The Maritime Heritage Project

World Harbors and International Migration from The Maritime Heritage Project.

Dear Maritime Heritage Visitors: This season The Project is asking visitors to help keep the site growing. While publications and prints to aid in your research are included (and bring in a few dollars per sale), the director is now "officially" asking if you will kindly donate. If everyone reading this right now gave $5, it would help provide additional names and stories to the more than 100,000 ship passengers arriving in San Francisco during the 1800s. This 18-year-old Project is free and is accessed from every country around the world. The Maritime Heritage Project (,, is basically a one-person operation developed and managed by the now 70-year-old great-great-grandaughter of Captain James H. Blethen, Master Mariner. Costs include equipment, research materials and time. The Maritime Heritage Project is special: it keeps alive our history of shipping, commerce and migration during an era when more people changed locations than in any other century in the history of the world. It is a resource where all can research ancestry and find heretofore "lost" family members at no charge. If you have visited our site and found it of value, kindly take one minute to keep it growing. Thank you very much. ~~ D. A. Blethen Levy


San Francisco Stories

Haskell Painting

Painting by K. Haskell.

The original, signed oil painting by K. Haskell or K. Maskell (image above and signature below) apparently has been painted repeatedly. Dozens have been found in attics, garage sales, and street fairs throughout the United States. Approximately one eMail each month reaches us from someone who has found an original by this artist.


Update June 24, 2012

We have just.orge across a series of prints of ships painted by and/or distributed by Don Maskell & Co., Pier 35, San Francisco, the style of which is very similar to the above painting. These prints are very similar in style to those of the painting above, so we will be going down that road seeking an answer. In quick searches through old newspapers and art databases, nothing has turned up.

More inquiries have arrived in the past few years regarding this painting. There are at least 20 out there that have found this site. Most have been found at street art fairs (which is where I found mine) and there are mixed reviews as to how valuable it may or may not be.

As "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," I consider it valuable. I tried selling it. No interest. And I'm delighted. It is lovely, and it still graces my wall.

Measurements: 36" x 24". Oil on canvas. Stretched. No frame.

Other than that, little information has turned up regarding the artist: Bonhams & Butterfields Appraisals/Auctioneers wrote:

Because there are no auction records for this artist, unfortunately, Bonhams & Butterfields would not be the appropriate venue for the sale of the Haskell. Our ability to help you research the painting would thus be limited.

And from the California Historical Society:

"Thank you for your inquiry regarding works by an artist named Haskell or Kaskell. Although we have a small number of maritime-related works in our collection, there are none by Haskell that I can find. And, I am a bit doubtful of the name Kaskell; even though in one of my own previous research tangents I discovered that an 'H' was actually an 'X', I also understand that initials can be misread from unclear or i.orgplete handwriting.

A quick search on the website did reveal several artists by the name Haskell, as did the Getty Institute's Union List of Artist Names database—they may be referring to the same people. The Smithsonian Institute Research Information System (SIRIS) has nearly 500 records based upon the search of Haskell . . .

Early Haskells to California include:
  • D.H. Haskell (arrived on the SS Tennessee on March 6, 1853)
  • J. L. Haskell (arrived on the SS Golden Gate on January 9, 1852), J. Haskell (arrived on the SS Indiana on January 8, 1852)
  • J. Haskell (arrived on the SS North America on March 23, 1853)
  • Henry W. Haskell was a member of an early mining.orgpany
  • A.W. Haskell was in port from Boston in 1851.
  • John Haskell Kemble, editor of "The Panama Canal: The Evolution of the Isthmian Crossing."

    If you have questions or can shed any light on the origins and/or the artists, please contact: DALevy @

The Maritime Heritage Project.

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Recommended Reading



Coming to America.
Coming to America:
A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life
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