San Francisco

November 29, 1913








Junior Commodore - Captain J. Ramselius

C. A. McCarthy, President

H. E. Roberts, Vice-President

Commodore Adolph Bergman, Recording Secretary

Commodore P. Rasmussen,Financial Secretary

M. Thompson, Treasurer

A. J. Matson, Marshal

Capt. C. W. Tietjen,Sergeant-at-Arms

Capt. O. Madsen, Quartermaster



Committee of Arrangements


J. Ramselius

H. E. Roberts

E. J. Fisher

C. B. Larsen

E. F. Tway

A. J. Matson

J. J. Barnes

C. A. McCarthy

C. J. Foard

T. Thomson

V. J. Oliva

B. J. Larsen





Reception Committee


Com. P. Rasmussen

Com. Adolph Bergman


Com. J. H. Callahan

Com. P. Poulsen

Com. P. Cohen







Com.  J. H. Callahan

Com. E. F. Tway


Harry Cook

Capt. B. H. Tietjen

Com. J. Erickson



Others: Alex. Bergman


To the Master's Mariners Benevolent Association


Mrs. J. J. North, wife of J. J. North and a daughter of the late Andrew Anderson, a member of the Master Mariners' Benevolent Association, has kindly contributed to our Souvenir Program some of her personal memories and reminiscences of early days, which will no doubt interest not only the older, but the younger members of our Association.  Mrs. North writes as follows:


Master of Mariners', Ahoy!


What a story can be told of the "ships that go down to the sea," and of the "Master Mariner" who sails them here on this coast, where the "Viking" yet lives!


It was a long time ago, in 1519, when Magellan entered the Pacific, and in 1542, when Mendez dispatched the first fleet to search for the Northwest passage, but it remained for a "Viking" in this modern-day to find the magnetic pole, and for another one to find the Northwest passage, and the names of Nordensjeld and Ammunsen will go down to fame as "Master Mariners."


The first vessel built on this coast after it was excepted as European territory, was named the "North West America," and was launched on Nootka Sound and 1788.  She was schooner rigged, of about 40 tons, and sailed under the English flag, commanded by Capt. Robert Finter.  In 1841 came that "Star of Oregon," the first built Williamette Valley.  She sailed under Capt. Joe Gale, who flung to the breeze for the first time on this coast, on an American-built vessel, an American flag (which Capt. Charles Wilkes, of the U.S. sloop of war "Vincennes" had given him) in front of the English fort, Vancouver.


It is a wonderful story, too long to tell now, down to the arrival of the S. S. California, on February 1, 1849, in the glorious A of San Francisco, which Capt. William Dall and Chief Engineer Haggin in charge.  They had sailed a new sea, and entered a new bay, whose destinies will encourage the world.


Now come later achievements, these of today.  All along the coast were established ship yards, from which came noted vessels.  The "Eliza Anderson," the "Julia," and the barkentine "Jane A. Falkenberg," Capt. Flavel in command.  She brought the largest cargo that had ever been brought to Oregon -- 530 times of freight.  Do you remember the loss of the S. S. Northerner, and director of the "John Marshall?"  What heroes the "Master Mariners" were, there in the awful sea!  Then comes the "J. B. Libby," the "Mary Woodruff," and the sloop "Harvest Queen," the latter under Capt. Ned Fercher, who made both time and money with her.  Then there was the mysterious loss of the "George F. Wright, and will coming down from Alaska to Portland.  She sailed away into the unknown under Capt. S. F. Lewis, and was never heard from afterward.  Do you remember the "Brother Jonathan?"  It seems but yesterday that I stood on the hill and heard old Capt. Allen yell to the men to "hold taut," or "look out for her the capstan bar."  She was the first vessel hauled out on what was afterwards known as "North's Marine Railway," over on the Potrero.  This was before the time of dry docks or lifting decks, but "there were giants in those days, weren’t there, Master Mariners?"The "Brother Jonathan" was rebuilt and refitted there, and under Capt. S. J. De Wolfe, left for the North, but never reached her goal.  And awful loss of life followed this disaster.  Who doesn't remember the jolly Elijah Mott, the Chief  Engineer?  He ran on the Stockton line two years before he joined "Brother Jonathan."


Later, the Bay of San Francisco became noted for its shipbuilding plants.  There were Owens and Tieran’s shipyards and North’s marine ways and shipyard, with many smaller concerns at South San Francisco.  At North's yard, at the foot of Third Street (the first yard), John G. North a Norwegian shipbuilder, launched the "Contra Costa," the first of her class to run between this city and Oakland, fare fifty cents.  Here were turned out over one hundred fifty vessels before 1860.  Among them was the first three-masted schooner ever built and launched on the bay.  She was sent to Hawaii, and never return; the king purchased her and use her for it a dispatch boat, the islands.  Her name was "Susan and Kate Denin," after the famous actresses; the schooner "Three Brothers," for Capt. Michelson, and the "Cornelia," or Capt. Gregory, retired with a competency earned on the coast with this vessel.  He returned to Scotland, where he is now enjoying a hale old age.


Then be "Chrysopolis" (now the "Oakland").  She made the quickest time ever recorded on her trial trip from Broadway Wharf in Benicia -- one hour and fifteen minutes.  I know, because I was there, yelling as loud as my "Daddy," old Capt. Anderson.  Later on, at the Potrero yard, was built "The Capitol."  Remember how she rode the Sacramento River like the queen?  Every small craft got speedily out of her way, giving the captains lots of opportunity to say a few words in sibilant whispers that could not be said ashore.  Then the "Yosemite," just the handsomest and fastest steamer that ever was sent to Northern waters.  She was the third low-pressure boat built on the coast, the "Eliza Anderson" and the "Chrysopolis" preceding her.  As a Sacramento River boat, the "Yosemite" had no rival, but as business lessened after the railroads got in their work and took "all the traffic to bear," she was hauled out, and a thirty-five foot splice was played in her hull, and taken to Victoria by the popular Capt. Charlie Thorn.  Everybody knew him, with Red McIvor, Chief, and Peter Cunningham, First Assistant.  Then be "Parthenon," which to surprise and flag at a Fourth of July race (didn't we have good ones in the old days?)  For beauty of hull and speed.


The Owen’s yard turned out many fine craft.  The "Amelia," a River boat, named after Capt. Whitney's wife, was also sent North.  At Tiernan’s yard, the "Solano," the biggest ferry in the world, which could take a whole train aboard, was built, and she, too, was a terror to the down-coming schooner.  And Mathew Turner -- "Boat Builder," he loved to call himself -- his "Mathew Turner" had a sad time in the North.  They went seal hunting; she and the "Rosie Sparks" were both wrecked, and all hands lost.  So many splendid vessels hailed from San Francisco, managed by "Master Mariners," in truth. 


I remember the names of a few vessels that were "hauled out on the ways "-- the "Cyrus Walker," "Edith," "Francis Cutting," "Tacoma," "North Pacific," "Collis," the big bark "Ajax," and many others.  Then there were the hulls of three steamerboats built by Capt. North for the Colorado trade, in sections, to be put together at the mouth of the Colorado, and Fort Yuma.  Another one was sent in sections, by the bark "Ajax," to Petrepaulefsky, and there, sixty miles from the mouth of the Amoor River, five hardy Norsemen, "Master Mariners" from San Francisco, put the sections together, and launched, in 1858, the first stern-wheeled steamer ever built on the Amoor River.  With this achievement worth this Golden State?  We must not forget to tell that the first monitor (and iron ship) built on this coast was the "Cammanche," and her keel was laid under the superintendence of Capt. Tornbohm, a friend of the Swedish inventor, Ericson, at the foot of Third Street Wharf.  The war, closing soon after, she was launched.  She never made a name for herself, but the "ship that made history," and sailed around the world -- the splendid Oregon -- was born and raised in the Union Iron Works, and all in the classic grounds of the Potrero, near where the old North’s shipyard used to stand.  Time was running along.  It was cheaper to get more foreign tonnage, shipbuilding interests declined, and all this is but a memory.  One could fill pages with the story.  Just a few names of old-timers: Capt. James Whitney, of the California Navigation Company; Capt. "Bill" Moore, Capt. Ben Hattshorne, Captains Poole and Charlie Thorn, Capt. C. E. Allen, who used to run the "Crescent City"; Capt. Frank Anderson, of the bark "Mercury"; Capt. John Barneson, Capt. Harry Beck, Of the "Newark"; Capt. E. Bjorn, Capt. H. Nissen, of the "Mary Winkleman," and many more who have made the records on this coast, and the defiance to wind and wave on the waters of the great Pacific.


The first lightship on the Pacific Coast -- the "Columbia River, No. 50" -- was built by the Union Iron Works, of San Francisco, and was placed in commission off the mouth of the Columbia in 1892.  She has a big 12-inch fog whistle, and each mast has six large lamps encircling it.  A vessel coming from any point may sight her, for her lights are never hidden.  Capt. Dan H. Haskell, of tug fame, showed the lightship from San Francisco to her anchorage, by the tug "Fearless," one of the finest in the world.


But I think the cruise of the first log-raft from Coos Bay is a wonderful story for the "Master Mariners."  Capt. John Roberts, of the tug, took her in tow but missed the wharf, and went ashore.  After her ("Ranger") next start, she broke her rudder, and then the machinery collapsed; then, after a four-day "tie up" she struck the South Spit and grounded, but she floated off, and the captain had to cut her adrift.  The next morning the raft was piled up on the jetty.  After getting her off they started off to sea, but a hurricane was blowing, and again the raft rounded.  Finally, she floated off unaided, and reached Empire City.  Again they started, in tow of the "National City," crossed the bar all right, but encountered a heavy gale off Cape Mendocino where the raft went to pieces.  When father told the story, all one could say was, "O, Master Mariners!  O, "Master Heroes," say we!


Who, of the "Old Guard," but will remember when the U.S. Revenue Cutter "Wyanda" was hauled out on "North’s way!"  All the officers and men had quarters in the old planing mill, and the special features of the Potrero (and incidentally the Master Mariners and Ship Carpenters' Union) were greatly enhanced.  Several marriages were the results of the nautical visit.  She was sold to private parties, and re-named the "Los Angeles," and came to grief at Point Sur, coming to San Francisco.  Capt. George Leland and Chief Wallace were in charge.


Another peculiar vessel arrived in San Francisco -- "whaleback," "City of Everette," built of steel.  She carried 4,200 tons.  It seemed to be that she could have sailed on one side as well as the other, and it was a question to the uninitiated as to where the "keel was laid."  Capt. R. D. Buckman and J. S. Gibson had her in charge, and she "came thru."  Then came the "Progressist," that had a "turret"; that is, her bow and stern were like other vessels, but her decks curved over like a "whale-back," but somehow she was not a favorite among "Master Mariners."


Now, if these old-time tales awaken any memories of "old times" in the minds of those who made Commerce of this great city, I shall be well repaid.








California Salt Company, San Francisco, California


John Finn Metal Works, John Finn, President & Robert B. Finn, Secretary, 372-398 Second Street, San Francisco


North Machine Company, William C. Espy & John G. North, Engineers and Machinists, 324 Main Street, San Francisco


Page Brothers, 310 California Street, San Francisco, California.


D. J. Hanlon & Co., Ship Builders, 244 California Street San Francisco, California.  (Shipyard in Alameda, also.)


Marshall-Newell Supply Company, Engineers and Machinists Supplies, G. F. Newell & J. H. Marshall, 142-144 Steuart Street, San Francisco, California.


Van Arsdale-Harris Lumber Company, 5th and Brandon Streets, San Francisco


Johnson Locke Mercantile Company, Shipping and Commission, 210 California Street, San Francisco, California.


National Steamship Company, Crocker Building, Passenger and Freight service between San Francisco and Fort Bragg


The California Door Company, 43-49 Main Street, San Francisco


The San Francisco and Portland Steamship Company, San Francisco


Standard Gas Engine Company, San Francisco, California


Johnson & Joseph Company, Successor to Sellers & Madison Company, Ship Chandlery and Marine Engine Room Supplies, 34-36 Sacramento Street, San Francisco.


The A. Lietz Company, Est. 1882, manufacturers of nautical instruments, 632-634 Commercial Street, San Francisco, California


The F. H. Abbott Company, Printer & Bookbinders, 545-547 Mission Street, San Francisco


Foard-Barstow Ship Chandlery Company, Inc., Marine Hardware, engineers and machinists supplies, 25-27-29 Drumm Street, San Francisco, California


West Coast S. S. Line, sold Davis, General Passenger Agent


M. Greenberg's Sons, Brass Foundry & Machine Works, 225 and 227 Beale Street, San Francisco, California


Charles T. Foster, shipwright, 112 Steuarts Street, San Francisco


Alameda Cafe, Jacob Petersen & Son, proprietors, 7 Market Street and 17 Steuart Street, San Francisco, California


Pacific Coast Steamship Company


C. G. Clinch & Co., Manufacturers and Dealers in paints, Varnishes, Lubricating Oils, Brushes, etc., 144 Davis Street, San Francisco


Harron, Rickard & McCone, Machinery and Supplies, San Francisco & Los Angeles


William H. Thornley, Custom House Broker Agent, 520 Battery Street, San Francisco, California


Fred Linderman, Shipping and Commission, 110 Market Street, San Francisco


Mitsu Company


Dearborn Chemical Company, Scientific Feed Water Treatment, Robert F. Carr, President, 250 Front Street, San Francisco, California


T. W. Simmie & Co., Coal and Wood, 3242 16th Street, San Francisco


F. R. Wall, Proctor in Admiralty, 324 Merchants Exchange, San Francisco, California


Hotel Terminal, 60 Market Street, San Francisco


Metzger and Franklin, 58 2nd Street


The J. D. Barnes Company, Shipwrights, Caulkers, Sparmakers, 175 Steuart Street, San Francisco


B. H. Tietjen, Shipping and Towing.  Agent Tug Pilot.  Mission Street Wharf, San Francisco


George W. Pennington Sons, Inc., refined tool steel, drill and chisels steel, wedges, sledges, etc., S. W. corner Montgomery & Chestnut Sts, office: 313 Folsom Street, San Francisco


D. W. & R. Z. Dickie, (Renwick Z. Dickie & David W. Dickie), Engineers and Naval Architects, Santa Marina Building, 112 Market Street, San Francisco, California


G. W. Dickie, Consulting Engineer & Naval Architect, Room 722 Marvin Building, 24 California Street, San Francisco, California


Emerick & Duncan Company, Paints, Varnishes, Brushes, 665 Howard Street, San Francisco, California


R. N.  Nason & Co., Oil and Paint Makers, 151 and 161 Potrero Avenue also 54 and 56 Pine Street, San Francisco


C. Henry Smith, Inc., Shipping and Commission, 311 California Street, San Francisco


A.  Bloom & Co., Rope Yarns, Sails and Covers, 45-47 Washington Street, San Francisco, California


Johnson & Higgins, Average Adjusters & Insurance Brokers, 244 California Street, San Francisco California.


C. A. McCarthy & Co., Shipsmiths, 138 Steuart Street, near Mission, San Francisco, California


Frank B. Peterson Company, wholesale grocers, 67-89-71-73 Main Street, San Francisco, California


Roberts & Co., meats and vegetables, 123-1 25 Steuart Street, San Francisco, California


City Front Boarding and Sales Stables, Nathan & Sons, proprietors, 108 Jackson Street, between Front and Davis, San Francisco, California


Gaffney Drayage and Delivery Company, 48 Clay Street, San Francisco, California.


Tayler & Spotswood Company, Inc., Iron and Steel, Minnesota and 19th streets, San Francisco, California


Indianapolis Furniture Company, 843 Mission Street, between fourth and fifth, San Francisco, California.


Fior D’Italia Restaurant, 492 Broadway, San Francisco, California


Albert Meyer & Co., groceries, 137-141 Steuart Street, San Francisco, California


James W. Lowden, General Blacksmithing, 7 Zoe Place; Residence: 104 Part Hill Avenue, San Francisco, California


G. P. Lauinger, (Tillmann, Secretary & Bendel, Treasurer), San Francisco, California


Crowley Launch & Tugboat Company, Lighterage Contractors, Mission Street Wharf, San Francisco, California


Gerdau & Johnson, Est. 1887, Wholesale Grocers, 115 Steuart Street, San Francisco, California


The American Import Company, European and Japanese Goods on Import, 16 to 28 First Street, San Francisco, California


W. S. Ray Manufacturing Company, Inc., 216, 218,220 Market Street, San Francisco, California


M.  Sugarman, Sugarman Iron & Metal Company, 611-17 Brannan Street, San Francisco, California


Tway Brothers, Steel and Iron Workers, 318 Brannan Street, between 2nd and 3rd, San Francisco, California.


Channel Tug and Lighterage Company, Julius Michaelis, 3rd and Berry Street, San Francisco, California


Swayne & Hoyt Inc., Managers, Passengers and Freight, 430 Sansome Street, San Francisco


Henry Cowell Lime & Cement Co., 9 Main Street, San Francisco


Biturine Company of America Inc., Marvin building, 24 California Street, San Francisco


Louis T. Snow & Co., Stephen V. Casady & Louis T. Snow, Wholesale Grocers, 146-140 8 Front Street, near California Street, San Francisco


Payne's Bolt Works, Est. 1871, G. L. Payne, President, 133-143 Howard Street, San Francisco, California


C. J. Hendry Company, Ship Chandlery & Naval Stores, 46 Clay Street, San Francisco


J. Spencer Turner Company, Selling House, 110 Market Street, San Francisco


American Marine Payne Company, Manufacturers of Cape Cod Copper Compound for Wooden Hulls, 149 California Street, San Francisco


Simpson & Fisher, A. Bergman, Vice-President and Manager and E. J. Fisher, Secretary, (Sail Makers, Wagon Covers and Tents) 148 Spear Street, San Francisco


Hill, Hubbell & Company, a permanent anti-corrosive coating for steel vessels, Fife Building, San Francisco


Pope & Talbot, lumber, timber, piles, spars, etc., Foot of 3rd Street, San Francisco




Transcribed by Nancy Pratt Melton.

© 2008 Nancy Pratt Melton.