Ferries of San Francisco Bay

Ferries Of San Francisco Bay

Ferries of San Francisco Bay

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San Francisco Bay in California has been served by ferries of all types for over 150 years. Although the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge led to the decline in the importance of most ferries, some are still in use today for both commuters and tourists.

The Creek Route ferries

One of the earliest ferry routes ran between San Francisco and Oakland on what was called the "creek route". The name derived from the Oakland landing site located at the foot of Broadway where Jack London Square is today, fronting on what is today called the Oakland Estuary, an inlet of San Francisco Bay. The estuary, which in the 1800s included what is today's Lake Merritt, was the "creek". In 1851, Captain Thomas Gray, grandfather of the famous dancer Isadora Duncan, began the first regular ferry service to San Francisco from the East Bay. Service started with the stern-wheel Sacramento River packet General Sutter and the small iron steam ferry Kangaroo. Service was augmented in 1852 by Caleb Cope, the small ferry Hector powered by a steam sawmill engine, and the river packets Jenny Lind and Boston. Boston burned that year and was replaced first by William Brown's San Joaquin River packet Erastus Corning and then by Charles Minturn's river packet Red Jacket. In 1853, Minturn...
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