About the site – San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

About San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, located on the edge of San Francisco Bay near Fisherman’s Wharf, is open year-round. Visitors can view exhibits at the Park’s Visitor Center (415-447-5000) at the corner of Jefferson Street and Hyde, and may walk onto the pier to visit the park’s collection of floating historic ships and for breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. Tours, videos and demonstrations are offered daily, including a below-decks tour of the Eureka and a demonstration of setting Balclutha’s staysail. The wooden-hulled Eureka, built in Tiburon in 1890, ferried trains and later automobiles and passengers around San Francisco Bay until 1957. Visitors to Eureka today can see examples of the cars she ferried on her lower deck from 1923 to 1957, her four-story-tall walking beam steam engine, and the upper decks where up to 2300 passengers could travel during each crossing. The Eureka began her service before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, at a time when San Francisco’s Ferry Building was second only to London’s Charing Cross Railway Station as the busiest passenger terminal in the world. Moored across Hyde Street Pier from the Eureka, the Balclutha is a three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged ship built to carry a variety of cargo all over the world. Launched in 1886 near Glasgow, Scotland, the ship carried goods around Cape Horn (tip of South America) 17 times. It took a crew of about 26 men to handle the ship at sea with her complex rigging and 25 sails. Balclutha also had a brief career as a movie star in Mutiny on the Bounty, alongside Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, and narrowly escaped World War II scrap metal drives before being purchased by the San Francisco Maritime Museum in 1954.