Mare Island waterfront looking south, 1890s. The USS Independence is pictured. Vallejo is visible across the Mare Island Straits. -- Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Mare Island waterfront looking south, 1890s. The USS Independence is pictured. Vallejo is visible across the Mare Island Straits.

Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Vallejo's Mare Island: A Brief History In Captions

In 1853, Vallejo's Mare Island became the first permanent US naval installation on the west coast, bringing jobs and economic stability to the area for over a century. Let's take a look at some of the history of the peninsula and the vessels borne from its harbor.

Admiral Farragut in dress uniform. In 1853, Secretary of the Navy James C. Dobbin selected Commander David G. Farragut to create Mare Island Navy Yard near San Francisco in San Pablo Bay. On September 16, 1854, Commander Farragut arrived to oversee the building of the Mare Island Navy Yard at Vallejo, California, which became the primary port for ship repairs on the West Coast. -- Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Admiral Farragut in dress uniform. In 1853, Secretary of the Navy James C. Dobbin selected Commander David G. Farragut to create Mare Island Navy Yard near San Francisco in San Pablo Bay. On September 16, 1854, Commander Farragut arrived to oversee the building of the Mare Island Navy Yard at Vallejo, California, which became the primary port for ship repairs on the West Coast.

Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Ox cart in an alley behind front-row quarters, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 1860. During Mare Island’s early years, ox carts were used to haul cord wood, equipment and other supplies. The first team of oxen was brought to Mare Island during the Navy Yard’s first week of operation in 1854. -- Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Ox cart in an alley behind front-row quarters, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 1860. During Mare Island’s early years, ox carts were used to haul cord wood, equipment and other supplies. The first team of oxen was brought to Mare Island during the Navy Yard’s first week of operation in 1854.

Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

The ferry Vallejo arriving at Vallejo from Mare Island, 1908. The ferry is loaded with Mare Island workers. The ferry operated on the Vallejo-Mare Island run from 1879 to 1947. -- Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

The ferry Vallejo arriving at Vallejo from Mare Island, 1908. The ferry is loaded with Mare Island workers. The ferry operated on the Vallejo-Mare Island run from 1879 to 1947.

Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Launching ceremony for the collier USS Prometheus at Mare Island Navy Yard in 1908. At the time of its launch, it was the largest, most expensive ever built at Mare Island. The launching ceremony was followed by a luncheon for 3,000 people. Unfortunately, many of the celebrants were stricken with food poisoning following the banquet. -- Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Launching ceremony for the collier USS Prometheus at Mare Island Navy Yard in 1908. At the time of its launch, it was the largest, most expensive ever built at Mare Island. The launching ceremony was followed by a luncheon for 3,000 people. Unfortunately, many of the celebrants were stricken with food poisoning following the banquet.

Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Launching ceremony for the USS California, Mare Island, November 20, 1919. The Mare Island-built battleship was badly damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor, December, 1941. On March 25, 1942, the ship was finally refloated and towed to dry dock for repairs. -- Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Launching ceremony for the USS California, Mare Island, November 20, 1919. The Mare Island-built battleship was badly damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor, December, 1941. On March 25, 1942, the ship was finally refloated and towed to dry dock for repairs.

Courtesy Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

See more beautiful, historic photos of early Vallejo in The Times-Herald's new book, Vallejo Memories: The Early Years.

Vallejo Memories: The Early Years Cover
Times Herald presents Vallejo Memories: The Early Years

$44.95

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