Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pathfinder: Shipwrecks

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

Due to the great work NOAA is doing locating wreck sites in the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary there has been a lot of interest in the subject of local shipwrecks. The following is a list of material available at the San Francisco Maritime Research Center on the subject of shipwrecks along the California Coast along with some online resources.  Also included is material on subjects related to shipwrecks such as underwater archaeology and the Life-Saving Service.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather it is to give the researcher a taste of the collection.  To do further research, please see our Keys catalog. To see anything on this list, please contact Reference Librarian Gina Bardi: gina_bardi@nps.gov

Books on Shipwrecks
Delgado, James P. Shipwrecks at the Golden Gate: A History of Vessel Losses from Duxbury Reef to Mussel Rock. Lagunitas, CA: Lexikos, 1989. Print.

Delgado, James P. Submerged Cultural Resource Assessment: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and Point Reyes National Seashore. Santa Fe, N.M: Southwest Cultural Resources Center, 1989. Print.
Also available online

Gibbs, Jim. Disaster Log of Ships. Superior Pub. Co., [c1971]. Print.

Jackson, Walter A. The Doghole Schooners: The Ship Builders, “Dog-Hole” Captains, Wrecks and Locations, Ports of Call, Ship Owners and the Schooners of Early Coastal Shipping. Mendocino, CA: Bear & Stebbins, 1977. Print.

James, Rick. West Coast Wrecks & Other Maritime Tales. Raincoast Chronicles 21. Madeira Park, B.C: Harbour Pub, 2011. Print.

Marshall, Don B. California Shipwrecks : Footsteps in the Sea. Superior Pub. Co. c1978. Print.

Pelkofer, Marilyn Ann. California Shipwrecks : Historical Profiles. Submerged Cultural Resources Unit, California State Lands Commission, 1993. Print.

Rockwell, Mabel M. California’s Sea Frontier. McNally and Loftin, 1962. Print.

Simpson, Glenn D. Evaluating Shipwreck Significance in the Humboldt Bay Region.  n.p., 2001. Print.

White, Michael. Shipwrecks of the California Coast: Wood to Iron, Sail to Steam. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2014. Print.
Collections of Stories
While some of the books on overviews include stories, these titles are more sensational and often include first person accounts. They are not California specific rather they are international in scope.
Baldwin, Hanson Weightman. Sea Fights and Shipwrecks; True Tales of the Seven Seas. 1st ed. Garden City, N.Y: Hanover House, 1955. Print.

Colter, John R. The Desert Island Adventure Book; True Tales of Famous Castaways Told by Themselves. New York: Macmillan, 1933. Print.

Kephart, Horace. Castaways and Crusoes; Tales of Survivors of Ship-Wreck in New Zealand, Patagonia, Tobago, Cuba, Magdalen Islands, South Seas and the Crozets. Outing  Adventure Library, No. 2. New York: Outing Publishing Company, 1915. Print.

Martingale, Hawser. Wonderful Adventures on the Ocean: Being True Descriptions of Battles, Tempests, Shipwreck, and Perilous Encounters: Also Lively Yarns and Curious Stories Spun in the Forecastle over Hard Tack and Salt Junk, or in the Dog Watches. Boston: Cottrell. Print.

Snow, Edward Rowe. Edward Rowe Snow Disaster at Sea: Three Volumes in One. New York: Avenel Books, 1990. Print.

Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder, and Piracy, a Weird Series of Tales of Shipwreck and Disaster from the Earliest Part of the Century to the Present Time, with Accounts of Providential Escapes and Heartrending Fatalities. New York: Hurst & Co. Pub, 18. Print.

Specific Wrecks
Beckwith, Herbert. San Francisco Call-Bulletin clipping file on the “Ohioan”, 1936-1938. 1987. Print.

Delgado, James P. Documentation and Identification of the Remains of the 1882 Schooner Neptune at Fort Funston, Ocean Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco. National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 1983. Print.

---. Great Leviathan of the Pacific”: The Saga of the Gold Rush Steamship Tennessee. Diss. East Carolina University, 1985.

---. Shipwreck Survey of a Portion of Ocean Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, California to Locate the Remains of the United States Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence. San Francisco: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 1984. Print.

Holly, David. Sea tragedy survivor, USS Benevolance AH-13, August 25, 1950. Print.

Knight, Donald G. Agony and Death on a Gold Rush Steamer: The Disastrous Sinking of the Side-Wheeler Yankee Blade. Ventura, CA, U.S.A: Pathfinder Publisher of California, 1990. Print.

Layton, Thomas N. Gifts from the Celestial Kingdom : A Shipwrecked Cargo for Gold Rush California. Stanford University Press, 2002. Print.

Meeker, Lionel. “Collision : USNHS Benevolence, SS Mary Luckenbach : Analysis and Comment.” Nautical brass (1984) (1990): vol. 10, no. 4 (July/Aug. 1990), p. 8–16. Print.

O’Starr, Max. Immigrant steamer. The story of the Rio de Janeiro. The life, death, and the wake of a ship. San Francisco, 1975.

Shapreau, Carla J. Case Notes : The Brother Jonathan Decision : Treasure Salvor’s “Actual Possession” of Shipwreck Gives Rise to Federal Jurisdiction for Title Claim. Oxford University Press, c1998. Print.

Stocking, Fred M. The Wreck of S.S. Tennessee: Or, “How We Gave a Name to Tennessee Cove.” San Francisco: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 1984. Print.

Books on subjects related to shipwrecks
Maritime Archaeology
I kept these resources to material published in the last 20 years with a few exceptions.

Babits, Lawrence Edward, and Hans Van Tilburg, eds. Maritime Archaeology: A Reader of Substantive and Theoretical Contributions. The Plenum Series in Underwater Archaeology.
New York: Plenum Press, 1998. Print.

Catsambis, Alexis, Ben Ford, and Donny Leon Hamilton, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Cussler, Clive. The Sea Hunters. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Print.

Delgado, James P., ed. Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. Print.

Fleming, Robert M. A Primer of Shipwreck Research and Records for Skin Divers, Including an Informal Bibliography Listing over 300 Sources of Shipwreck Information. Milwaukee, Wis: Global MFG. Corp, 1971. Print.

Gould, Richard A. Archaeology and the Social History of Ships. Cambridge, U.K. ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.

Green, Jeremy N. Maritime Archaeology: A Technical Handbook. 2nd ed. Amsterdam ; Boston: Elsevier/Academic Press, 2004. Print.

Hicks, Brian. Raising the Hunley: The Remarkable History and Recovery of the Lost Confederate Submarine. 1st ed. New York: Ballantine Books, 2002. Print.

James, Stephen R. Underwater Archaeological Investigations “Docks Area” Sacramento, California. [Austin, Tex: Espey, Huston, & Associates, Inc.], 1986. Print.

Journal of Maritime Archaeology. New York, NY: Springer, 2006. Print.

Lenihan, Daniel. Submerged: Adventures of America’s Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team. 1st ed. New York: Newmarket Press, 2002. Print.

Skowronek, Russell K., and Charles Robin Ewen, eds. X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy. New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology.Gainesville, Fla: University Press of Florida, 2006. Print.

Life Saving Services
Bennett, Robert F. Sand Pounders: An Interpretation of the History of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, Based on Its Annual Reports for the Years 1870 through 1914. Washington, D.C: U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, 1998. Print.

Lyle, D. A. Report on Foreign Life-Saving Apparatus. Washington, [D.C.]: U.S. Govt. Print. Off, 1880. Print.
Also available online.

Noble, Dennis L. That Others Might Live: The U.S. Life-Saving Service, 1878-1915. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994. Print.

Rogers, Henry J. Rogers’ Life-Saving Signal Book: Or Appendix to the American Code; for the Use of Life-Boat Stations and Vessels in Distress, Also for Making International Communications between Vessels of Different Nations, at Sea, or off the Coast, during Periods of Calms, Light Winds, Storms, or Rough Weather. New ed. Baltimore: New York: H. Rogers ; E. & G. W. Blunt, 1856. Print.

Shanks, Ralph. The U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard. Petaluma, CA: Costadno Books, 1996. Print.
Shanks, Ralph C. “The United States Life-Saving Service in California.” Sea letter (1977): n31. p12. Print.

United States. Annual Report of the United States Life-Saving Service. Washington: Gov. Print. Off. Print.
also available online.

U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. Life Line: Newsletter of the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. [Caledonia, MI: U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. Print.

Our Archival photographic collection contains hundreds of images of shipwrecks.  Listed below are a few of the more notorious shipwrecked vessels in our archives.
Aberdeen: Steam schooner, built 1899. Wrecked June 23rd, 1916.
Atlantic: Bark, built 1851. Wrecked December 16th, 1886.
Benevolence: Hospital ship, built 1944. Wrecked August 25, 1950.
City of Chester: Steamer, built 1888. Wrecked August 22nd, 1888.
City of New York: Steamer, built 1875. Wrecked October 26, 1893.
City of Rio de Janeiro: Steamer, built 1878. Wrecked February 22, 1901.
Frank H. Buck: Tanker, built 1914. Wrecked March 6th, 1936.
The Ohioan: Freighter built 1914. Wrecked October 7th, 1936.
Polaris: Four-masted schooner, built 1902. Wrecked January 16, 1914.
Reporter: Three-masted schooner, built. Wrecked March 13th, 1902.

Historical Documents
The John Lyman Papers
This collection includes a blueprint of a large format map titled “Strandings and Wrecks of Vessels of the Coasts of California, Oregon and Washington”. This highly detailed map includes vessel names, dates, cause of wrecks and casualties.

HDC 559
San Francisco Marine Exchange Records
The San Francisco Marine Exchange collection {HDC 559} consists of [12] Ledgers, scrapbooks of marine disasters, mishaps, and total losses.

The Jane Proctor Letter
Letter written by Mrs. Proctor in 1901 when she was a nurse in the Army Hospital on the Presidio of San Francisco. It describes her reaction to the wreck of the CITY OF RIO DE JANERIO.

HDC 1099
Irwin T. McGuire letter
A survivor's account of the collision and subsequent sinking of the hospital ship Benevolence under the Golden Gate Bridge.

HDC 1276
Leo J. Wright historic scrapbook
One scrapbook of newspaper clipping, ca. 1900-1930. The articles are mainly , but not exclusively concerned with disasters at sea, especially in the Pacific.

HDC 1310
Herbert Meyers scrapbooks
This collection consists of 83 scrapbooks of clippings and photographs collected by seaman Herbert Meyers.  They document maritime disasters on the Pacific Coast and worldwide from 1892 to 1973.

HDC 1393
South Coast, Brooklyn, Nevada, Iowa shipwreck ledger
The South Coast, Brooklyn, Nevada, Iowa shipwreck ledger collection consists of one ledger, titled “Record of Lost Vessels and Departed Seamen,” 1930 to 1936.

We have many plans in our collection of vessels that have wrecked.  Looking at plans of a vessel might help in the understanding of how and why the accident occurred. We also have plans of support vessels such as coast guard cutters and lifeboats.

Online resources
California State Lands Commission. California Shipwrecks. 2010. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.
This site is a database with shipwreck listing all along the coast of California. It’s wide but not very deep. You won’t find sensational accounts or much background information, but latitude and longitude of wreck, when built, when wrecked, captain and measurements of vessel.

Levy, D. Blethen Adams. Shipwrecks in Pacific Waters. The Maritime Heritage Project. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
Reports, newspaper accounts, photos and other material on shipwrecks near our coast.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Wrecks and Obstructions Database. Office of Coast Survey. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
        An informative site especially for boaters, this site contains information on wrecks and submerged obstructions in U.S. maritime boundaries.

Sanctuaries Web Team. National Marine Sanctuaries. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Adminstration. Web. 21 Mar. 2015
        This site outlines information about the 14 Marine Sanctuaries, home to many shipwrecks,  in the United States.   

University of California Riverside. California Digital Newspaper Collection. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

You can read primary accounts of shipwrecks and their aftermaths at this full text newspaper site.  Search by vessel name and narrow your date range to the wreck date. Sometimes wrecks were reported on for weeks, months or years afterwards if there were lawsuits involved so be sure to search for at least a few years after the actual wreck date. 

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