Artifacts Tell the Story

During 2005 archaeological investigations, approximately 4,300 artifacts were recovered and 40 intact features were excavated and subject to archaeological data recovery, including the remains of a Gold Rush era ship breaking yard and the hull of an early 19th century whaling ship.

The features directly associated with the ship breaking yard suggest that in the first decade after the Gold Rush, the project area was dominated by the ship breaking industry, as Charles Hare's crew worked hard to clear Yerba Buena Cove of salvageable materials for sale or reuse. The explosive growth associated with the Gold Rush is reflected in the project area by how quickly it was transformed from a sandy shoreline to a bustling ship breaking yard, then to a landfill covered with a coal yard.