I was down at Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco yesterday and a fellow ship modeler had asked me to take a couple photos of the rudder. I was happy to help him out and walked down to the ship with ship modeler Paul Reck.
Great thing about being a member of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights is that we’re all officially Park Service volunteers, so we have ready access to the ships at the Pier. So, while it was still closed off to the public, Paul and I hung out by the Alma and Paul told me about his days as volunteer crew taking care and sailing the Alma on the Bay. I took the photos I promised, and then decided to take a few more shots and thought I’d share them here for anyone who needs them or just wants to look at her.
The Alma, by the way, is a San Francisco Scow Schooner, built in 1891. Scow schooners were flat-bottomed, shallow draft boats that operated on the Bay and up and down the waters of the San Joaquin and Sacramento river delta. Back in the days before the bridges, these boats served much as big-rig trucks do today.
Click on any photo to enlarge.
Here are a few useful links on the Alma. For ship modelers, the Library of Congress link is very nice as it provides a set of drawings from which a model of the Alma can be built. Also check out John Earl’s build of the Alma. John was one of the earliest members of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights.
• National Park Service – Find some history and photos of the Alma
• Library of Congress – Photos and drawings, Historic American Engineering Record (HAER)
• Model Boatyard – Shipmodeler John Earl, former HSPMS member’s Alma build.
• SF Bay Crossings – A nice article on the Alma and scow schooners.