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SHIPWRECKS ON STEAMBOAT SLOUGH OF THE SACRAMENTO DELTA REGION      1848 TO 1900   Steamboat Slough Shipwrecks

steamboat_shipwrecks.jpg1852middle_fork_steamboat.jpgReferences and research:  Newspapers of the period:  The Alta California, The Sacramento Union, the Sacramento Bee.; "Paddle Wheel Days in California" by Jerry MacMullen 1944; Delta King and Queen; "A Map and Record Investigation of Historical Sites and Shipwrecks Along the Sacramento River Between Sacramento City and Sherman Island" by the land Location and Boundary Section of California State Lands Commission, 1988; "Steamboats That Have from Time to Time Been Running from San Francisco to Sacramento", 1859, Hutchings; Chapter titled "Scenes along the Way" from Hutchings Yosemite book from 1862.and several other resources.  
  
     Chrysopolis_on_Steamboat_Slough.JPG
Steamboat Slough in 1848 was referred to as the "Middle Fork" or branch of the Sacramento River.  Other records show Steamboat Slough was preferred over the "old river" Sacramento River route because it was more than 8 miles shorter and several hours less travel by steamship.  Islands bordering the Middle Fork in 1848 were Sutter, Schoolhouse and Taylor.  However, due to hydraulic mining, by the late 1850's Steamboat Slough was less traveled by the larger steamers, yet still the preferred route for flat bottomed boats that would stop at the landings on  Steamboat Slough to pick up fresh produce and drop off building supplies like bricks. 
     By 1867, Taylor Island was renamed Grand Island, and Sutter and Priest Islands were combined into Ryer Island.  Schoolcraft Island was renamed to Sutter Island.  Due to the waterway and island name changes, careful attention must be paid to the exact years of the shipwrecks and the island names associated with the shipwreck at that time.  Note:  A natural island located about 4.5 miles north of the convergence of Cache and Steamboat as noted by Mr Ringgold starting in 1850, called "Hogsback Shoal", was sold by the state to G.W. Blake, a Sacramento area builder in 1878.  By 1935, Ryer Island levees had been improved, the zig zag sections of Steamboat Slough had been mellowed out, and land that may have been a portion of Hog's Back Shoal became part of the peninsula called "Martin's Island" and later "Snug Harbor" by the 1960's.
*new* Paddle Wheelers #1  Paddle Wheelers #2)

Chrysopolis_on_Steamboat_Slough.JPGThe larger ships usually traveled through Steamboat Slough at night.  Author A.J. Hutchings wrote in 1862 of a daytime trip through Steamboat Slough, and he noted the signs of farming and "husbandry" along both sides of the slough, and the "Snug Little Cabins" tucked away behind the trees along the banks.  Logs kept by the State of California show there were at least 15 landings or ferry stops along Steamboat Slough between 1850 and 1880.

Ship name

Date & details

References

Wasp

January 12, 1965.  A sloop.  Sank in Steamboat Slough carrying cobbles and brick.  Sailing down Steamboat Slough from Freeport.

CSLC, page 19

Bianca

October 1854.  A schooner.  Cache Creek near Steamboat.  80-100 tons of assorted cargo

CSLC, page 19

Fanny Ann

November 9, 1868.  propeller boat.  Grain.

 

F.W. Crawford

July 30, 1868.  A sloop.  Traveling from Sacramento to San Francisco via Steamboat Slough.  Brick and other cargo

Sacramento Union and CSLC, page 63

Nevada

February 7,1862.Paddle wheeler/steamer.  Racing with New World headed towards Sacramento from Rio Vista.  Sunk at mouth of Steamboat Slough at Cache

Paddle-Wheel Days of California

Pet

March 10, 1870.  Steamer headed to Sacramento from Rio Vista.  Sunk in Steamboat Slough

CSLC, page 89

Eclipse

March 1, 1873.  Barge wrecked near the bank of Steamboat Slough.  Towed to a point near Hogs Back.  Reference to use as a wingdam later at mouth of Cache Creek.

CSLC, 111

Goliath

July 22, 1879.  Schooner.  Near Cache Slough confluence or higher on Benicia to Courtland run.

MacMullen

Washoe

September 5, 1864.  Blew up engine while racing with Chrysiopolis after leaving Rio Vista, going up into Steamboat Slough.  Reports say 50 people were killed.  "The explosion of the boilers of the Washoe took place at ten o'clock, at a point just above the Hog's Back, about ten miles above Rio Vista, on her up-trip on Monday night".

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, Sept 7, 1864

New World

1851.  Steamer; ruptured a steam-line while going through Steamboat Slough

MacMullen, page 25

"unknown"

1850.  The gold heist.  Local papers indicate a steamer with gold bars in her hold was on Steamboat Slough late July and got stuck on a sandbar at the top end of Hog's back Shoal.  The crew and few passengers all jumped off before the ship blew up and burned, so no one was killed.  When the ship owner returned a day later to collect the contents of the hold it was all gone, assumed to have blown up and burned.  (Most who hear this story assume the gold was stollen upriver and then the ship beached and burned to cover their tracks1)ss1875.jpg

Local records

 

  

 

 

 

 
   
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