The U.S. Government recognizes cultural properties of exceptional significance as historical, archaeological or architectural landmarks important to the nation through the National Historic Landmarks Program. Only a handful of sites are studied and then designated by the Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark.  As of 2010, approximately 2,500 National Historic Landmarks in the United States. As head of the National Park Service’s National Maritime Initiative in the 1980s, Jim oversaw the study and designation of many of America’s historic ships and maritime properties.  He personally prepared the studies for 54 properties, including the wrecks of USS Monitor and USS Arizona, lightships, fireboats, tugboats, submarines and other warships, the Stanford University home of former President and First Lady Lady Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover, and San Francisco’s famous Aquatic Park.  Here are links to some of his studies:

Wikipedia Commons

1886 Two-Masted Schooner
Designated October 31, 1990

Excerpt: The two-masted schooner Isaac H. Evans, formerly Boyd N. Sheppard, Official Number 3362, is a historic vessel homeported in Rockland, Maine. The vessel is operated in the unique passenger coasting trade of Maine as one of the “Maine Windjammers” of Rockland and Camden. From June to September of each year, Evans sails from Rockland every Monday to spend a week cruising the rugged Maine coast from Boothbay to Acadia National Park, “visiting picturesque fishing villages and historic towns.”

As built in 1886, Isaac H. Evans is a wooden-hulled vessel with a scroll head and counter stern. Evans was and remains a singledecked centerboard schooner 57.9 feet long between perpendiculars, with a 19.7-foot beam and a 5.2-foot depth of hold. The schooner is 64.5 feet long overall.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
Nash tugboat

1943 Harbor Tug
Designated October 5, 1990

Excerpt: The harbor tug Nash, formerly Major Elisha K. Henson (LT-5), was until recently an operating vessel of the Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Nash is now berthed at the Buffalo District headquarters at 1776 Niagara Street in Buffalo. However, the tug is currently in the process of being excessed, or offered for sale or transfer from Corps of Engineers ownership by the General Services Administration.

Built in 1943 and designated as LT-5 (Large Tug) by the U.S. Army, Major Elisha K. Henson was and remains a typical Army large harbor tug, with seagoing capability, of the Second World War. The tug’s name was changed in 1946 to John F. Nash, and she is now known simply as Nash. This type of vessel, along with the Navy’s yard tugs of the same period, inspired the design of the common merchant tugboat type of the post-war period currently in use in the United States.

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USCGC Ingham

1936 High-Endurance Cutter
Designated November 1, 1991

Excerpt: The “Secretary Class” U.S. Coast Guard cutter Ingham (WPG, WACG, WHEC-35), decommissioned in 1988 and a National Historic Landmark, was de-accessioned on August 20, 2009, from the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, due to financial circumstances that restricted the continued maintenance of the vessel; ownership was transferred to the Miami-Dade Historical Maritime Museum. Ingham became a floating museum exhibit at the Truman Waterfront in Key West, Florida.

…As laid down and launched in 1935-1936, Ingham is a 327-foot long riveted steel high-endurance cutter. The waterline length of the vessel is 308 feet, with a 41-foot beam and a 15-foot, 3-inch draft. Ingham displaced 2,350 tons on her 1936 trials, and 2,750 tons in 1945; after modification, in 1965 the cutter displaced 1,837 tons light. The cutter accommodated 12 officers, 4 warrants, and 107 crew in 1936; by 1945, war conditions aboard accommodated 24 officers, 2 warrants, and 226 crew. At the end of her career, Ingham accommodated 10 officers, 3 warrants, and 134 crew.

1939 Snagboat
Designated March 16, 1972.

Excerpt: The 1939 snagboat W. T. Preston, formerly operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is displayed in a permanent dry-berth exhibit on the shoreline of Anacortes, Washington. Owned end operated by the City of Anacortes, the vessel is maintained as a museum vessel as if she were still in operation. W.T. Preston was listed in the national Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1972.

As built in 1939, W.T. Preston is a steel-hulled flat-bottomed sternwheel snagboat and bucket dredge 153.6 feet in length with a 34.8-foot beam and a 4-foot draft. W.T. Preston displaces 494 tons. Constructed with welded steel, the hull is divided into six watertight compartments which strengthened the vessel if it grounded. The vessel is also reinforced with steel hogging rods running fore and aft. Fuel and water tanks were built into the hull. The vessel has two spuds, one forward and the other aft, to moor the vessel in the shallows while she snagged. The vessel has five rudders, with three forward and two “monkey rudders” aft of the sternwheel.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
Ralph J. Scott

1925 Fireboat
Designated July 9, 2001

Excerpt: The fireboat Ralph J. Scott, formerly L.A. City Number Two, is an operating fireboat of the City of Los Angeles stationed at Fire Station 112, Berth 85, San Pedro, in the heart of the city’s active port. Owned and operated by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, the vessel has been on active duty since 1925.

Ralph J. Scott, built in 1925, is a typical American fireboat of the first decades of the 20th century. Constructed with steel throughout, the hull plating is of single riveted “inner and outer strake” construction with “1-bar” steel frames. Heavily reinforced, the hull has a bar keelson with intercostal engine and bilge keelsons: additionally, the vessel has three watertight steel bulkheads separating the forepeak, forward hold, engine room, and afterpeak that extends to the riveted steel main deck. Ralph J. Scojtt‘s dimensions have remained unchanged since 1925.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
USS Lexington

1942 Aircraft Carrier
Designated July 9, 2001

Excerpt: U.S.S. Lexington (CV-16) was launched in 1942 as a welded, steel hull, Essex-class aircraft carrier with an overall length of 872 feet and a length along the waterline of 820 feet. The flight deck ran 862 feet with an additional 4 foot 9 inch ramp curving down at each end. The flight deck width was 108 feet. The vessel’s beam at the waterline was 93 feet and the depth of hull was 54 feet 8 inches with a draft of 28 feet 7 inches. Her design displacement was 33,440 tons, standard displacement was 27,100 and the full load displacement was 36,380 tons. Her eight Babcock and Wilcox boilers drove four Westinghouse geared steam turbines that delivered a speed of 32.7 knots. She carried a crew of 2,486.

USS Hornet

1942 Aircraft Carrier
Designated June 18, 1991

Excerpt: The Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CVS-12), built to replace the earlier Yorktown-class carrier of the same name (CV-8) that had been lost at the Battle of Santa Cruz on October 27, 1942, is a decommissioned vessel at the Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, in Bremerton, Washington. Currently authorized for disposition through scrapping, Hornet is also the subject of a preservation effort by a local group, the USS Hornet Historical Museum Association.

As laid down and launched, Hornet was a welded, steel-hulled vessel 872 feet long overall, with a waterline length of 820 feet. The flight deck had an area of 862 feet by 108 feet. The carrier had an overall breadth of 147 feet, 6 inches, and a waterline beam of 93 feet. The hull depth was 54 feet, 8 inches. Hornet drew 30 feet, 10 inches (full load) and her design displacement was 33,440 tons. The design standard displacement was 27,500 tons, and the full load was 36,380 tons.

Edward M. Cotter

1900 Fireboat
Designated October 31, 1990

Excerpt: Edward M. Cotter (Official Number 81722), built in 1900 as W.S. Grattan (1900-1953) and later renamed Fireflghter (1953-1954) is an operating fireboat of the Buffalo (New York) Fire Department. Designated “Engine 20,” Edward M. Cotter is moored on the Buffalo River at the foot of Ohio Street, adjacent to the Michigan Street Bridge. From the fireboat station, Edward M. Cotter is within easy reach of Buffalo Harbor, Lake Erie, and the Niagara River.

W.S. Grattan, now Edward M. Cotter, is a steel-hulled vessel constructed with double-riveted plates laid in an “inner-and-outer” strake method over single 4×4 angle frames. The fireboat is 118 feet long with a 24-foot beam, 11.5-foot depth of hold, and 7.1-foot draft. Edward M. Cotter is registered at 208 gross, 141 net, and displaces 178 tons. The hull is distinguished by a heavily reinforced bow with a projecting stem that enables the boat to function as an icebreaker in the winter. As built in 1900, W.S. Grattan had a low single deckhouse that stepped up to a cabin that stepped up again to an elevated pilothouse.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
American Eagle

1930 Two-Masted Schooner
Designated October 31, 1990

Excerpt: The two-masted schooner American Eagle, formerly Andrew and Rosalie, official number 229913, is a historic vessel homeported in Rockland, Maine. The vessel is operated in the unique passenger coasting trade of Maine as one of the “Maine Windjammers” of Rockland and Camden. From June to September of each year, American Eagle sails from Rockland every Monday to spend a week cruising the rugged Maine coast from Boothbay to Acadia National Park, “visiting picturesque fishing villages and historic towns.”

As built in 1930, Andrew and Rosalie, renamed American Eagle in 1941 and now known by that name, is a wooden-hulled, two-masted auxiliary schooner. American Eagle was and is a single-decked vessel 76.4 feet long between perpendiculars, 85 feet long on deck, and 90 feet long overall, with a 19.3-foot beam, and a 10-foot depth of hold. The schooner is registered at 70 gross and 47 net tons, and displaces 118 tons. The schooner has doublesawn oak frames and oak planks, with a douglas fir ceiling, spike-fastened, and white pine decks resting on oak deck beams.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

1915 Steam Schooner
Designated December 17, 1982

Excerpt: The Wapama is the last surviving example afloat of some 225 steam schooners specially designed for use in the 19th and 20th century Pacific Coast lumber trade and coastwise service. These vessels formed the backbone of maritime trade and commerce on the coast, ferrying lumber, general cargo, and passengers to and from urban centers and smaller coastal settlements.

While one of many such vessels, the Wapama was also unique in her construction, varying from established shipbuilding practices of the time. As such she is Nationally significant in the area of Naval Architecture as the only known example of a vessel of this type of construction in the United States still extant.

Lightship Relief

1950 Lightship
Designated June 30, 1989

Excerpt: The 1950 lightship WAL-605, known by her last U.S. Coast Guard designation of “Relief,” is a floating historic vessel moored in the Oakland Estuary on the waterfront of Oakland, California. Owned and operated by the United States Lighthouse Society since 1986, “Relief” has been restored to excellent operational condition. The lightship’s restoration is now being completed, interpretive exhibits are being installed, and she will be maintained as an operating museum exhibit vessel open to the public.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
USS Potomac

1939 Presidential Yacht
Designated June 30, 1987

Excerpt: The former presidential yacht U.S.S. Potomac (AG-25), ex-United States Coast Guard Cutter Electra, is moored at FDR Memorial Pier on the Oakland Estuary in Oakland, California. Potomac has undergone restoration to refloat her and return her to her circa 1939 appearance, when she operated as the yacht of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd president of the United States of America. She will soon commence operation as a working museum vessel.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
San Francisco Aquatic Park

1930 Aquatic Park
Designated February 1, 1984

Excerpt: San Francisco’s Aquatic Park, a recreational complex on the waterfront of San Francisco Bay, is on the site of Black Point Cove, a natural landmark that has since been partially filled. Landfill and dumping of debris associated with industrial activity at the site in the 19th and early 20th centuries were responsible for the partial filling of the cove.

…The bathhouse is an oval-shaped, four-story reinforced concrete building designed in the “Streamlined Moderne” Style of architecture. It incorporates nautical lines and represents a ship in abstract form. The stories of the building step inward to form decks. According to the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which designed and constructed the building, it is “Like a huge ship at its dock…with rounded ends, set back upper stories, porthole windows and ship rails, its resemblance to a luxurious ocean liner is indeed startling.”

Point Reyes Lifeboat Station

1927 Lifeboat Station
Designated July 10, 1989

Excerpt: The Point Reyes Lifeboat Station was built on a rare stretch of sand on an otherwise rocky coastline south of Point Reyes, which abruptly thrusts out into the Pacific 40 miles northwest of San Francisco, creating the western end of Drakes Bay. Placed near the end of the point, the station is exposed to the extreme conditions of climate and topography that created a need for a lifeboat station: heavy fog, high winds, and angry surf. The boathouse, the principal structure of the station, stands at the base of the hills and cliffs of the point, with its piers and lifeboat launching marine railway extending into the bay. Above, perched on the hillside, stands the rest of the complex.

Nantucket ship

1936 Lightship
Designated June 30, 1989

Excerpt: The 1936 lightship No. 112, known by her former official designation of “Nantucket,” is one of a small number of preserved historic American lightships. Essential partners with lighthouses as aids to navigation along the coast of the United States, lightships date to 1820 when the first vessel to serve as an aid to navigation was commissioned. Lightships left in the United States date from 1902 to 1952, when the last was built and launched. The nation’s most significant lightship station for transatlantic voyages was Nantucket Shoals, established in 1854. Nearly 47 miles out to sea, this remote and dangerous station marks the limits of the dangerous Nantucket Shoals and the eastern end of the Ambrose shipping channel into New York harbor. The Nantucket lightship was the last beacon seen by vessels departing the United States, as well as the first beacon entering the United States. Eleven lightships were assigned to Nantucket Shoals, and it was the last United States lightship station in operation, outlasting all others with a lightship at anchor until 1983, eight years after most other lightships were retired. Lightship No. 112 is the oldest surviving lightship to have served on the Nantucket station, marking it for 39 years.

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Lane Victory ship

1945 Victory Ship
Designated April 18, 1990

Excerpt: The 1945 Victory ship Lane Victory is a museum vessel homeported in San Pedro, California. The ship’s World War II, U.S. Maritime Commission designation of VC2-S-AP2 indicates she is a “V” for “Victory,” “C2” for large capacity cargo carrier, “S” for “steam,” and “AP2” stands for the 6,000 shaft horsepower type of Victory. Moored at Berth 52 in San Pedro, Lane Victory is currently undergoing rehabilitation. The ship will be open to the public and will occasionally operate on cruises. Lane Victory will also serve as a training vessel for longshoremen qualifying in handling bulk-break cargoes.

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J&E Riggin two-masted schooner

1927 Two-Masted Schooner
Designated October 31, 1990

Excerpt: The two-masted schooner J. & E. Riggin, official number 226422, is a historic vessel homeported in Rockland, Maine. The vessel is operated in the unique passenger coasting trade of Maine as one of the “Maine Windjammers” of Rockland and Camden. From June to September of each year, Riggin sails from Rockland every Monday to spend a week cruising the rugged Maine coast from Boothbay to Acadia National Park, “visiting picturesque fishing villages and historic towns.”

As built in 1927, J. & E. Riggin is a wooden-hulled vessel. Riggin was and remains a single-decked centerboard schooner 76.4 feet long between perpendiculars, 90 feet long on deck, and 120 feet long overall with a 22.3-foot beam and a 6.1-foot depth of hold.

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Ha.19 Japanese submarine

1938 Japanese Midget Submarine
Designated December 27, 1988

Excerpt: The 1938-built, Type-A Japanese midget submarine Ha. 19 is a unique vessel significant to both the history of Japan and the United States. Built as part of Japan’s expansion of its armed forces in the 1930s, Ha. 19 is an early example of a specific type of craft made famous by the Imperial Japanese Navy’s use of it during the Second World War, namely the midget submarine. Ha. 19 is of exceptional significance in American history as well.

1878 Four-Masted Ship
Designated July 15, 1988

Excerpt: The 1878 ship Falls of Clyde is the world’s only surviving four-masted full-rigged ship. Built in Great Britain in the last quarter of the 19th century during a shipbuilding boom inspired in part by increased trade with the United States, Falls of Clyde made several voyages to American ports, notably San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, while under the British flag. Sold to American owners in 1898, Falls of Clyde gained American registry by a special act of Congress in 1900. Henceforth she was involved in the nationally important Hawaiian transpacific sugar trade for Capt. William Matson’s Matson Navigation Co., a shipping firm of international scope and significance that continues in business. Falls of Clyde, ninth vessel acquired by Matson, is the oldest surviving member of the Matson fleet.  After 1907, Falls of Clyde entered another nationally significant maritime trade, transporting petroleum as a sailing oil tanker. Specifically modified for the petroleum trade as a bulk cargo carrier, Falls of Clyde retains integrity of design, materials, and workmanship, and is of exceptional national significance as the oldest surviving American tanker and as the only surviving sailing oil tanker left afloat not only in the United States but also in the world.

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Elissa, three-masted bark

1877 Three-Masted Bark
Designated January 8, 1990

Excerpt: The 1877 bark Elissa is a unique vessel in the history of American maritime preservation. She is the second oldest operational sailing vessel in the world and one of three oldest merchant vessels still afloat, surpassed only by Britain’s 1869-built Cutty Sark (actually in a dry berth) and Star of India (1863) on display in San Diego. One of nine historic squarerigged vessels preserved in the United States, only she and the Coast Guard training ship Eagle regularly sail. Elissa alone is regularly open and accessible to the public, who not only are able to watch the ship but are allowed to participate as working crewmembers, providing a compelling, unusual and special perspective on squareriggers, maritime culture, seafaring, and maritime preservation. Instead of sitting idle at a wharf, interpreted solely by exhibits, photographs, and demonstrations, Elissa works as she was intended to do, sailing, and in doing so keeps alive squarerigger technology, maritime lore, and the language of the sea in a real, working context that deeply instills an understanding and a sense of the maritime past to all who sail aboard her. As such, the ship, moored in an existing NHL district, is worthy of individual recognition.

USS Edson

1958 Destroyer
Designated January 8, 1990

Excerpt: The 1958 destroyer USS Edson (DD-946), one of 18 built Forrest Sherman-class destroyers, is, along with USS Barry (DD-933), the subject of a separate study, one of two surviving members of the class. Of the two, both slated for preservation, Edson is the only unmodified Forrest, Sherman destroyer, and as such retains the highest level of integrity. The destroyer, the oldest ship-type to have seen continuous service in the U.S. Navy, and the most built type of major surface warship in the history of the U.S. Navy, was the focus of considerable design effort, planning, and construction from the mid-1880s through the Second World War.

Fire Fighting vessel Deluge

1923 Firefighting Tug
Designated December 28, 1988

Excerpt: The 1923-built firefighting tug Deluge is the oldest surviving fireboat associated with the Port of New Orleans. The most significant Gulf coast port in the United States since the 1840s, New Orleans is currently the second most important port, in terms of cargo shipped and imported, in all of the United States. Deluge, though her engines and pumps were modernized in 1962, retains integrity of association, design, construction, workmanship, and materials including her original monitors, brasswork, and equipment. Deluge is an excellent example of a major port’s large fireboat of the 1920s. Fireboats remain important aspects of port activities, protecting life and property afloat and ashore as an indispensable , work-a-day contribution to the nation’s maritime trade and commerce.

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1945 Balao Submarine
Designated December 28, 1988

Excerpt: The 1945-built Balao class submarine USS Clamagore is one of 132 Gato, Balao, and Tench class submarines built during World War II, Clamagore was a typical World War II “fleet boat” built as part of a major submarine construction program that followed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The submarine warfare pursued by the United States and supported by this construction program was instrumental in securing an American victory in the Pacific. Of the hundreds of “fleet boats” built during the war, only 15, which include two subsequent GUPPY II conversions, Torsjk and Becuna, remain preserved in the United States. Subsequently modified in 1947 and 1962 into a FRAM II/GUPPY III submarine by the US Navy, Clamagore, one of only nine submarines converted to a GUPPY III, is now the only surviving GUPPY Type III submarine in the United States. She represents the continued adaptation and use of war-built diesel submarines by the Navy for the first two decades after the war; unlike her guppied sisters, Clamagore as the sole surviving GUPPY III represents the ultimate use and technological adaptation of war-built diesel submarines by the Navy.

1886 Sailing Ship
Designated November 7, 1976

Excerpt: With the exception of a few alterations discussed within the body of this narrative and made during the course of her long career as a working vessel and as a museum ship, the sailing ship Balclutha is essentially the same vessel launched in 1886. She possesses remarkable integrity since in every case restoration and repair has been in-kind utilizing historic construction materials and techniques, with the exception of “doublers” welded over the original riveted construction for urgent temporary repairs.

Balclutha is a three-masted, riveted steel hulled full-rigged ship 301 feet long with an on-deck length of 256.5 feet, a beam of 38,6 feet, a depth of hold of 22.7 feet, 1835 gross and 1583 net tons. The vessel is of single-hull construction with riveted steel plates and iron frames. There are four decks, two of which are partial decks. …

1925 Yacht
Designated December 23, 1987

Excerpt: The former Presidential yacht U.S.S. Sequoia (AG-23), is moored on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., at the National Park Service dock at Hains Point. Sequoia has undergone extensive restoration and rehabilitation to prepare her for resumption of Presidential use in November, 1988.

…Sequoia’s hull was originally planked with juniper. During her career the United States Navy replanked her hull with Douglas Fir for reasons of availability and cost. [2] The vessel has always been painted white. The decks and deckhouse are teak and have been maintained in-kind. The railings are the original mahogany. Seven coats of varnish maintain the bright finish of the joiner’s work in the vessel. All brightwork, such as cleats, portholes, and other fittings, are the original chromed bronze.

Virginia V

1922 Excursion Steamer
Designated October 5, 1992

Excerpt: The earliest use of the steamboat in the United States was the adoption of steam for small passenger and cargo carrying vessels. Dating to the first decades of the 19th century, these craft in time dominated the American steam excursion fleet. One of two surviving members of the American “mosquito fleet,” the large, unlicensed steamers that flitted around like mosquitoes on the inland waters of the United States, Virginia V is the only survivor of these small excursion steamers built on the Pacific Coast. The other mosquito fleet vessel, Sabino, is the sole surviving East Coast-built small excursion steamer. These two vessels alone represent a fleet that in June 1932 was documented at an astounding 260,983 vessels. The fact of their survival, and a contributing factor in their significance is the fact that both continue in operation, keeping alive a tradition and a technology now vanished.

Ernestina, ex-Effie M. Morrissey

1894 Two-Masted Schooner
Designated December 14, 1990

Excerpt: The 1894-built schooner Ernestina, ex-Effie M. Morrissey, is the oldest surviving Grand Banks fishing schooner, the only surviving 19th century Gloucester-built fishing schooner, and one of two remaining examples of the Fredonia style schooners, the most famous American fishing vessel type, and is the only offshore example of that type. The schooner is also one of only two sailing Arctic exploration vessels left afloat in the United States, the other being the schooner Bowdoin, a National Historic Landmark. After a long and distinguished fishing and cargo-carrying career,Effie M. Morrissey was purchased in 1926 by Capt. Robert A. Bartlett, Canadian-born Arctic explorer and companion of Robert E. Peary. Bartlett navigated Peary and Matthew Henson to the North Pole in 1909, and was considered the greatest ice captain of the 20th century. Under “Bob” Bartlett, “the little Morrissey” made 20 regular voyages north, at one time reaching within 600 miles of the Pole, documenting the frozen north, its flora and fauna, and people for patrons ranging from the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the American Indian, and others.

Governor Stone

1877 Two-Masted Schooner
Designated 1990

Excerpt: The “freight trucks” of their time, the coasting schooners carried coal, bricks, iron ore, grain, oysters, and numerous other bulk products between ports. There are now only five surviving two-masted coasting schooners in the United States–Lewis R. French(1871); Stephen Taber (1871); Governor Stone (1877); Grace Bailey(1882); and Mercantile (1916); all subjects of separate studies. Of all of these vessels, Governor Stone is the only surviving Gulf-built schooner of thousands constructed and employed in the busy and nationally important Gulf fishing and general freight trades. Governor Stone is the sole known survivor afloat of the indigenous sailing schooners of the American South. After more than a century in service, including time as an auxiliary-powered oyster buyboat, Governor Stone was restored and placed in operation as a museum-operated historic vessel, carrying passengers on charters and sail training cruises along the Gulf coast.


Arctic Exploration Schooner
Designated December 20, 1989

Excerpt: The 1921 auxiliary schooner Bowdoin is a unique vessel in the annals of American maritime history and the saga of Arctic exploration. The brainchild of Adm. Donald Baxter MacMillan (1874-1970), an Arctic explorer, educator, aviator, author, anthropologist, and philanthropist who made 29 voyages to the Arctic between 1908 and 1954, for which he was awarded the National Geographic Society’s coveted Hubbard Medal, Bowdoin was the setting for much of MacMillan’s achievements. He made 26 of his Arctic voyages inBowdoin. Bowdoin is the only auxiliary schooner ever built in the United States specifically for Arctic exploration and the only surviving historic vessel in the United States associated with Arctic exploration except the nuclear submarine Nautilus, a much more recent vessel. Bowdoin is one of a handful of historic Arctic vessels left in the world and exemplifies the rugged conditions and the hardy navigators who braved the frozen north to unlock its secrets.


1909 Fireboat
Designated June 30, 1989

Excerpt: The 1909 fireboat Duwamish, owned and maintained by the City of Seattle Fire Department in a laid-up status and a City of Seattle Historic Landmark, is an excellent example of a typical, specifically-designed fireboat as could be found in any major American port city through much of the 20th century. Duwamish is also the second oldest known American fireboat following the substantially rebuilt Edward Cotter of 1900. While built and operated only on the Seattle waterfront, this well-preserved vessel is representative of most early 20th century fireboats which could be found throughout the United States. While earlier tugboats modified for fireboat use and employed as auxiliary fireboats may exist, Duwamish is the second oldest surviving fireboat built specifically as a fire-fighting vessel in the United States. Fireboats known to exist in other major American cities date to the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. As such, Duwamish, possessing a high degree of integrity, is of national significance as the best preserved, largely unchanged example of the historic American fireboat type of the early 20th century.

USS Arizona (BB-39)

1915 Steel-Hulled Battleship
Designated May 5, 1989

The battle-scarred and submerged remains of the battleship USSArizona (BB-39) are the focal point of a shrine erected by the people of the United States to honor and commemorate all American servicemen killed on December 7, 1941, particularly Arizona‘s crew, many of whom lost their lives during the Japanese attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Arizona‘s burning bridge and listing masts and superstructure, photographed in the aftermath of the attack and her sinking and emblazoned on the front pages of newspapers across the land, epitomized to the Nation the words “Pearl Harbor” and form one of the best known images of the Second World War in the Pacific. Arizona and the Arizona Memorial have become the major shrine and point of remembrance not only for the lost battleship but also for the entire attack. Indelibly impressed into the national memory, Arizona is visited by millions who quietly file through, toss flower wreaths and leis into the water, watch the irridescent slick of oil that leaks, a drop at a time, from Arizona‘s ruptured bunkers after more than forty years on the bottom, and read the names of Arizona‘s dead carved in marble on the Memorial’s walls.

Arthur Foss, ex-Wallowa

1889 Tugboat
Designated April 11, 1989

Excerpt: The 1889 tugboat Arthur Foss, ex-Wallowa, owned and maintained by Northwest Seaport, Inc. as an operating preserved historic vessel, is an excellent example of a typical late 19th-early 20th century American tugboat. Well-maintained, retaining her integrity of design and construction and restored in an accurate fashion, Arthur Foss is the only known wooden-hulled 19th century tugboat left afloat and in operating condition in the United States. Built in Portland, Oregon for a seemingly local use, Arthur Foss‘s career, nonetheless, was associated with trading and events of significance to the nation. Foss towed lumber and grain laden square-rigged ships across the treacherous Columbia River Bar and hence was a key participant in the nationally significant Pacific coast lumber trade and the internationally significant grain trade.


1913 Schooner
Designated April 11, 1989

Excerpt: Adventuress is significant as an excellent example of the “fisherman profile” designed yachts of Bowdoin B. Crowninshield, a noted early 20th century American naval architect whose work was influential in the development of American yachts and fishing schooners. Built for the purpose of private Arctic exploration and hunting, Adventuress was acquired by the San Francisco Bar Pilots in 1914 and worked from that year until 1952 as a pilot boat on the San Francisco Bar. Only two San Francisco Bar Pilot boats survive,California ex-Zodiac (1924), currently undergoing restoration and modification, and Adventuress which is both first in service and the older of the two vessels. Adventuress is significant through her association with the important role of the pilots which guided maritime traffic across the treacherous San Francisco Bar into the internationally-important and busy port of San Francisco.