Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Photo Archives Spotlight: A River Tyne Paddle Tug Arrives in San Francisco

(By M. Crawford, Processing Archivist)
Two recently processed collections (cue Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water) will take you back to March 24, 1970, and a British Invasion of the nautical kind. The George R. Lamuth photographs and the H. Alan Sims photographs of the Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat) are collections of 28 and 56 slides, respectively, documenting the approach, celebration, and new home of Eppleton Hall in San Francisco.

Color slide, 2 x 2 inches. Photographed by George R. Lamuth. Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat) is flanked by a fire boat spraying water, and three other vessels as she steams in the San Francisco Bay towards Fisherman’s Wharf after a six month and 10,000 mile voyage from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, to San Francisco, California.
Fireboats and spectators welcome Eppleton Hall as she makes her way
Fisherman’s Wharf. Photo by George R. Lamuth. (P99-015, Item 7)

A web link to the George R. Lamuth photographs of the Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat) guide with more information about this collection including content, arrangement, histories and access.
Click for Collection Guide

George R. Lamuth photographs of the Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat), 1970 March-1989 September, P99-015 (SAFR 23143)



A web link to the H. Alan Sims photographs of the Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat) guide with more information about this collection including content, arrangement, histories and access.
Click for Collection Guide
H. Alan Sims photographs of the Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat), circa 1950s, 1970 March 24, P99-014 (SAFR 22590)




Color slide, 2 x 2 inches. Photographed by H. Alan Sims. A sign lettered with calligraphy giving the details of the journey of Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tugboat): “This Steam Paddle-Tug is the last one in the world. She sailed 10,000 miles - Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England to San Francisco, California. The voyage took 6 months and 1 week, through 3 severe storms, entirely under her own power, with a San Francisco crew.”
An epic journey it was!
As if this wasn't dramatic enough, add to the plot three 
children aboard for the journey, illness in Mexico, and some 
colorful disagreement about the way to run a ship, and you 
have yourself an adventure. Photographed by H. Alan Sims.
(P99-014, Item 4)

You will have to bring your own band, but you can still experience the crowds, camera crews, and first glances of this relic as she steams into San Francisco. The measures taken to pull the burned-out hull of this steam side-wheeler out of the mud and return her to full operation were tremendous--a labor of love, indeed--and her arrival from Newcastle, England, was a day of exuberance. H. Alan Sims, of the Sacramento Area, and George Lamuth, life-long San Franciscan, were there to capture it on film for all of us that couldn't be there and for all of us who choose to relive it.


Color slide, 2 x 2 inches. Photographed by H. Alan Sims. Closeup of the builder’s plate that was installed on the vessel upon her 1969 renovation.
Builder’s plate from the restoration of  Eppleton Hall.
William “Bill” Bartz, went to Newcastle with Karl Kortum 
and Scott Newhall to purchase the paddle tug. He stayed 
with her while she underwent her renovation in England, doing 
much of the work himself. Photographed by H. Alan Sims.
(P99-014, Item 38)

Peruse the collection guides on the Online Archive of California to explore more, or while you’re in the mood, make an appointment with our reference staff to see the collections in person. While you’re here, feel free to pull Captain Scott Newhall's book on the Eppleton Hall (Call No. G470 N4) off the public reference shelf, or request a look at the logbook of her journey to San Francisco (HDC 1137, SAFR 17686). There's more to be found; it's only a reference request away.

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