1880s-Era Schooners Unearthed At Dig Near Candlestick Park

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Scow Schooner Alma

Scow Schooner Alma (National Park Service)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Utility crews digging out an area near San Francisco’s Candlestick Park have unearthed two 1880s-era schooners that had once been used to ferry goods throughout the Bay Area, long before bridges and highways existed here.

Maritime experts say the ships are likely scow schooners, 90-foot long wooden workhorses common during the Gold Rush times.  Only one of the some 400 scow schooners currently survives: the Alma is housed at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park.

Crews worked this week to excavate the area and examine the vessels.

Scott Baxter, the historical consultant on the construction project, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the boat frames will be measured, photographed and drawn, and wood samples taken.

Relics like shoes, pottery and bottles will be saved, but the ships will not.

 (© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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