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A guide to the H. Alan Sims photographs of Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat), circa 1950s, 1970 March 24
P99-014 (SAFR 22590)  
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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: H. Alan Sims photographs of Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat)
    Date: circa 1950s,
    Date: 1970 March 24
    Date (bulk): 1970 March 24
    Identifier/Call Number: P99-014 (SAFR 22590)
    Creator: Sims, H. Alan
    Physical Description: 56 items. Some items available online.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The H. Alan Sims photographs of Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat), circa 1950s, 1970 March 24 (SAFR 22590, P99-014) consists of 56 color slides (1 folder) of EPPLETON HALL arriving in San Francisco on March 24, 1970. The material has been processed at the collection level and includes an itemized list of the collection.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.


    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.
    The photographer granted unrestricted use of the photographs in this collection to the National Park Service but did not clearly transfer his intellectual property rights.

    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

    Slides housed in shared collection box.
    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], P99-014 (SAFR 22590), H. Alan Sims photographs of Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat), San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was donated to San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park on April 30, 1999, by the photographer H. Alan Sims.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    Harry Alan Sims (known most commonly as H. Alan Sims or Alan Sims) is a maritime historian and archivist.
    He was born on April 12, 1932, in Los Angeles County, California. He later moved to the Sacramento area, where he spent most of his life. In the early 1960s, Sims was hired as a studio operator for Sacramento's KXTV Channel 10. There, due to his experience working in children's theater, he soon became a puppeteer for the "Diver Dan" television series and was later featured in "Mr. Al's Storytime" and "Mr. Al's Sunday Funnies" before entering the teaching profession.
    Sims was an Assistant Curator of Rare Books for the California State Library and was a volunteer researcher and archivist for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. He authored and narrated a children's filmstrip, "The Cat that Grew and Grew," in 1975; assembled and transcribed excerpts from an anonymous journal written in 1854 in California, in 1998; and compiled bibliographies and supporting material for presentations that he gave around Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. He was also a member of the Steamship Historical Society of America.
    Additionally, Sims worked with Karl Kortum, one of the founders of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, while doing his maritime research. Sims spoke at several lecture series at the J. Porter Shaw library: in 2003, on "S. S. Great Britain: Brunel's Iron Ship," and in 2007, on "Sacramento, Port of Gold: A General Review of the Maritime History of the City of Sacramento."


    • Bishop, Larry. November 2005. Researcher's Guide to Sutter's Fort's Collections of Donner Party Material. Accessed on January 24, 2012, from http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/485/files/donnermasterguide.pdf
    • Harry A. Sims. California Birth Index 1905-1995. Accessed on January 24, 2012, on Ancestry.com from http://search.ancestrylibrary.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=cabirth1905&h=1855268&indiv=
    • try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=1732
    • Music, Tours, Events, Living History and Film. March, April, May 2007. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, National Park Service. Accessed on January 24, 2012, from http://www.nps.gov/safr/parknews/upload/maritimenews16.pdf
    • "Norman Bales: Sacramento's own Diver Dan." Accessed on January 25, 2012, from http://www.planetxmagazine.com/photo/dd6.pdf
    EPPLETON HALL History The EPPLETON HALL was built in 1914 by the Hepple and Company of South Shields, England, for the Lambton and Hetton Collieries, Ltd. The vessel, named after the Lambton family's ancestral home, was designed to tow ocean-going colliers (coal-carrying vessels) to and from the port of Newcastle on the River Tyne. Coal was a booming business, and days of transit time were saved by towing the sailing vessels upriver to load. The vessel was also used to tow newly-built ships out to sea.
    The EPPLETON HALL is a steam sidewheeler with side-lever engines, and is the only remaining intact example of a Tyne paddle tug. The vessel was engaged on the Wear and Tyne rivers of northeast England from 1914-1967 and she is a direct descendent of the first craft to go into commercial service as harbor tugs. In 1946, she was purchased by France Fenwick, Wear and Tyne Ltd., which operated her in the Wear River until 1964 (she is being restored to this period today).
    The EPPLETON HALL's steam engines are descended from a type first developed in England in 1828. The two large side lever engines, often referred to as grasshopper engines, operate the paddle wheels independently, making the tug especially maneuverable in tight spots. Another unusual feature of the EPPLETON HALL is its hand-forged boilers designed to use seawater. Every six weeks the accumulated salt had to be chipped out of the boilers and rinsed away. The advantage was that large freshwater tanks did not have to be carried aboard.
    In 1952, the tug was slightly modified in order to obtain a Passenger Certificate, so that she could transport officials from newly-launched steamers. Her last commercial owner was the Seaham Harbour Dock Board, which operated her from 1964 to 1967. She was sold for scrap in 1967 to Clayton and Davie, Shipbreakers and, while sitting on a mud bank, fire (part of the scrapping process) destroyed her wooden afterdeck and interior.
    In December 1968, Scott Newhall discovered the EPPLETON HALL in Newcastle after trying to acquire the last operating paddle tug RELIANT, which was slated to be dismantled and pieces put into an exhibit at the Greenwich Maritime Museum. Newhall wanted to purchase the RELIANT but was told it was already spoken for and he was shown the EPPLETON HALL as an alternative; however he still wanted the RELIANT. In early 1969, Newhall assembled a group of maritime enthusiasts in Newcastle for the negotiation of the purchase of the RELIANT and they arrived sometime near the beginning of May. Scott hoped to purchase the RELIANT from the Greenwich Maritime Museum, defray the cost of their investment in the RELIANT and have them use parts from the EPPLETON HALL for their exhibit instead. He wanted to do all this in order to prevent the sea worthy vessel RELIANT from being cut-up into parts and then take the RELIANT back to San Francisco.
    In early May 1969, it was determined that they could not purchase the RELIANT and Newhall decided to purchase the EPPLETON HALL. Restoration efforts were turned to her and Bill Bartz remained in Newcastle to oversee the design and renovation of the vessel. She was taken to R.B. Harrison & Sons, Ltd. Shipyard. Bartz worked alongside shipyard employees to restore her and hired appropriate staff to make sure that she was logistically able to leave England for the United States. As she was no longer a vessel used for commercial means, she was registered as a yacht. This allowed her to take on a volunteer crew and have an easier time finding accommodations in ports. She remained registered as a private yacht until 1979.
    In mid-September of 1969, the EPPLETON HALL departed England with a crew consisting of Scott Newhall, Karl Kortum and his son Johnny, Bill Bartz and his children Heide and Billy, and engineers and a purser, bound for San Francisco via the Panama Canal. Despite technical difficulties, inclement weather conditions, and illness of the crew, she steamed through the Golden Gate on March 24, 1970.
    The vessel was donated to the National Park Service in 1979. She is now berthed at Hyde Street Pier.
    Sources: History written by SAFR staff and information also taken from http://www.nps.gov/safr/historyculture/eppleton-hall-history.htm, accessed October 31, 2011 Newhall, Scott. The Eppleton Hall. Berkeley, California: Howell-North Books. 1971.

    Collection Scope and Content

    The H. Alan Sims photographs of Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat), circa 1950s, 1970 March 24 (SAFR 22590, P99-014) consists of 56 color slides (1 folder) of EPPLETON HALL arriving in San Francisco on March 24, 1970. The material has been processed at the collection level and includes an itemized list of the collection.
    These photographs document EPPLETON HALL arriving at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf on March 24, 1970. They include exterior and interior views of the vessel: deck, stem, stern, paddlewheel, pilot house, crew accommodations and details specific to the vessel. They also include views of the crowd gathered to greet the vessel, Mayor Alito, and signage welcoming the vessel. Also included is one photograph of the vessel FORT SUTTER at Aquatic Park in the 1950s.
    The slides were used in a presentation about EPPLETON HALL at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park on October 24, 1998. The presentation was coordinated by Richard W. Rutter and included photographs taken by H. Alan Sims, George Lamuth and John Kortum.

    Collection Arrangement

    The slides are arranged numerically by presentation order number. The arrangement is based on a list dated October 24, 1998, held in the collection file. Slides not found on the list from the presentation were placed at the end and were not labeled with numbers.

    Related Materials

    Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat) logbook, 1969 September 18-1970 March 27. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, HDC 1137 (SAFR 17686). Logbook from the journey from Newcastle, England to San Francisco, California.
    George R. Lamuth photographs of the Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat), 1970 March 24- 1989 September. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, P99-015 (SAFR 23143)
    Scott Newhall photographs, circa 1937, 1962-1970. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, P97-006 (SAFR 21372). The bulk of the collection consists of photographs from the paddlewheel steam tugboat EPPLETON HALL's transatlantic voyage from England to San Francisco in 1969 and 1970.
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Paddle Steamers
    ms, H. Alan (Harry Alan, 1932-)
    pleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat)
    n Francisco (Calif.)
    Color slides