The dredging of channels in the 1870s
and 1880s allowed deep-draft ships to enter the Estuary for the first
time. Shipbuilding yards began locating here, particularly on the
Alameda shore where vacant land was plentiful. The most important of the
early yards were those of Charles G. White and Hay & Wright. Both moved
across the bay from San Francisco to Alameda in 1890 and occupied
marshland sites west of the Webster Street Bridge. Both shipyards were
among the most important on the coast, turning out a wide variety of
wooden vessels, from small steamers and ferryboats to schooners and
barkentines. Customers included lumber and sugar shippers as well as
traders plying the northern waters of the Klondike routes. White moved
his operations to Puget Sound prior to 1900. Hay & Wright remained in
business in Alameda through 1905.
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
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