Yes, it is true. The beautiful ferry Sausalito, launched in 1894, was retired from active duty in 1932. After the “walking-beam” engine and boilers were removed, she was rescued from further degradation by the Sportsmen Yacht Club in Antioch. She was towed into the marsh in Antioch where she was converted to a clubhouse, and lovingly maintained through the years.
On a foggy night, November 30 1901, the Sausalito struck the San Rafael off of Alcatraz. Jack London may have witnessed the accident from a boarding house in Sausalito, or, since it was foggy, he probably got the details from the crew members; and he may have used the incident as an inspiration for the opening Chapters in his famous 1904 novel “The Sea Wolf”. Amazon’s pitch for the book quotes Ambrose Bierce! But, I digress.
Join the SHS on a field trip to Antioch this summer. You can learn more about the real “life or death” story from 1901. You can “experience” travel from the gilded age on into the railroad-ferry commute from Marin to San Francisco before the Golden Gate Bridge. What a great way to celebrate Sausalito’s 125th Birthday..
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