California Seaports

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: ° Alameda: ° Berkeley ° Oakland
Contra Costa County: ° Crockett, ° Martinez ° Port Costa
Marin County: ° Point Reyes, ° San Rafael (China Camp), ° Sausalito, ° Tiburon
° Mendocino ° Sacramento
San Francisco (City and County)
Solano: ° Benicia (St. Paul's Church), ° VallejoMare Island
Sonoma: ° Petaluma ° Fort Ross
CENTRAL & SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: ° Long Beach ° Los Angeles ° Monterey County ° San Diego County ° Santa Barbara ° Santa Monica ° The Channel Islands


Petaluma was chartered in 1858 and grew into a manufacturing and shipping center. By the 1880s, the population of Petaluma was nearing 5,000 and the town had become the trade center of Sonoma County due to its crops and nearness to the Petaluma River, which feeds into San Francisco Bay.

1880 records indicate that the following were taken down the river by boat. (Totals for produce by train are not in this list.)

Wheat=28,825, barley=3,000, oats=3,425, potatoes=9,997, bran & middlings=375, corn=250, hay=5,700, coal=1,800, fruit=1,333, butter=1,277, cheese=120, salt=200, wool=81, leather=80, plus other mixed merchandise=31,200.

Records for 1880 also show the following shipped to San Francisco: 95,668 dozen eggs, 1,000 cords of wood, 250 cords tan-bark, 100,000 bricks, 1,230,000 feet of lumber, 1,000 barrels of lime, 1,583,000 basalt paving blocks, 53,200 head of live-stock, 5,380 dozen poultry, 5,100 dozen quail & other game, 6,418 green hides, and 5,110 sheep pelts.

August 30, 1889, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

Excursion to Petaluma.


The San Francisco and North Pacific Railway will run excursions to the Petaluma Fair and races to-day and to-morrow, August 30th and 31st.

Trains leave the Tiburon ferry at 11:30 a. m., arriving at Petaluma at 1:20. Returning, leave Petaluma at 6:30 p.m., and arrive in the city at 8:30.

December 31, 1891, San Francisco Call

Dredging McNear Canal

Petaluma, December 30. The big dredger, having completed the United States Government work, has again commenced operations on the McNear canal. (By 1893, construction of the McNear Canal is completed.)

June 7, 1895, San Francisco Call

Petaluma's New Paper

Petaluma, California - June 6 -- The Petalumian, Polly Larkin's weekly newspaper, appeared today. It is Democratic. Rena Shattuck is editor (and writes the series entitled Polly Larkin).

September 11, 1897, Mountain Democrat , Placerville, California, USA


The Forum Club, a literary organization of this city, of which all the members are of the fair sex, have installed themselves right in the heart of clubdom. In other words, it is in the vicinity of the Bohemian Club and the Press Club. The rooms, three in number, are elegantly furnished. The reception room is in green and oak with easy chairs, couches, innumerable fancy pillows, soft and inviting as down can make them; and there are dainty writing desks, furnished with the necessary articles, and tables covered with current literature. It is well-lighted, and is a most delightful place to dream in and weave endless beautiful thoughts into word-paintings. Of course, being a woman's club, there are any amount of palms and beautiful plants to add to the attractiveness of their lovely quarters. The tea-room is in blue, even to the rare old china, but it does not necessarily follow that the members belong to that old school known as "blue-stockings. "

Here a woman is in charge and stands ever ready to furnish the members with a cup of refreshing tea and light refreshments. The dressing-room is provided with a couch and a dressing table supplied with all the necessary toilet articles. A large hall opens out of the reception-room, which is to be used for lectures and entertainments. The members of the Forum have gained their heart's desire and now have ideal club quarters, just what they have been longing for for some time past.

June 14, 1901, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

Petaluma Gets the Cannery.

PETALUMA, June 13. Petaluma has specured the Rose cannery. This evening Rose and Suydain signed an agreement with the Board of Trade. The company will erect a large building on city lots in Petaluma and the Board of Trade and citizens will give a bonus of $2500. The cannery will employ 250 persons.

October 8, 1910, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, Califonnia

Schooner Runs Afoul of Venerable Relic<

Special Dispatch to The Call
PETALUMA, Oct. 7. After lying for years in Petaluma river an ancient anchor was dragged to the light today by the schooner Fourth of July at Twin Houses below Petaluma. The anchor was brought to Petaluma, where it is considered a curiosity on account of its great age. The schooner ran afoul of the anchor while coming up the river.

December 11, 1910, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Summer Home Erected by Vallejo in 1839 Secured by Native Sons

[Special Dispatch to The Call]

PETALUMA, - Dec. 10. The Native Sons of Petaluma have become the owners of the "Old Adobe." a building erected in 1839 by General Vallejo, a few miles east of Petaluma.

City Attorney William H. Early, who is one of the grand officers of the Native Sons of the Golden West and a member of Petaluma parlor, has worked for months for the preservation of the historic building. At the meeting of his parlor this week he announced that he had secured the title to the property for the Native Sons from the present owner, J. A. Bliss of Washington. D. C.

The "Old Adobe" stands second to none of the few remaining relics of California's past, in point of historical interest. It has withstood the ravages of time, and is in a fair state of preservation. In the days of Alta California many events that will go down in history found enactment in the shadow of its walls.

The old building has erroneously been called a fort. Although having served as a refuge on many occasions during the stirring days preceding the rush to California, it was built, for other service.

General Guadalupe Vallejo made his winter home with his family at Sonoma, which afforded somewhat of social life, but in the summer the general took possession of his home on the big rancho, whose broad acres stretched westward to the sea.

General Vallejo never built but one fort north of San Francisco Bay, and that was the barracks in old Sonoma, where the bear flag was hoisted commonly called the quartet, on which he worked with his own hands.

The Petaluma parlor of Native Sons is planning to put the old building in such condition as will insure its safety and preservation, for future generations. The parlor has appointed a committee consisting of Deputy Grand President William H. Early, W. J. Farrell, A. W. Horwege, John Lawler and A. W. Parent to take charge of the "Old Adobe."

April 23, 1911, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California


[Special Dispatch to The Call]

PETALUMA, April 22. The Petaluma and Santa Rosa electric railroad company has acquired a new steamboat, to be known as the Petaluma, and will operate between Petaluma and San Francisco. It is to be in readiness for the fruit season and will be placed on the local run June 15.

Family Skeletons: Exploring the Lives of Our Disreputable AncestorsFamily Skeletons.
Simon Fowler, Ruth Paley
California.Most families have a skeleton. You may have already discovered yours via the grapevine or your own research. Or you may simply be intrigued by the dark side of our past. This popular history explores the behaviour of our disreputable ancestors from the unfortunate to the criminal, and introduces a host of colourful characters including 17th century witches, 18th century 'mollies' and Victorian baby farmers. Thematically arranged by skeleton, the text also describes how society punished and provided for its 'offenders' - as well as the changing attitudes that could ultimately bring acceptance.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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