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San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s 109-Year-Old Tugboat Honored


Steamship Historical Society of America board member Captain Eric Takakjia presented San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s 1907 steam tug Hercules with the SSHSA’s 2016 Tugboat of the Year award. Superintendent Kevin Hendricks accepted the award on behalf of the park at a ceremony this week near the Hercules gangway on Hyde Street Pier/NPS

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s 109-year-old steam-powered tugboat has been honored by the Steamship Historical Society of America for the history it holds.

Each year the Steamship Historical Society of America, an organization dedicated to recording, preserving and disseminating the history of engine-powered vessels, recognizes significant ships across the United States. As part of this year’s honor, the SSHSA stated, “the Hercules stands as a testament to her past and the West Coast Maritime community as a whole, and she will continue do so for generations to come, due to the extraordinary efforts of her inspirational and talented crew, the United States Park Service and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.”

Hercules’ ongoing restoration is a true collaboration between park volunteers, the United States Coast Guard, and National Park Service staff. Every blast on her steam whistle signals a community coming together to preserve an important piece of America’s cultural heritage. Returning Hercules’ steam engine to operation was an important component of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial celebration, and the park will keep offering pier-side steam demonstrations throughout 2017.

The National Historic Landmark Hercules, along with the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha, the 1895 schooner C. A. Thayer, and the 1890 ferryboat Eureka, is available for boarding at Hyde Street Pier. 


A few years ago I went down to the Hyde Street Pier and took some photos of the boats there, which I posted to Flickr.

Tugboat Hercules:

Ferry Eureka:

Schooner Balclutha:

General vicinity:


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