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The most famous shipwrecks of San Francisco Bay

February 05 2016
February 05 2016

By Katie Dowd | SFGate


San Francisco Bay has provided refuge for cargo and passenger ships since the first Europeans sailed through the Golden Gate in the late 1700s. In the coming century, it would become one of the nation's great seaports, a huge hub of activity. It would also become a massive graveyard of shipwrecked vessels.

San Francisco's stunning fog and rocky coastline make for a deadly combination when ship captains become confused. Well over 100 ships have been wrecked along the coast, many in the busy Gold Rush days of the 1850s.

When ships wrecked, the spectacle drew visitors from miles around. The Daily Alta California and other newspapers recorded the sight of massive crowds coming to watch the ships wash ashore. Some even took souvenirs from the wreckage or posed for photos atop the broken vessels.

For more information and a glimpse at some of the most famous shipwrecks of the San Francisco Bay click here.


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