Tall Ships of San Francisco
Maritime History and Model Ships by Steve Priske ~ Shipwright - Historian


Alumna ~ A Schooner of Beer c.1901

The four masted schooner Alumna was
launched at the Simpson shipyard, North Bend,
Oregon in 1901. She sailed out of San Francisco
until sold to an Alaskan concern, who turned
her into a floating brewery off Ketchican.
It is said, locals would often comment,
“Let’s go out to the Alumna and have
a schooner of beer!”


Addenda c.1895

The 4 masted Barkentine Addenda
was built for the Simpson Lumber
Company of San Francisco in 1895.
In 1904 while on route to Australia
the 176 foot long ship ran aground
on New Zealands South Island.
Note the horse and rider at the bow.


Admiral c.1899

The beautiful 4 masted schooner Admiral
was part of the Simpson Brothers of
San Francisco’s huge fleet of blue water
tall ships. Here she is loading lumber
at the company facilities at North Bend,
on Oregon’s Coos Bay c.1899.


Schooner Advance c.1905

In 1905 the San Francisco based,
3 masted schooner Advance
was entering, Oregon’s, Coquille River,
when she ran aground in front of
the Coquille River Lighthouse.
The ship was later re-floated.
This photo makes a very dramatic display.


Advent Ship Wrecked c.1901

The schooner Advent, was a favorite
of Capt. Asa Meade Simpson of
San Francisco. Launched in 1901, she
had a storied carrier before wrecking in
1913, while leaving Coos Bay, fully loaded
with lumber bound for Australia.
This photograph is one of the finest
‘character’ studies in wooden ship shipwrecks.
Clearly visible on the stern are the ships
name and city of registry.


Alpha c.1903

The three masted schooner Alpha had the
distinction of being the last tall ship
built for the Simpson Lumber Company of
San Francisco. She was launched in 1903
from the Simpson shipyard at Porter,
on Oregon’s Coos Bay.
Calling San Francisco her home port, the
coastal schooner would run aground entering
the Umpqua River in 1907.


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