Maritime Historian Contract

The purpose of this contract is for a research historian to research, develop and write a fully formatted and publish ready Part III of the HSR.   This HSR Part III is not a condition or physical survey of the vessel but rather a documentation, based on project files and records, of recent treatments.  Confirmation of physical configurations on the vessel, however, may be necessary.

Prior to 2003 numerous projects were undertaken that resulted in configurations that were not historically accurate.  Work since 2003 has focused on returning the vessel to a more historically correct configuration.  In addition to documenting the technical aspects of recent treatments, this HSR Part III should also document the reasoning and research that informed historical corrections.

The C.A. Thayer is one of five historic vessels at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (SAFR) and is the last surviving example afloat of 122 sailing schooners especially designed for use in the 19th century Pacific Coast Lumber trade.  She was built by Hans Ditley Bendixen at Fairhaven, on Humboldt Bay, in 1895.  C.A. Thayer was large for a three-masted schooner, measuring 452 tons, with a length of 156 feet, beam of 36 feet, an 11 foot 8 inch depth of hold, and was designed to carry 575,000 board feet of lumber.  Despite her size, a small crew could work the handy, bald-headed rig.  At the time, C.A. Thayer represented the highest development of the new economical coastal lumber carrier.  She was listed as a National Historic Landmark on November 13, 1966 and was subsequently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A draft Historic Structure Report (HSR) was written for the C.A. Thayer in 1991, but it is far from complete and does not address some important aspects of the ongoing rehabilitation of the vessel. From 2003 – 2006 the vessel underwent a major project to preserve and rehabilitate the ship’s hull, deck and keel. In 2012 the vessel’s internal structural rehabilitation was completed and in 2014 work began to restore her rigging. The park has a goal of having the vessel hauled out in 2019 then again in 2003. Prior to 2003, various restoration efforts were undertaken.

HABS/HAER documentation, photography and historical and descriptive data were recorded in 2004, however, restoration work undertaken on CA Thayer to date has not been formally documented.

The NPS intends to use the HSR Part III document to help define ongoing treatment recommendations in a forthcoming updated full HSR document.

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