St. Matthew’s Land by Coastside artist Galen Wolf (Part IX)


The galleons had long given way to a new ship, the clipper. These now came in an endless stream to San Francisco. The ocean that fought these fast ships for the months-long voyage of the Horn, sometimes seized them on the very doorstep of their arrival.

The cargoes of these wrecks became a part of the sea-bordering life. Pescadero folk salvaged so much white lead from the stranded Columbia that the town was known as the whitest in California.

from the wreck of the Sir John Franklin, extravagant furniture for the gaudy hotels of San Francisco’s tenderloin district, fell into the hands of the Steele family. The New York provided tea and ginger, the Ridal Hall silk thread.

In a happier mood the waves cast countless thousands of sea shells upon the sand. They ranged from ponderous abalone to fragile translucent fan shells. The sea polished myriads of pebbles and left them in shoals at Pebble Beach and Columbia Beach.

…to be continued…