This Day in Maritime History highlights the connections between SF Maritime NHP Collections and maritime historical events through the year.
January 1, 1863
The medium clipper Noonday strikes an uncharted rock approximately eight miles off North Farallon Island. She glides off the rock with no visible damage, but her hull is stove in and she quickly fills with water. Captain Henry and his crew take to the boats before she sinks in 40 fathoms of water. The pilot boat Relief, which happens to be nearby, picks up all hands. The rock that causes the damage is later added to the charts and named Noonday Rock. Read more about it in pages 4-5 of James Delgado and Stephen Haller's book Shipwrecks at the Golden Gate.
January 3, 1876
Dr. Milan Soulé removes the splint from two-year-old Gussie Smith's left leg, which she broke the previous December 15th. Dr. Soulé records that "the child was soon able to walk, and recovered without deformity."
January 4, 1853
The United States Navy purchases Mare Island from private owners for a sum of $83,491. Read about it in Arnold S. Lott's A Long Line of Ships: Mare Island's Century of Naval Activity in California, and learn more in the book Sidewheelers to Nuclear Power: a Pictorial Essay Covering 123 Years at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
January 4, 1859A receipt for goods shipped aboard the Flora by Luneyick consigned to Chinwo in S.F. is received from the San Francisco Custom House. The cargo includes silk shoes, pills, stockings, dried dates, tobacco, and ginger.
January 9, 1946
On this day, US Navy Reserves dog Jay J. Jib, assigned to the USS Henrico, entered sick bay suffering from seasickness. You can view a photo gallery of Jay J. Jib's official Navy documents from our collections.
January 12, 1871Pacific Mail Steamship Company steamer Great Republic leaves Hong Kong bound for San Francisco via Yokohama.
January 13, 1939
Farewell Ferry Boat Party held on the ferry Alameda's last run on San Francisco Bay.
January 14, 1835Richard Henry Dana arrives in Santa Barbara for the fur trade. He later writes about his experiences in Two Years Before the Mast, published in many editions, including the two-volume, illustrated edition published by the Ward Ritchie Press in 1964.
January 15, 1887The full-rigged ship Balclutha, now at the Hyde Street Pier, departs Cardiff, Wales on her maiden voyage.
January 17, 1865The medium clipper Sir John Franklin is driven ashore just south of Pigeon Point during a dense fog. Thirteen members of the crew, including the captain are lost.
January 18, 1938Menu aboard the Ferryboat Eureka for today includes: Pot Roast or Beef, Jardiniere (45¢); Kidney sauteed on Toast (40¢); Broiled Brisket of Beef, Spanish Sauce (40¢). You could wash it all down with a bottle of Humbolt, Acme, Grace Bros or Rainer beer for a very reasonable 20¢.
January 22, 1939San Francisco Maritime NHP's Aquatic Park is dedicated. James Delgado and Stephen Haller will publish their work about Aquatic Park's history, A Dream of Seven Decades, in 1985.
January 26, 1924Frank J. Sommers, 3rd Officer on board the APL liner President Taft, and 6 Filipino crewmembers assist with the rescue at sea of the crew of the British cargo transport, Mary Horlock, off the coast of Japan. The Mary Horlock, built in 1919, was transporting lumber from Tacoma when her cargo shifted causing her to list and water to flood the engine room. For their heroic efforts, these men will receive the British government's medal for "Honor and Gallantry." Frank Sommers praised “the six loyal Filipino sailors, who volunteered and almost insisted to man the lifeboat with me. I will always remember the names of Laxinto, Sim, Demerin, Valencia, De la Cruz and Fernandez.”
Last updated: February 8, 2018