Guide to the San Diego and Coronado Ferry Collection

© Copyright 2012 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the San Diego and Coronado Ferry Collection 1907/1937

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: San Diego and Coronado Ferry Collection
Dates: 1907-1937
Identification: MS-0200
Creator: San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company
Physical Description: 3.20 linear ft
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Historical Note:

The San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company provided ferry service for pedestrians and vehicles from San Diego to North Island and Coronado. It was incorporated by H. L. Story and Elijah S. Babcock on April 14, 1886 and was a subsidiary of the Coronado Beach Company. The company's first function was to transport workers building the Hotel del Coronado and to promote the development of the island as a health resort and spa.
The company terminated service on August 2, 1969 at 11:59 p.m. The Coronado Bridge officially opened one minute later. The last owners of the company, a firm owned by Jesse L. Haugh, bought it from previous owner John D. Spreckels, who had taken it over from Story and Babcock. At the time of its closing, the ferry company was a subsidiary of the San Diego Transit System and a partner to the San Diego Electric Railway.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Organizational Records

Topical Term:

Ferries -- California -- San Diego Bay
Local transit -- California -- San Diego County

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, San Diego and Coronado Ferry Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Related Materials:

Hotel del Coronado Collection

Scope and Contents

The small San Diego and Coronado Ferry Collection consists of five items, and documents selected financial operations of the company from early in its long history. It consists of three financial ledgers, one report, and one broadside. The first ledger dates from 1907 to 1916 and includes detailed information on capital, payrolls, expenses, dividends, cash charges, and taxes. Part of this ledger is devoted to bookkeeping for specific jobs and projects, such as "Coronado Turnstile," "Painting the Steamer Ramona," and "New Safety Gates." The second ledger dates from 1920-1935 and is organized much like the first. These ledgers give a clear record of the company's priorities over several owners, and provide useful information on partnerships with local companies for infrastructure, improvements based on customer needs, and problems arising from the company's growth and expansion. This financial picture of the company's activities is supported by a 1924 valuation report which offers considerable detail about revenues and expenditures. The broadside, showing tariffs for bay passage in 1910, documents the transportation habits of people and companies in the growing city.
A third ledger, dating from 1935-1937, documents the financial activities of a partner business, the "Exposition Transportation Company," which existed solely to serve visitors to the California-Pacific Exposition in Balboa Park during those years. It offered luxury and charter bus tours of the city, rollerchairs and rickshaws on the grounds of the Exposition, and transportation to other local stations of transit (including the Ferry Company terminal) for tourists. The ledger details revenue and expenses, taxes, assets, and liabilities of this short-lived but active company.

Detailed List of Contents

Box 1

Ledger, 1907-1916

Box 2

Ledger titled "Appropriation Record," 1920-1935

Box 2

Report, "Valuation of San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company, 1924"

Scope and Contents

by Richard Sachse, Consulting Engineer
Box 2

Ledger, "Exposition Transporation Company," 1935-1937


Broadside, "Tariff Rates," 1910