5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Historic Klamath

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The Bay Area Council put the Klamath out of business!  The Klamath started her service running between San Francisco and Oakland, but the bulk of her passenger ferry life was carrying cars and passengers between San Rafael and Richmond.  As demand grew for travel between the two areas, the ferries experienced huge lines of cars and people, and the Bay Area Council was a chief advocate and help write the legislation to create and fund the Richmond San Rafael Bridge (which now carries 80,000 cars and trucks a day).  She made her last ferry run on September 21, 1956, the day before the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge opened.  We are soooo glad to save her now!

The Klamath is one of just five surviving ferry boats from the Bay Area’s golden age of ferries.  Between 1850 and 1939, there were 120 ferryboats in operation on San Francisco Bay at one time or another.  The completion of the Golden Gate Bridge and Oakland Bay Bridges initiated the eventual demise of ferryboats on the Bay.  One by one, the stately boats were scrapped, destroyed or otherwise lost.  In 1979, only 14 could be accounted for in various locations in the United States.  Since then, nine more have been destroyed or scrapped, leaving just five historic ferryboats today.

Richmond Ferry Terminal 1939

The Klamath is bigger than you think.  She is the equivalent of a 24-story building laid on its side, or is 246 feet long, and 65 feet wide.  She has 37,380 square feet of interior and exterior space.  She was once one of the largest ferries ever on San Francisco Bay, carrying as many as 1,000 passengers and 78 cars.

The Klamath is older than you think.  Despite her complete overhaul into a cutting-edge office and conference space, in two years, on December 27, 2024, she will celebrate her 100th birthday!!

The Klamath once had a small completely stocked mini-supermarket aboard.  It was used by Landor and Associates, a strategic design firm, to test consumer reactions to new product designs in context of other products they would “see on the shelves.”

Interior of the Klamath During its Landor Days

For More Information Contact:

John Grubb image
John Grubb

Chief Operating Officer

(415) 946-8705

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