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A guide to the Carl Christensen photographs, 1929, 1971-1972
P78-085a (SAFR 18548)  
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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: Carl Christensen photographs
    Date: 1929,
    Date: 1971-1972
    Identifier/Call Number: P78-085a (SAFR 18548)
    Photographer: Christensen, Carl M. (Carl Mobius)
    Physical Description: 3 items.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Carl Christensen photographs, 1929, 1971-1972, (SAFR 18548, P78-085a) are comprised of two photographs of Captain Norman Hubenette and one photograph of the steam schooner JANE NETTLETON (built 1917). The collection has been processed to the collection level and is open for use.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): 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

    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], P78-085a (SAFR 18548), Carl Christensen photographs, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    This photograph collection was donated to the San Francisco Maritime Museum by Carl Christiansen probably around October 2, 1973, which is the date of the letter signed by the donor and addressed to Matilda Dring, a copy of which is in the collection file. The SFMM photo-archives accession sheet is dated March 21, 1978.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    Carl Christensen (1906-1986) lived in Eureka, California for many years, and was a photographer, photograph collector, and a maritime historian specializing in steam schooners of the Pacific Coast.
    Carl Mobius Christensen was born May 28, 1906. He was a native of Humboldt County, California and was born and raised on the Samoa Peninsula near the U.S. Coast Guard Station. Christensen lived in Eureka for many years before moving to Grove City and then to Arroyo Grande. He was a photographer, photograph collector, and a maritime historian specializing in steam schooners of the Pacific Coast. He was a member of the Humboldt County Historical Society and the Humboldt Maritime Museum. Christensen was a member of the Eureka Firefighters Local No. 652 and his father worked for years at the Humboldt Bar life-saving station.
    During the 1930s-1940s, Carl and his brother Art Christensen both piloted the launch MADAKET (ex NELLIE C.), ferrying passengers and freight from Samoa to Eureka. MADAKET was built in Fairhaven in 1909, launched in 1910 and refurbished in 1989. She is the oldest continuously operating passenger vessel in the United States, celebrated her 100th birthday on June 6, 2010, and is the last survivor of seven original ferries that transported mill workers and families around Humboldt Bay. The completion of the Eureka-Samoa bridge in 1971 put the ferry service out of business. Ironically, the second span of the California 255 Samoa Bridge is named in honor of Carl L. Christensen Jr., a democratic District Attorney and Justice in Humboldt County who died in September 1976.
    Carl Christensen was very knowledgeable about steam schooners and corresponded with both Karl Kortum and Harold Huycke, among other maritime historians. In a letter that Harold Huycke wrote to Carl's brother Art in 2004, Huycke says that "upon reflecting on the numerous people I have known who have been very important in the accumulation of the entire steam schooner history, as far as I know, Carl is close to the top of the list of preservers and historians . . . I think it is very important that some space be dedicated to the biographies of those people, like Carl, who did so much in the very earliest years of this research."
    Carl Christensen died on January 6, 1986, in Arroyo Grande, California at the age of 79. He was survived by his wife Frankie B. Christensen, daughter and son-in law Beth and Isam Zamamiri, son David R. Christensen, brothers Arthur E. Christensen and George Christensen, and sister Anna McGrew.
    Written by Amy Croft, December 2011.


    • -Butler, Edith. 2001. Finding aid for the "Swanlund-Baker Photograph Collection, ca. 1904-1925," Humboldt State University Special Collections, http://cdn.calisphere.org/data/13030/1k/tf6779n81k/files/tf6779n81k.pdf, accessed December 14, 2011
    • -Doran, Bob. 2002. Sam Swanlund interview "Working on his Legacy" in the North Coast Journal, http://www.northcoastjournal.com/091202/cover0912.html, accessed December 14, 2011
    • -Huycke, Harold letter to Art Christensen, November 27, 2004. Harold D. Huycke Collection. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (HDC 1600, Series 3.08, File Unit 020)
    • -Upshaw, Deborah. June 1995. "Bay ambassador turns 85," North Coast Journal, http://www.northcoastjournal.com/JUN95/HISTORY.HTM, accessed December 14, 2011
    • -"100 Years of Madaket", Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum, http://humboldtbaymaritimemuseum.com/MADAKEThistory.html, accessed December 13, 2011.
    • -"Carl M. Christensen Obituary." Times-Standard. Eureka, California. 12 January 1986.

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Carl Christensen photographs, 1929, 1971-1972, (SAFR 18548, P78-085a) are comprised of two photographs of Captain Norman Hubenette and one photograph of the steam schooner JANE NETTLETON (built 1917). The collection has been processed to the collection level and is open for use.
    There are 3 unique photographic images, in 3 physical forms (3 black-and-white photographic prints, 8 x 10 in.)

    Item List:

    • 1. Capt. Norman Hubenette climbing up a rope ladder to board the Norwegian freighter SS HERANGER (built 1968) while off Humboldt Bar, California, 1971 or 1972. Shot includes a portion of the deck and deck railing.
    • 2. Detail of Capt. Hubenette boarding HERANGER (built 1968), 1971 or 1972.
    • 3. Bow view of the steam schooner JANE NETTLETON (built 1917) at San Pedro, Terminal Island, California, 1929. The photograph was taken over the deck load of the steam schooner TRINIDAD (built 1918) arriving from Eureka, California. First mate Johnson is on the bow of TRINIDAD.
    Captain Norman Hubenette was the son of Captain John Hubenette, who was also referred to as Big John and French John. According to Carl Christensen, Norman Hubenette passed away on the bridge of a ship that he was piloting into Humboldt Bay in the summer of 1973. (Letter regarding Hubenette's death can be found in the collection file for this collection).

    Collection Arrangement

    Not arranged due to small size of collection.

    Related Materials

    Carl Christensen photograph collection (SAFR 14390, P85-035). See Series 4 for other photographs of Norman Hubenette as a young boy, and his father Captain John Hubenette.
    Carl Christensen photograph albums, 1855-1965, (SAFR 19519, P78-478a). Includes photographs of Captain John Hubenette and his son Norman, JANE NETTLETON (built 1917; steam schooner) and TRINIDAD (built 1918; steam schooner).
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Hubbenette, Norman, Captain
    Heranger (built 1968; freighter)
    Jane Nettleton (built 1917; steam schooner)
    Humboldt Bar (Calif.)
    Humboldt Bay (Calif.)
    San Pedro (Los Angeles, Calif.)--Harbor
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)