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

Whaling, Salmon Cannery Laborers, Sea Chanteys And Photo Exhibit Highlight Black History Month At National Park

 A group of men standing and seated on the deck of a sailing ship built in 1891. SAFR K9.28,157
Officers, apprentices and crew of the sailing ship RATHDOWN photographed in San Francisco after completing a six month voyage around Cape Horn from Belfast.
NPS, SAFR K9.28,157

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News Release Date: January 17, 2014
Contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006

What: Black History Month programs and exhibits highlighting African American and West Indies maritime history.

Where: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, aboard the sailing ship Balclutha berthed at Hyde Street Pier, and in the visitor Center, 499 Jefferson Street, at Hyde Street.

When: During Black History Month, February, 2014. Dates, times, and locations listed with each program description below.

Cost: Free admission to visitor Center program and photo exhibit. Admission fees for boarding historic ships on Hyde Street Pier: Adults, $5. Ages 15 and under (accompanied by an adult), free. Free with national park passes.

Public information: 415-447-5000, and www.nps.gov/safr/

African Americans have played a major role in our maritime history. From the earliest days of our nation to modern times, African Americans have built, crewed and captained ships, fought in wars, invented shipboard tools, and created maritime music. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park celebrates Black History Month throughout February with programs and exhibits for the whole family. 

African Americans in the Maritime Trades: A Photographic Exhibition

Daily throughout February, 9;30am-5:00pm, in the Visitor Center, 499 Jefferson Street, at Hyde Street. Free admission. Information; 415-447-5000, or www.nps.gov/safr/. Wheelchair accessible.

View rare photographs and learn about African American officers, sailors, cooks, longshoremen and shipbuilders.

The Great Migration in Alaska: African Americans, the Alaska Packers Association, and the Politics of Race at Sea, 1896-1929

Sundays, February 2, 16, and 23. 2:15, aboard Balclutha, Hyde Street Pier. Information; 415-447-5000, or www.nps.gov/safr/. Wheelchair accessible.

The Balclutha was renamed Star of Alaska during her years in the Alaskan salmon trade. In 1920, 307 African Americans signed contracts to work in Alaska’s salmon industry and voyaged north aboard the Star of Alaska and other ships like her. These men were part of the early wave of the Great Migration out of the South and we invite you to join us aboard Balclutha to explore their experiences.

The Saga of Captain William Shorey

Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16, 3;00pm in the Visitor Center, 499 Jefferson Street. Free admission. Wheelchair accessible.

A series of slides will introduce you to the extraordinary life and accomplishments of the only Black whaling ship captain on the West Coast.

Chanteys: The African American and Caribbean Connection

Saturday, February 22, 1:00-1:45, aboard Balclutha. Ships admission fees apply: Adults, $5. Ages 15 and under (accompanied by an adult), free. Free with national park passes. Information; 415-447-5000 or www.nps.gov/safr/. Wheelchair accessible.

Discover African American and Caribbean-based maritime work songs in this ranger and volunteer-led program. Sing chanteys of sailors, longshoremen, oarsmen and fishermen. The choruses of these work songs are easy to sing, and everyone is encouraged to sing along.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. The park includes a magnificent fleet of historic sailing and steam vessels, Visitor Center, Maritime Library, and Aquatic Park Historic District. For more information about the park and its public programs, please call 415-447-5000 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/safr.

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Did You Know?

The CA Thayer, a lumber schooner, built in 1895 in Northern California.

Once, hundreds of sailing schooners carried lumber to San Francisco from Washington, Oregon, and the California Redwood Coast. Built in 1895, C.A. Thayer, once part of that mighty Pacific Coast fleet, survives at San Francisco Maritime NHP. More...