Port of Redwood City Currents Newsletter – New Exhibit of Maritime History of County Includes 2 New Murals Depicting History of Port


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New Exhibit Features Two New Murals Depicting Port History
Commission Authorizes $10,000 for Redwood City Education Foundation Event
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New Exhibit of Maritime History of San Mateo County Includes 2 New Murals Depicting History of Port
The San Mateo County History Museum will unveil two new murals depicting historic scenes at the Port of Redwood City as part of its “New Exhibit of the Maritime History of San Mateo County” at a ribbon cutting to be held Saturday, April 11, at 11 a.m.


Other highlights at the event include:

  • Children’s crafts celebrating San Mateo County maritime history.
  • A new 12-minute video on the Port of Redwood City, featuring pictures from the historic Port through activities at the Port today.

The public is invited to the ribbon cutting and refreshments and visit the new and existing maritime exhibits. So that the museum can plan for enough refreshments, they request an RSVP to education@historysmc.org or by calling 650-299-0104 by April 8.


The Maritime History of San Mateo County includes the permanent display of Charles Parsons’ Ships of the World, the history of the Port of Redwood City, shipbuilding in San Mateo County in support of World War II, and shipwrecks along the San Mateo County Coast.


Parsons’ Ships of the World are based on the plans of historic ships from a Spanish brigantine to a World War II destroyer. These 24 model ships on display were handcrafted by the late Chevron executive and San Carlos resident Charles Parsons. He spent several years carving and assembling each piece, from the planks on the hulls to the pulleys on the riggings. These include:

  • Golden Hind: Sir Francis Drake’s English galleon sailed up the coast of California.
    Parsons Ships of the World
    Parsons’ Ships of the World
  • San Carlos: The first ship to sail into San Francisco Bay.
  • Regenia “S”: The scow schooner transported goods around the Bay.
  • Despatch No. 8: Guided larger ships around the Bay in the early 1900s.
  • USS The Sullivans: The Fletcher class destroyer was built in San Francisco during World War II.

The exhibit includes a videotape of Parsons relating the history of each vessel.


Notable shipwrecks along the San Mateo County Coast include:

  • On August 29, 1929, a passenger steamship SS San Juan was involved in a collision with the steel hulled oil tanker S.C.T. Dodd of the Standard Oil Company off of Pigeon Point south of Pescadero. Because of her aged iron hull (it was 47 years old), the San Juan was fatally damaged in the collision and sank three minutes later, killing 65 people. At the time it was the fastest sinking of any ship on the West Coast of the United States. During this final plunge, the San Juan’s deck was torn apart. Survivors reported the final plunge took many by surprise, to the point where many were nearly dragged down with the sinking vessel. Some of the 119 passengers on board San Juan were able to jump onto the deck of the S.C.T. Dodd before the two ships drifted apart.

Unrelated to the “New Exhibit of the Maritime History of San Mateo County,” the museum also announced a new exhibit will open a six-month engagement on March 21 – Let’s Play Ball. The display will include rare materials about local baseball teams from the Museum’s permanent collection, plus items borrowed from schools, historical organizations and private collections. Let’s Play Ball will depict aspects of semi-professional and professional baseball from the 1900s to the present day. At least 92 teams existed at one time or another in San Mateo County. The exhibit will also feature professional players who grew up here and will honor players who have made the county their home after retirement. Included in the multi-media presentations will be films, photographs, historic equipment, uniforms, baseball cards, advertisements and rare signed souvenirs.


For more information about these an all activities at the museum, visithttp://www.historysmc.org/ For more information about the Port of Redwood City, visit



Port Commission Authorizes $10,000 for Fund-Raising Event for Redwood City Schools 

The Port Commission on March 25 approved a $10,000 donation to the Redwood City Education Foundation to support its enrichment programs for Redwood City schools by being a sponsor of their major fund-raising event, “Benefit for a Brighter Future,” scheduled for May 1 at Canada College.


More information about the event: http://www.benefitforabrighterfuture.org/


The Port has been a sponsor of RCEF and its programs since 1998.


RCEF is a volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing every child in the Redwood City School District with the best education possible. Since 1983, RCEF has provided students with funding to support academic and music programs.


Working with parents, the community, and business support, RCEF has expanded the number and scope of the programs they support to include innovation in teaching science and literacy through the use of technology. RCEF funding also provides hands-on learning opportunities, such as Outdoor Education and other programs to expand students’ horizons.


RCEF Benefit

Reminder: Public Can Take Tours, Participate in “Battle Sails” on Tall Ships Arriving April 1

Two historic tall ships are scheduled to arrive at the Port of Redwood City March 31 to provide educational opportunities for school children and free ship visits during scheduled times during the vessels’ stay to April 14.


Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are “open” for public tours April 1-3 and April 7-10 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., April 4-5 from 9 a.m. to noon, and April 11-12 from noon to 3 p.m. Though the tours are free, the sponsors ask for a voluntary $3 per person donation.  Guests are free to explore the tall ships at their own pace.  Crew members in 18th century-style costume are glad to answer questions and talk about the ships and their lives aboard.

on ships

The public also can purchase tickets for popular three-hour “Battle Sails” that feature booming cannons, close-quarters maneuvers, and a taste of 18th century maritime life aboard tall ships. A ticket is required for all passengers, including babes in arms. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.



  • April 4, 2015 @ 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • April 11 @ 5 pm to 8 pm
  • April 12 @1:30 to 4:30
Tickets range from $39 and $75 and can be purchased online at



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Port of Redwood City  |  675 Seaport Blvd  |  Redwood City, CA 94063

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