San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May, 2014

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A wooden replica of a boat used by Chinese fisherman to catch shrimp in San Francisco Bay.

The Grace Quan is a 43-foot replica of a San Francisco Bay Chinese shrimp fishing junk. She was built during the summer of 2003 at China Camp State Park in San Rafael, CA. Please come and visit her at Hyde Street Pier.
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Date: March 19, 2014
Contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006

What: National Park Service maritime programs and exhibits celebrating the lives of Chinese laborers and maritime industries and of Pacific Islanders influence on navigation.

Where: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, on Hyde Street Pier and in the Visitor Center.

When: May, 2014. See program descriptions below for dates and times, and for ongoing exhibits.

Fees: Ships admission fees apply for shipboard programs: Adults, $5. Ages 15 and under, free. Free with national park passes. Exhibits in Visitor Center, free.

Public contact: 415-447-5000 or http://www.nps.gov/safr/

The Sea of Invisible Riches: Asian Americans and the Alaska Salmon Grounds, 1880-1929

Sunday, May 18 and 25, 2:15-3:00pm, and Saturday, May 24, 2:15-3:00pm, aboard Balclutha. 

Join us for an exploration of the role Asian Americans played in the struggle for immigration rights in the decades bordering 1900. This struggle took place on the vast arctic coast and oceans of Alaska and the Northeast Pacific. Along the way, learn how Asian Americans captured the invisible riches of a sea whose ecology and environment Europeans were still in the process of understanding.

On the Fringe

Saturdays, May 10 and 31, 2:15-3:00pm, aboard Balclutha

What was it like to be on the fringe of shipboard society? During this ranger-guided tour on board Balclutha, hear stories of the difficult conditions that Chinese laborers endured in the salmon canning business in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Navigation Old and New

Sunday, May 11 and Saturday, May 17, 2:15 – 3:00pm, aboard Balclutha.

Sailing without land in sight has been hazardous since “year one.” We’ll compare and contrast navigation methods used by ancient Pacific Islanders and 19th century western cultures.

Ongoing exhibits

The park has a variety of ongoing exhibits that focus on the Asian American experience. Look for the Grace Quan at the small boat dock on Hyde Street Pier, an example of a small craft that was used by Chinese immigrants to catch shrimp in San Francisco Bay. Aboard the ship Balclutha, the “Chinatown’ exhibit below deck provides an immersive experience into the living quarters of those who sailed to the Alaskan canneries. At the park Visitor Center, 499 Jefferson Street, at Hyde Street, exhibits bring to life stories of 19th century Chinese immigration.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf, in San Francisco. The park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, Visitor Center, Museum, Library and the Aquatic Park Historic District. For more information about the park, or its public programs and exhibits, please call 415-447-5000 or visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/safr/ and its Facebook page at

Did You Know?

Historic photo of a baby girl, Inda-Francis, who was born on the Balclutha.

See the captain’s quarters on the square-rigged ship Balclutha where Inda-Francis Durkee was born at sea, during a voyage from Calcutta, India, to San Francisco. She was the daughter of Captain and Mrs. Alice Durkee. Alfred Durkee was master of the Balclutha from 1894-1899. More...

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