The Maritime Heritage Project - 16 Years
Sailing into Port
The Maritime Heritage Project is in honor of Captain James H. Blethen, a sea captain based in San Francisco during the mid-1800s. Captain Blethen brought thousands of gold seekers and opportunists to California from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. During the Civil War, Captain Blethen was appointed command of the Transport & Dispatch steamer Peerless and ordered to Fortress Monroe in Virginia. Later in the war, while in command of the SS Daniel Webster, he saw the Congress frigate blown up by the Confederate Merrimac. Captain Blethen also opened the Pacific Mail Line routes between Hawaii and Australia/New Zealand in the 1870s.
Sea captains possess an enduring commitment to protect shorelines and move merchandise, livestock, and people around the world under unpredictable and often dangerous conditions in vessels of all sizes. Site development started with passenger lists of immigrants sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s and is expanding to include world seaport news from the 1800s.
Quality historical images from around the world are being added to the site. Not only do they illustrate the news, many are available for purchase by clicking on links. We hope you find the images of value. New stories are added frequently.
- February 1850: Rents and Real Estate in San Francisco
- February 15, 1898: The SS Clara Nevada Wrecks (with a surprising discovery years later)
- An Overview of steamships of the 1800s
- Mapmakers: Aaron Arrowsmith and David H. Burr
- March 15, 1849: The California Gold Song
- Navigation, 1850
- The Creesy's and extreme clipper Flying Cloud
- Cholera on the SS Golden Gate, August 1852
- June 1852: The Alleghanians perform at the soon-to-be sold Jenny Lind!
- The Deep Sea Derby of 1853
- April 23, 1855: The Crook Meiggs turns up in Chile!
- Amusements in San Francisco, 1860s
- Nathaniel Webber: A Man of the Sea (53 page PDF by Gina Simmons)
- San Francisco's First Entertainer: Stephen Massett
- January 10: Whiskey, Gold Dust and Dissipation
- Ports 'o Call: The Maldives
- Volcanoes: Iceland, Italy, The Aleutian Islands
- Malta, 1892: Captain Edward L. Wakeman
- The plight of the Finns in the late 1800s
- The Deed for Benicia City from M.G. Vallejo
- Ports o' Call: Africa