• A section of the bowsprint and figurehead on the bow of BALCLUTHA.

    San Francisco Maritime

    National Historical Park California

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  • Ferryboat EUREKA closed for maintenance.

    Ferryboat EUREKA is closed for maintenance. The gangway that links the ship to the pier is being repaired.

Important Members of a Ship's Crew: Animals

A black and white photo taken in 1905 of a man sitting on a stool onthe deck of a ship with two puppies on his lap.

Captain Edward Gates-James seated in front of the deckhouse on the poop deck of the bark LYNTON, in Port Blakely, Washington, 1905.

NPS, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Wilhelm Hester Photo Collection P50.12,334psl.

Animals have always served as important members of a ship's crew. Even though many of them worked to control pests, their main function was to serve as the ship mascot. The dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, and even the bear cubs that went to sea as mascots can be seen in these photos and formal portraits.

At the bottom of the page are more photos and descriptions in a photo gallery. Many of the animals were mascots, but some, like the goats, chickens, and pigs provided fresh milk, eggs, and fresh meat for a special dinner treat during a long sea voyage.

A bark is a sailing ship that can carry (has) three, four, or five masts. All the masts carry square rigged sails except the aftermost mast, the one closest to the stern, or back, of the vessel.

 
A man standing on the deck of a ship holding a ship’s ring around his black-colored dog.
This photo was taken aboard the sailing ship STAR OF FRANCE, in 1919. The man’s name is Johnson, and he is holding a ship’s ring around his dog, Mickey. Johnson was the first mate and watchman on the STAR OF ALASKA. This square rigged sailing ship is now called the BALCLUTHA and is part of the historic ship collection berthed at Hyde Street Pier.
NPS, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, P50.36,542n
 
Twenty one men seated on the deck of a sailing ship for a formal pose of the ship's crew..
The crew on the main deck of the sailing ship PEGASUS, a bark built in 1884. This photo was taken between 1893-1905 on Puget Sound in Washington State. The captain of the vessel is in the middle row in the center. You can probably figure out who the cook is. Do you see the man holding the ship’s cat? Wondering what kind of bark can sail...read the caption by the first photo at the top of the page.
NPS, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Wilhelm Hester Photo Collection, F9.12,443gl.
 
A portrait of the crew of a sailing ship.
This is a formal crew portrait taken aboard the bark ANDELANA, built in 1889. Captain George W. Staling is seated in the front row, middle, wearing a tam-o’-shanter.
NPS, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Wilhelm Hester Photo Collection, P51.12,338n
 
Family members, crew and large dog posing for a formal portrait on the deck of a large sailing ship.
This photo was taken around 1904 in Tacoma, Washington on the main deck of the sailing ship BALMORAL, built in 1892. The Captain and Mrs. J. E. Roop and their son and dog are surrounded by officers and crew members, and they are facing toward the bow (front) of the ship.
NPS, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Wilhelm Hester Photo Collection, P51.12,341n
 
A small dog standing and wearing a coat with the words MASCOT written on it and a jaunty hat on his head.

Keys the Mascot

San Francisco Chronicle

Click here to find out more about Keys.

 

Did You Know?

The Balclutha, a sailing ship, built in 1886, now resides at Hyde Street Pier.

The resources of San Francisco Maritime NHP include five National Historic Landmark vessels. 1886 square-rigger Balclutha, 1890 steam ferryboat Eureka, 1891 scow schooner Alma, 1895 schooner C.A. Thayer, and 1907 steam tug Hercules. More...