Ships under Financial District

Unfinished History


Photograph of Yerba Buena Cove in 1851

Map of ships buried under San Francisco Financial District.

Map by Sam Manera, 2013, based on an earlier map by Ron Filion, 2000.


Collage depicting ships piled into Yerba Buena cove by Satty, from "Visions of Frisco" edited by Walter Medeiros, Regent Press 2007

During the height of the gold excitement, there were at least five hundred ships stranded in the harbor, some without even a watchman on board, and none with a crew sufficiently large to work her. Many of these vessels never sailed again. Some rotted away and sank at their moorings. (Herbert Asbury in "The Barbary Coast")


1851 cove map closeup. The shadowed area is roughly the outline of Yerba Buena Cove when the city was founded and there are more than 70 old wooden ships buried in the old cove that is now part of the city.

Ships Under the Financial District

The Niantic

The Euphemia


Photo: Chris Carlsson

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Photo: Chris Carlsson

A ship dug up in 2005 at Spear and Folsom was determined by James Delgado to be the Candace, a whaling ship built in Boston, Massachusetts in 1818 that had been damaged in 1855 and found its way to San Francisco to be auctioned off and broken up off Rincon Point, finding final rest under the growing city.

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These are the finished buildings on the site above where the Candace was found.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

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The remains of the General Harrison, found in 2001 under 425 Battery Street at Clay.

Photographer unknown

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