VIPS in San Francisco

Davis and Jordan, Lime Merchants

Timothy Herbert Dame reportedly arrived in California in November 1848 in search of gold. Shortly, he returned to the sea, captaining the schooners Mount Vernon and Queen of the West along the Central Coast, mainly between Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

In 1857, Dame ushered in a new era in Santa Cruz as captain of the new steamer Santa Cruz for lime magnates Davis and Jordan. This ship reduced travel time between Santa Cruz and San Francisco from what could be thirty or more hours to seven or eight.Lime Trade of Santa Cruz, 1855.

(Text below.)

The Lime Trade of Santa Cruz

Daily Alta California, June 18, 1855, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Among the many valuable products of the soil of California, not the least important is that of lime, which is found in various parts of the State, but particularly in the vicinity of the Mission of Santa Cruz. The time has been since the commencement of the building of San Francieco and other cities in California, when lime imported from the Eastern States woold not pay for the freight and storage; and we can recall more than one instance where large quantities of the article were thrown overboard in the bay from ships rather than incur the expenses of attempting to dispose of it in any other way. That, however, was when the extraordinary enterprise lately displayed is building had not commenced. As the construction of fine brick buildings here and in Sacramento and Marysviile became more general, the use of lime has increased so that from Santa Cruz alone, not counting the numerous other quarries ia the State, about 700 barrels a week have been brought, though at present less than 400 barrels are got out, owing to the decline in the building business. The Santa Cruz lime quarries are situated aboat a mile to the eastward of the Mission of that name, upon the third of a series of plateaus or table lands running inland from the sea coast.

The lime is of such excellent quality, that although there are numerous other quarries in the State, orders are constantly received at the depot in this city from all the principal towns in California as well as from Oregon. Last year one company (Messrs. Davis & Jordan,) got out 35,000 barrels, all of which was shipped to San Francisco. There are also other companies engaged in quarrying lime in the vicinity of Santa Cruz, the result of whose labors added to the above swell the amount to over 50,000 barrels yearly. When we consider that lime is used for little else than in the construction of houses, we can form from the above some idea of the large amount of the article consumed for such purposes. The trade employs quite a fleet of schooners, such as the Odd Fellow; the A. Adams; Queen of the West and others the greater part of the time, coming to Davis & Jordan, and Brennan & Co. The former firm has had a one time 50 men employed in their quarries, but have now less than 30. Thus the lime business alone in California may be safely estimated as giving employment to three or four hundred persons, and the gross value of the article extracted from the various quarries in the State per year at not far from $200,000.


December 21, 1897, San Francisco Call, Volume 83, San Francisco, California.

Pacific Coast Steamship Santa Cruz Fast On the Sandy Beach.

VANCOUVER, Dec. 20. The Pacific Coast steamer Santa Cruz, enroute to Alaska, is ashore at Bella Coola. The passengers are camped, and it is thought the steamer will be floated, as assistnce was refused from the steamer Capilano. The captain of the steamer Capilano says the Santa Cruz is lying on the sandy beach and can probably be floated if lightered. The Santa Cruz refused assistance from the Capilano because the George W. Elder, of the same line, was expected along very shortly.

San Francisco Call, Volume 83, December 25, 1897, San Francisco, California

The Santa Cruz at Seattle

SEATTLE, Dec. 24--The steamer Santa Cruz, which on her downward trip from Alaska ran aground on Dahlpatch Reef, arrived here today. The vessel has a large hole in her hull. She will be taken to Tacoma and placed on the drydock at Quartermaster Harbor for rerpairs.

Daily Alta California, Volume 84, March 15, 1891, San Francisco, California

A Floating Conservatory.

The steamer Santa Cruz resembled a floating conservatory when she sailed yesterday afternoon for Redondo. She was loaded down to the guards with a cargo of shrubs, plants and flowers for the Redondo Beach Hotel.

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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