shore, who had recently retired from his position as port director. A representative from
the Business History Research Center of the University of Wyoming, Laramie, originally contacted Shore about donating the
collection there. After C.S.U.S. Archivist Georgiana White and Melvin Shore came to a mutual agreement that the Port of Sacramento
files would be most useful to local researchers, Shore donated part of his collection in November. The accessioned collection
comprised six cubic feet, not including approximately 3,900 business cards. Shore withheld about four cartons of personal
items (relating to his directorship at the port) for a ten-year period; however, he plans to donate this material to the C.S.U.S.
Special Collections and University Archives circa June 1996.
The initial accession consists of 9 record cartons and a document box. Another addition was later added, which is known as
Port of Sacramento records: additions (MSS 1996/17).
Other Finding Aids note
See also the Port of Sacramento Records: Additions, 1916-2003 (MSS 1996/17).
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some restrictions may apply.
Scope and Contents note
Port Director Melvin Shore, who donated the items comprising the Port of Sacramento Collection, served as chairman of the
board for the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) for the period 1 October 1982 until 16 September 1983. Shore
donated his records as AAPA chairman, as well as records pertaining to his position as port director.
Because the AAPA is an independent organization, the processor divided the Port of Sacramento Collection into two subgroups
(i.e. the Sacramento-Yolo Port District and the AAPA). Therefore, the processor provides both an agency history of the Sacramento-Yolo
Port District and an organizational history of the AAPA. For a chronology of major events pertaining to the history of the
Port of Sacramento, see Appendix II, beginning on page 36.
In addition, the processor provides a biographical sketch of Melvin Shore, the port director from whom the bulk of the collection
The records of the Port of Sacramento Collection cover the years 1916 to ca. 1991, inclusive, whith the bulk of the collection
covering the years 1963 to 1986. The collection is incomplete. Melvin shore donated only part of his collection to the university
archives in November 1986. (He plans to donate the remainder ca. June 1996.) The preparer is unaware of the scope of the port
district records missing from the present collection.
Documents pertaining to the Sacramento-Yolo Port District before 1963, when the port opened to commercial traffic, are scattered
throughout the inventory, depending on which department generated and/or used such information.
Overall, the largest group of files for the period 1963-86 documents the construction projects, legislative issues, conventions,
and financial aspects of the Port of Sacramento. The various publications and ephemera generated by the Marketing Department
best demonstrate the hopes and goals of the district. The researcher can compare activities, events, and commissioners' names
on undated ephemera with the chronology and list of commissioners in appendices II and III, respectively, to determine approximate
dates of publications.
The preparer arranged the collection into two subgroups during the processing process to differentiate between files pertaining
to the port district and those pertaining to an independent association, which the donator chaired between 1982-83. The two
subgroups appearing within this inventory are:
Sacramento Yolo Port District (SYPD) American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)
Because many records generated outside the port district were apparently intermixed within the collection, the preparer did
not divide them into separate subgroups. Two examples of agencies headquartered outside the port district are the U.S. Port
Systems Advocates, a legislative agency representing national port interests, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who planned
and built much of what constitutes the Sacramento River Deep Water Shipping Channel.
Four of the constituent departments of the port district (i.e. Accounting, Engineering, Marketing, and Operations) are subdivisions
within the Sacramento-Yolo Port District subgroup. External agencies (i.e. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Port Systems
Advocates, and other External Agencies) which generated or used records important in the history and/or operation of the SYPD
constitute yet another three subdivisions. The remaining sub-division, Port Director's Office, reflects all documents and
artifacts pertaining to the SYPD not included elsewhere.
The American Association of Port Authorities subgroup is subdivided as follows: General, U.S. Legislative Council, and Committees.
Within the subgroups, records are arranged in series by the function of the file (e.g. legislative files) or by subject (e.g.
ephemera, reports), in as close to their original order as the preparer can determine. Each series description is followed
by a container list.
Both textual and nontextual files comprise the records of the Port of Sacramento Collection. Textual material includes published
guides and brochures, as well as many typewritten paper records, but few handwritten notes.
Photographs, blueprints, and other such nontextual files are stored separately for preservation purposes. Notices within folders
will direct the researcher to the locations of removed items, when applicable.
If the researcher is unfamiliar with the Port of Sacramento's layout and/or with general technical/statistical information
pertaining to the port, consulting the brochures and other items available in box 2, beginning with folder 9, is a good place
to begin research. These are the same type of handouts available on tours at the port facility.
The Port of Sacramento records provide an excellent source to document the relationship between local politicians and the
communities they represent. Congressman Robert T. Matsui, representing the 5th California District, is one example. In 1981
Matsui introduced the National Defense Port System Act (H.R. 4862) and reintroduced it the following year (H.R. 5897) with
one goal of establishing national uniform user fees. Because higher user charges hindered potential barges from calling at
the Port of Sacramento, the act was conducive to attract commerce to the port.
Another bill beneficial to the Port of Sacramento's interests was S.B. 865, the Deep-Draft Navigation Act. Matsui introduced
this legislation in 1983. Documents pertaining to Matsui's bills, including successive drafts of H.R. 4862, can be found in
the U.S. Port Systems Advocates' files in the Port of Sacramento Collection.
Another politician, Congressman John E. Moss of the Third Sacramento District, played a major role in making the Port of Sacramento
a reality through federal appropriations exceeding $40 million. The Moss Collection is also kept at the CSUS Special Collections
and University Archives, and provides an opportunity from which researchers can take advantage.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Harbors -- California -- Sacramento
Harbors -- Management
Port districts -- Officials and employees
Sacramento-Yolo Port District