SMS Gneisenau (1879)
SMS Gneisenau was a Bismarck-class corvette built for the German Imperial Navy in the late 1870s. The ship was named after the Prussian Field Marshal August von Gneisenau, she was the fifth member of the class. The Bismarck-class corvettes were ordered as part of a major naval construction program in the early 1870s, she was designed to serve as a fleet scout and on extended tours in Germany's colonial empire. Gneisenau was laid down in June 1877, launched in September 1879, was commissioned into the fleet in October 1880, she was armed with a battery of fourteen 15 cm guns and had a full ship rig to supplement her steam engine on long cruises abroad. Gneisenau went abroad on two major foreign deployments in the first decade of her career; the first, in 1882, was to protect German nationals in Egypt during the'Urabi revolt, though by the time she arrived, British forces had defeated the rebels, allowing Gneisenau to return home. The second, lengthier deployment came two years and lasted from 1884 to 1886, focused on German colonial designs on eastern Africa.
She was involved in the seizure of the colony of German East Africa in 1885, she toured German interests in the Pacific Ocean in 1886. In 1887, Gneisenau began her service as a role she held for more than a decade. During this period, she was occupied with training cruises and individual and fleet training. Long-distance cruises alternated between the West Indies and the Mediterranean Sea. While on one such cruise on 16 December 1900, the ship was driven into the mole outside Málaga by heavy winds and destroyed, with the loss of 41 officers and crew, her wreck proved impossible to salvage, so she was sold for scrap shortly after the accident. The six ships of the Bismarck class were ordered in the early 1870s to supplement Germany's fleet of cruising warships, which at that time relied on several ships that were twenty years old. Gneisenau and her sister ships were intended to patrol Germany's colonial empire and safeguard German economic interests around the world. Gneisenau was 82 meters long overall, with a beam of 13.7 m and a draft of 5.2 m forward.
She displaced 2,994 metric tons at full load. The ship's crew consisted of 386 enlisted men, she was powered by a single marine steam engine that drove one 2-bladed screw propeller, with steam provided by four coal-fired fire-tube boilers, which gave her a top speed of 13.8 knots at 2,866 metric horsepower. She had a cruising radius of 2,380 nautical miles at a speed of 12 knots; as built, Gneisenau was equipped with a full ship rig, but this was reduced. Gneisenau was armed with a battery of fourteen 15 cm 22-caliber quick-firing guns and two 8.8 cm 30-cal. Guns, she carried six 37 mm Hotchkiss revolver cannon. The new corvette, ordered under the contract name "D", was laid down in June 1877 at the Kaiserliche Werft in Danzig, she was launched on 4 September 1879, was christened with the name Gneisenau, after the veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and Prussian military reformer Generalfeldmarschall August von Gneisenau, during the launching ceremony by Admiral Albrecht von Stosch, the head of the Kaiserliche Admiralität.
She was commissioned on 3 October 1880 before work on the ship finished in order to transfer her to the Kaiserliche Werft in Kiel, where her guns were installed. Sea trials were conducted, lasting from the end of December to 12 February 1881, after which she was decommissioned and placed in reserve, her commander during this period was Kapitän zur See Bartholomäus von Werner. At the time, Stosch had implemented a plan whereby Germany's colonies would be protected by gunboats, while larger warships would be kept in reserve, with a handful assigned to a flying squadron that could respond to crises quickly. By the early 1880s, French and British controls in Egypt and the Suez Canal produced the'Urabi revolt, led by Ahmed ‘Urabi. In June 1882, the revolutionaries, angered by foreign influence in the country, murdered fifty Europeans, prompting the British Royal Navy to bombard Alexandria and land forces to pursue the rebels. In the wake of the conflict, the German government determined that warships should be sent to protect Germans in the country.
Hoping to avoid mobilizing any vessels in Germany to keep the cost of the operation to a minimum, the Admiralität ordered a pair of gunboats, Habicht and Möwe, returning from overseas deployments to proceed to Egypt. There, they sent sailors ashore to protect Germans in Port Said, respectively; these two small vessels proved to be insufficient for the task, so on 13 August, the corvette Nymphe, the aviso Zieten, the gunboat Cyclop were commissioned to reinforce them. They departed Kiel on 19 August, under the command of Gneisenau's captain KzS Max von der Goltz, made Kommodore of the squadron; the ships arrived in Port Said on 21 August, on 13 September the British defeated'Urabi's forces at the Battle of Tell El Kebir ending the rebellion. The German squadron remained in the area until December. Gneisenau was recommissioned for another tour abroad on 5 October 1884 to join the newly-formed West African Cruiser Squadron, commanded by
Marin County, California
Marin County is a county located in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 252,409, its county seat is San Rafael. Marin County is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco; as of 2010, Marin County had the fifth highest income per capita in the United States at $91,483. The county is governed by the Marin County Board of Supervisors; the county is well known for its natural environment and liberal politics. San Quentin State Prison is located in the county. Autodesk, the publisher of AutoCAD, is located there, as well as numerous other high-tech companies; the Marin County Civic Center was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and draws thousands of visitors a year to guided tours of its arch and atrium design. In 1994, a new county jail facility was embedded into the hillside nearby. Marin County's natural sites include the Muir Woods redwood forest, the Marin Headlands, Stinson Beach, the Point Reyes National Seashore, Mount Tamalpais.
The United States' oldest cross country running event, the Dipsea Race, takes place annually in Marin County, attracting thousands of athletes. Mountain biking was invented on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais in Marin. Marin County is one of the original 27 counties of California, created February 18, 1850, following adoption of the California Constitution of 1849 and just months before the state was admitted to the Union. According to General Mariano Vallejo, who headed an 1850 committee to name California's counties, the county was named for "Marin", great chief of the tribe Licatiut". Marin had been named Huicmuse until he was baptized as "Marino" at about age 20. Marin / Marino was born into the Huimen people, a Coast Miwok tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the San Rafael area. Vallejo believed. Marino did reside at Mission Dolores much of the time from his 1801 baptism and marriage until 1817 serving as a baptism witness and godfather. Starting in 1817, he served as an alcalde at the San Rafael Mission, where he lived from 1817 off and on until his death.
In 1821, Marino served as an expedition guide for the Spanish for a couple of years before escaping and hiding out for some months in the tiny Marin Islands. Another version of the origin of the county name is that the bay between San Pedro Point and San Quentin Point was named Bahía de Nuestra Señora del Rosario la Marinera in 1775, that Marin is an abbreviation of this name; the Coast Miwok Indians were hunters and gatherers whose ancestors had occupied the area for thousands of years. About 600 village sites have been identified in the county; the Coast Miwok numbered in the thousands. Today, there are few left and fewer with any knowledge of their Coast Miwok lineage. Efforts are being made. Francis Drake and the crew of the Golden Hind was thought to have landed on the Marin coast in 1579 claiming the land as Nova Albion. A bronze plaque inscribed with Drake's claim to the new lands, fitting the description in Drake's own account, was discovered in 1933; this so-called Drake's Plate of Brass was revealed as a hoax in 2003.
In 1595, Sebastian Cermeno lost the San Agustin, while exploring the Marin Coast. The Spanish explorer Vizcaíno landed about twenty years after Drake in what is now called Drakes Bay; however the first Spanish settlement in Marin was not established until 1817 when Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in response to the Russian-built Fort Ross to the north in what is now Sonoma County. Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in what is now downtown San Rafael as the 20th Spanish mission in the colonial Mexican province of Alta California by four priests, Father Narciso Duran from Mission San Jose, Father Abella from Mission San Francisco de Asís, Father Gil y Taboada and Father Mariano Payeras, the President of the Missions, on December 14, 1817, four years before Mexico gained independence from Spain. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 828 square miles, of which 520 square miles is land and 308 square miles is water, it is the fourth-smallest county in California by land area.
According to the records at the County Assessor-Recorder's Office, as of June 2006, Marin had 91,065 acres of taxable land, consisting of 79,086 parcels with a total tax basis of $39.8 billion. These parcels are divided into the following classifications: Geographically, the county forms a large, southward-facing peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay to the east, – across the Golden Gate – the city of San Francisco to the south. Marin County's northern border is with Sonoma County. Most of the county's population resides on the eastern side, with a string of communities running along San Francisco Bay, from Sausalito to Tiburon to Corte Madera to San Rafael; the interior contains large areas of open space. West Marin has beaches which are popular destinations for tourists year-round. Notable features of the shoreline along the San Francisco Bay include the Sausalito shoreline, Richardson Bay, t
SS Columbia (1880)
SS Columbia was a cargo and passenger steamship, owned by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company and the San Francisco and Portland Steamship Company. Columbia was constructed in 1880 by the John Roach & Sons shipyard in Chester, Pennsylvania for the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company. Columbia was the first ship to carry a dynamo powering electric lights instead of oil lamps and the first commercial use of electric light bulbs outside of Thomas Edison's Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratory. Due to this, a detailed article and composite illustration of Columbia was featured in the May 1880 issue of Scientific American magazine. Columbia was lost on 21 July 1907 after a collision with the lumber schooner San Pedro off Shelter Cove, California with the loss of 88 lives. After attending Thomas Edison's New Year's Eve lighting demonstration in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Henry Villard, president of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company became enthusiastic of Edison's work. Villard subsequently ordered an Edison Lighting System to be installed on his company's new passenger steamer, Columbia.
Although met with hesitation by Edison himself, the project moved forward, making the installation onboard Columbia Edison's first commercial order for the light bulb. Columbia would be the first ship to utilize a dynamo; the success of Columbia's experimental dynamo system led to the system being retrofitted on to other vessels. Columbia herself was ordered in July 1879 as Hull No. 193 at the John Roach & Sons Delaware River Iron Ship Building and Engine Works in Chester, Pennsylvania by the Oregon Steamship Company. That same year, the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company had bought and merged the Oregon Steamship Company into its own operations. Construction of Columbia began in September 1879. Columbia was launched at 11:40 AM on February 24, 1880. Both the Bureau Veritas and American Shipmasters' Association oversaw her construction. Roach himself refused to install the incandescent light bulbs on board Columbia in fear of a possible fire breaking out. In May 1880, Columbia sailed to New York City, where Edison's personnel installed the new lighting systems.
The light bulbs were carried aboard in a shopping basket by Francis R. Upton, a chief assistant of Edison; the first lighting of the ship took place on May 2, 1880. Columbia finished her sea trials and sailed around Cape Horn to San Francisco, California loaded with 13 locomotives, 200 railroad cars and other railroad supplies. Columbia made a stop in Rio de Janeiro to replenish her coal supply and was exhibited to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, who had a fascination with electricity. While passing through the Straits of Magellan, the propeller shaft and rudder were checked using light bulbs attached to a tallow covered cable. After arriving in San Francisco without incident, the original carbon paper filament bulbs were replaced by a shipment of newer bamboo filament bulbs, sent by Edison himself; the chief engineers of Columbia sent a letter of satisfaction to Edison complimenting the superior performance of the light system, stating that none of the lights gave out after 415 hours and 45 minutes of constant use.
Columbia safely arrived in Portland on August 24, 1880. Despite this, insurance companies were reluctant at first to underwrite the brand new vessel. Columbia ran a regular service between San Francisco; when the paddle steamer Alaskan was sunk by a storm in 1889, Columbia carried its captain and crew to Astoria. The success of the Edison lighting systems onboard Columbia convinced other shipping companies to install similar systems in their vessels, including the British Cunard Line; the next year, Cunard's SS Servia became the first major ocean liner to be lit up by the incandescent light bulb. In service, the Columbia was appreciated for its reliability. During a major overhaul in July 1895, the original Edison generators were removed in favor of modern counterparts; the dynamos were donated to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. Three years the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad. On January 30, 1898, the Columbia broke the speed record between San Portland.
Under the leadership of Captain Conway, she left her San Francisco dock at 10:09 A. M. on January 28 and began travelling on a calm ocean at a fast pace. On January 30 at 1:25 A. M. the Columbia was delayed for 12 minutes due to fog. After the fog lifted, the Columbia reached Astoria at 3:20 A. M. and arrived in Portland at 10:27 A. M, it had taken two days for Columbia to travel between Portland and San Francisco. Although the Columbia was delayed by one hour due to stopping a few times, she was able to shave one hour off the previous speed record. Following the sale of its steamship, the Oregon in 1899, the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company considered placing the Columbia and its fellow steamer, the State of California, into Alaskan service to Nome. On October 3, 1900, the Columbia was steaming towards its dock in San Francisco, while the ferryboat Berkeley was preparing to leave her slip. Captain Peter A. Doran of the Columbia and Captain "Jim" Blaker of the Berkeley mis-interpreted each other's signals, which led to the Columbia colliding with the Berkeley, destroying one of the ferry's lifeboats and badly damaging the Columbia's bow.
Both ships were taken out of service to be repaired following this incident. Another screw steamer owned by the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company, the George W. Elder, temporarily took over the Columbia's route. On September 14, 1902, the Columbia ran aground near Astoria due to low tide, she was subsequently returned to Portland the following night. In 1904, the Columbia a
French destroyer Framée
Framée was the name ship of her class of four destroyers built for the French Navy around the beginning of the 20th century. On 11 August 1900 Framée was part of the French Mediterranean squadron, returning from exercises in the English Channel, when she collided with the battleship Brennus off Cape St. Vincent. Framée sank with 36 of her crew of 50 killed. Chesneau, Roger & Kolesnik, Eugene M.. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-133-5. Couhat, Jean Labayle. French Warships of World War I. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0445-5. Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5. Johnson, Alfred S. ed.. "Disasters". The Cyclopedic Review of Current History. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Current History Company. 10: 682–683. Leyland, John. "The Progress of Foreign Navies". In Leyland, John; the Naval Annual, 1901. Portsmouth, UK: J. Griffin and Co. pp. 33–70
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, buildings and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property; the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually; the remainder are contributing resources within historic districts. For most of its history the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate and protect historic sites in the United States.
While National Register listings are symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; the application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians. Historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States are listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts, multiple property submissions; the Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, structure, building, or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties; some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service.
These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials, some National Monuments. On October 15, 1966, the Historic Preservation Act created the National Register of Historic Places and the corresponding State Historic Preservation Offices; the National Register consisted of the National Historic Landmarks designated before the Register's creation, as well as any other historic sites in the National Park system. Approval of the act, amended in 1980 and 1992, represented the first time the United States had a broad-based historic preservation policy; the 1966 act required those agencies to work in conjunction with the SHPO and an independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to confront adverse effects of federal activities on historic preservation. To administer the newly created National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior, with director George B.
Hartzog Jr. established an administrative division named the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Hartzog charged OAHP with creating the National Register program mandated by the 1966 law. Ernest Connally was the Office's first director. Within OAHP new divisions were created to deal with the National Register; the division administered several existing programs, including the Historic Sites Survey and the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as the new National Register and Historic Preservation Fund. The first official Keeper of the Register was an architectural historian. During the Register's earliest years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organization was lax and SHPOs were small and underfunded. However, funds were still being supplied for the Historic Preservation Fund to provide matching grants-in-aid to listed property owners, first for house museums and institutional buildings, but for commercial structures as well. A few years in 1979, the NPS history programs affiliated with both the U.
S. National Parks system and the National Register were categorized formally into two "Assistant Directorates." Established were the Assistant Directorate for Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Assistant Directorate for Park Historic Preservation. From 1978 until 1981, the main agency for the National Register was the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior. In February 1983, the two assistant directorates were merged to promote efficiency and recognize the interdependency of their programs. Jerry L. Rogers was selected to direct this newly merged associate directorate, he was described as a skilled administrator, sensitive to the need for the NPS to work with SHPOs, local governments. Although not described in detail in the 1966 act, SHPOs became integral to the process of listing properties on the National Register; the 1980 amendments of the 1966 law further defined the responsibilities of SHPOs concerning the National Register.
Several 1992 amendments of the NHPA added a category to the National Register, known as Traditional Cultural Properties: those properties associated with Native American or Hawaiian groups
Ferries of San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay in California has been served by ferries of all types for over 150 years. John Reed established a sailboat ferry service in 1826. Although the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge led to the decline in the importance of most ferries, some are still in use today for both commuters and tourists. One of the earliest ferry routes ran between San Francisco and Oakland on what was called the "creek route"; the name derived from the Oakland landing site located at the foot of Broadway where Jack London Square is today, fronting on what is today called the Oakland Estuary, an inlet of San Francisco Bay. The estuary, which in the 1800s included what is today's Lake Merritt, was the "creek". In 1851, Captain Thomas Gray, grandfather of the famous dancer Isadora Duncan, began the first regular ferry service to San Francisco from the East Bay. Service started with the stern-wheel Sacramento River packet General Sutter and the small iron steam ferry Kangaroo.
Service was augmented in 1852 by Caleb Cope, the small ferry Hector powered by a steam sawmill engine, the river packets Jenny Lind and Boston. Boston burned that year and was replaced first by William Brown's San Joaquin River packet Erastus Corning and by Charles Minturn's river packet Red Jacket. In 1853, Minturn formed the Contra Costa Steam Navigation Company and had the ferry Clinton built expressly for trans-bay service. A second ferry, Contra Costa began operating over the route in 1857. Contra Costa Steam Navigation Company acquired San Antonio Steam Navigation Company with ferries San Antonio and Oakland by merger before being purchased by the San Francisco and Oakland Railroad in 1865; the first railroad ferries on San Francisco Bay were established by the San Francisco and Oakland Railroad and the San Francisco and Alameda Railroad which were taken over by the Central Pacific Railroad in 1870 to become an integral part of the First Transcontinental Railroad. The earliest railroad ferries ran from Oakland Point and from Alameda Terminal when Alameda was still a peninsula.
The ferry pier at Oakland Point was enlarged to form the Oakland Long Wharf. These railroad ferries carried passengers, not trains, although there was some ferrying of freight cars to San Francisco; when the Central Pacific re-routed the Sacramento to Oakland segment of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1876, a ferry across the Carquinez Strait was established, the world's largest ferryboat, the Solano was built, to serve the crossing. This railroad ferry carried whole trains of up to 48 freight cars or 24 passenger cars with their locomotives; these ferries became part of the Southern Pacific Railroad when it assumed many of the facilities of its affiliate, the Central Pacific. These large train ferries were idled when a railway bridge was completed over the Carquinez Strait in November, 1930; when trains reached Oakland, freight cars were loaded aboard ferries from Long Wharf on Oakland Point beginning in 1870. Freight car ferry loading switched to the Oakland Mole in 1881. After 1890 freight cars were delivered to the San Francisco Belt Railroad ferry slip at the foot of Lombard and East Streets.
Belt Railroad tracks were dual-gauged to carry cars from the narrow gauge North and South Pacific Coast Railroads. The Key System transit company established its own ferry service in 1903 between the Ferry Building in San Francisco and its own pier and wharf on the Oakland shoreline, located just south of what is today the eastern approach to the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. Ferries began serving north bay rail connections with the Petaluma and Haystack Railroad in 1864. San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad and Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad ferries connected Petaluma River landing locations with San Francisco. North Pacific Coast Railroad ferries connected Sausalito with San Francisco, SF&NP ferries sailed from Tiburon; some of these ferries operated on Northwestern Pacific Railroad schedules from 1907 to 1938. The Napa Valley Railroad established service in 1865 and connected with ferry boat service in Vallejo, California. Monticello Steamship Company began operating ferries between Vallejo and San Francisco in 1895, began coordinating with train schedules in 1905.
Golden Gate Ferry Company gained control of Monticello in 1927 and, after merging with Southern Pacific, discontinued ferry service to Vallejo in 1937. Sacramento Northern Railway used a ferry to cross the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers between Mallard and Chipps. Service began in 1912 with the wooden ferry Bridgit carrying six interurban cars. Bridgit was replaced by the steel ferry Ramon with the same car capacity. Santa Fe and Western Pacific both ran passenger ferries connecting their east bay terminals to San Francisco. Southern Pacific maintained a dominant position in Bay ferry service by gaining control of the South Pacific Coast Railroad ferries in 1887, the Northwestern Pacific ferries in 1929, the Petaluma and Santa Rosa ferries in 1932. After the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1936 and 1937, Southern Pacific passenger ferry service was reduced to three routes: San Francisco to Oakland Pier, San Francisco to Alameda Pier, Hyde Street to Sausalito.
Service to Sausalito was suspended in 1938 by order of the State Railroad Commission, the last ferry to Alameda ran in 1939. Many of the large passenger ferries were idled until World War II, when they were mobilized by the federal government to transport military personnel around the bay and shipyard workers from San Francisco to Marinship and Richmond Shipyards. T
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary in the US state of California. It is surrounded by a contiguous region known as the San Francisco Bay Area, is dominated by the large cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland. San Francisco Bay drains water from 40 percent of California. Water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, from the Sierra Nevada mountains, flow into Suisun Bay, which travels through the Carquinez Strait to meet with the Napa River at the entrance to San Pablo Bay, which connects at its south end to San Francisco Bay; the Guadalupe River enters the bay at its southernmost point in San Jose. The Guadalupe drains water from the Santa Cruz mountains and Hamilton Mountain ranges in southernmost San Jose, it enters the bay at the town of Alviso. It connects to the Pacific Ocean via the Golden Gate strait. However, this entire group of interconnected bays is called the San Francisco Bay; the bay was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance on February 2, 2012. The bay covers somewhere between 400 and 1,600 square miles, depending on which sub-bays, wetlands, so on are included in the measurement.
The main part of the bay measures three to twelve miles wide east-to-west and somewhere between 48 miles 1 and 60 miles 2 north-to-south. It is the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas; the bay was navigable as far south as San Jose until the 1850s, when hydraulic mining released massive amounts of sediment from the rivers that settled in those parts of the bay that had little or no current. Wetlands and inlets were deliberately filled in, reducing the Bay's size since the mid-19th century by as much as one third. Large areas of wetlands have been restored, further confusing the issue of the Bay's size. Despite its value as a waterway and harbor, many thousands of acres of marshy wetlands at the edges of the bay were, for many years, considered wasted space; as a result, soil excavated for building projects or dredged from channels was dumped onto the wetlands and other parts of the bay as landfill. From the mid-19th century through the late 20th century, more than a third of the original bay was filled and built on.
The deep, damp soil in these areas is subject to soil liquefaction during earthquakes, most of the major damage close to the Bay in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 occurred to structures on these areas. The Marina District of San Francisco, hard hit by the 1989 earthquake, was built on fill, placed there for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, although liquefaction did not occur on a large scale. In the 1990s, San Francisco International Airport proposed filling in hundreds more acres to extend its overcrowded international runways in exchange for purchasing other parts of the bay and converting them back to wetlands; the idea was, remains, controversial. There are five large islands in San Francisco Bay. Alameda, the largest island, was created when a shipping lane was cut to form the Port of Oakland in 1901, it is now a suburban community. Angel Island was known as "Ellis Island West" because it served as the entry point for immigrants from East Asia, it is now a state park accessible by ferry.
Mountainous Yerba Buena Island is pierced by a tunnel linking the east and west spans of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. Attached to the north is the artificial and flat Treasure Island, site of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. From the Second World War until the 1990s, both islands served as military bases and are now being redeveloped. Isolated in the center of the Bay is Alcatraz, the site of the famous federal penitentiary; the federal prison on Alcatraz Island no longer functions, but the complex is a popular tourist site. Despite its name, Mare Island in the northern part of the bay is a peninsula rather than an island. San Francisco Bay is thought to represent a down-warping of the Earth's crust between the San Andreas Fault to the west and the Hayward Fault to the east, though the precise nature of this remains under study. About 560,000 years ago, a tectonic shift caused the large inland Lake Corcoran to spill out the central valley and through the Carquinez Strait, carving out sediment and forming canyons in what is now the northern part of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate strait.
Until the last ice age, the basin, now filled by the San Francisco Bay was a large linear valley with small hills, similar to most of the valleys of the Coast Ranges. As the great ice sheets began to melt, around 11,000 years ago, the sea level started to rise. By 5000 BC the sea level rose 300 feet; the valley become a bay, the small hills became islands. From 15,000 – 10,000 years ago, the Ohlone tribe inhabited the area, now the San Francisco Bay; the natives were displaced 5,000 years ago as the bay filled with water due to the rising sea level at the end of the ice age. The first European to see San Francisco Bay is N. de Morena, left at New Albion at Drakes Bay in Marin County, California by Sir Francis Drake in 1579 and walked to Mexico. The first recorded European discovery of San Francisco Bay was on November 4, 1769 when Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà, unable to find the port of Monterey, continued north close to what is now Pacifica and reached the summit of the 1,200-foot-high Sweeney Ridge, now marked as the place where he first sighted San Francisco Bay.
Portolá and his party did not realize what they had discovered, thinking they had arrived at a large arm of what is now called Drakes Bay. At the time, Drakes Bay went by the name Bahia de San