San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park - CLOSED

This little jewel near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is closed during the government shutdown. The park is near the end of the Hyde Street streetcar line and offers a stroll along the Hyde Street pier filled with historic ships. Along with craft on the pier, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park has museums, visitor and research centers on the shore.

Lumber Schooner,  C.A. Thayer

Lumber Schooner, C.A. Thayer

The first ship is an 1895, three-masted schooner designed to carry lumber along the Pacific Coast. You can look on to the city, or look up and imagine yourself at sea.

The masts

The masts

The massive 1907 steam tug Hercules towed ships around South America, through the Panama Canal and helped build the navy base at Pearl Harbor.

Steam Tug  Hercules

Steam Tug Hercules

Though there are many other ships along the pier, the last I’ll mention is the 1890 steam ferryboat, the Eureka. Before the Golden Gate bridge, which you can see to the left of the Eureka in the image below, this side-wheel paddle-boat ferried passengers and vehicles across the bay.

Ferryboat  Eureka

Ferryboat Eureka

Originally built to carry freight trains across the bay, after WWI it was reconstructed to carry automobiles and passengers. She continued carrying autos until 1941 even after bridges were built across the Bay. Then she went back to moving train cars until she broke down in the middle of the bay in 1957.

SF Maritime NHS-5910.jpg

The bridge view brings us back to looking at the San Francisco skyline.

The  Eureka’s  bridge

The Eureka’s bridge