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An excellent history of ferry service on San Francisco Bay, covering from the earliest ferryboat, the Kangaroo, in 1850 to the heyday of ferry service (1880-1937), to the decline (1937-present). It tells of where the ferries ran (Oakland-San Francisco, Alameda-San Francisco, Berkeley-San Francisco, Richmond-San Francisco, Richmond-San Rafael, Vallejo-San Francisco, Sausalito-San Francisco, Tiburon-San Francisco, Tiburon-Angel Island, Petaluma-San Francisco, Rodeo-Vallejo, Benecia-Martinez and Chipps-Mallard), the ferry companies (Southern Pacific RR, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry., Key System, Sacramento Northern Ry., Northwestern Pacific RR, Golden Gate Ferry and others). The types of ferryboat (single-ended vs. double-ended, steam vs. diesel, steam walking beam vs. steam turbine-electric, etc), life on board the ferry boats (regular commuters considered where they sat to be "their seat:" and woe betide some stranger who sat there; ferryboat captains caught racing a competitor received demerits but losing captains received more demerits than winning captains; women passengers were not welcome on the open top deck between the pilothouses). The book also spends some time on notable ferry boat accidents, notable ferry boats like the unlucky Peralta, reduced to a mangled hulk by a spectacular fire, only to be rebuilt in Seattle into the streamlined Kalakala. the Ukiah which served Marin County and was rebuilt into the Eureka, then transferred to the Oakland Mole (railroad ferry terminal) - Ferry Building run after the Golden Gate Bridge was built and was sold to the State of California for a dollar in 1957after a vital pin that ran the walking beam broke (it was then preserved at a museum on the Hyde Street Pier). Finally there is a chapter on preserved ferryboats and existing ferry service at the time the book was written.
You can learn a lot about the history of water transportation on San Francisco Bay if you read this book.
Passengers and Crew
The Anatomy of the Ferryboat
Fires Fogs and Fractures
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