Charles Hare
The wooden platform in the foreground was probably used by the ship breaking yard workers as they dismantled the Candace.

In some instances, Chinese ship breakers would themselves purchase a derelict vessel as an entrepreneurial venture, but more often than not, they were under the employ of Englishman Charles Hare. One of San Francisco's most active and longest employed ship breakers, Hare's pioneering work paved the way for the reclamation of San Francisco's harbor by removing the Gold Rush hulks that crowded it.

Hare would purchase ships, scrap some and repair others, with materials on hand in his yard, to be sent back to sea. A reminiscent account of the fate of the Gold Rush fleet, published in 1882, tallied 77 vessels that had been Hare's victims.

In February 1857, an article in San Francisco's Daily Evening Bulletin noted that Hare "established a house for the sale of old iron and copper, cordage, and other ship materials at the Rincon." The reporter's account suggests that the store was a remarkable structure filled with all sorts of items, facing a beach where immediately offshore, Chinese workers hammered and chopped at yawning hulks and hauled the remains up the shore to Hare's front yard.

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