Ten years after Newark entered service, the SPC was purchased by rival Southern Pacific, who merged it into their system and took over the ferry service. In 1903, the ferry was given a much-needed refit, which increased her gross tonnage from 1,783 to 2,197. On December 7, 1908, she was damaged in a collision with sister SP ferry Oakland, but after repairs continued soldiering on. In 1923, she was due another refit, and this time she was almost completely rebuilt, with very little of the old Newark remaining. Re-launched in January 1924, she was re-christened Sacramento. At the time, she was the largest all-passenger ferry on the bay, rated to carry up to 4,000 passengers (with actually seating for 1,900 of them).
|According to the handwriting on the back of this small snapshot, the photo was taken on July 5, 1932.|
The Sacramento appeared to be destined for the scrapper when, after a year in limbo, she was purchased by Frank Hale and Gordon McRae who had formed the Redondo Beach Pleasure Fishing Corporation. The 78-year-old ferry was acquired for $5,000 and towed to the Sherman Boat Works in Long Beach, then stripped of all her propulsion machinery (except for the actual side-wheels). The main deck walls were also removed, and the ferry was towed to nearby Redondo Beach, where she was regularly moored off-shore and used as a fishing barge. The original plans called for the upper decks to house a nightclub, but this never came to fruition. During the summer months, the barge was open 24 hours a day, and just during the daytime during winter months.
On December 1, 1968, the Sacramento was moored off of Rocky Point, Palos Verdes when an unusually fierce storm hit the coast. The crew evacuated, and during that night waves swamped the 91-year-old ferry, and she broke apart and sunk. Debris, including the pilot house, washed up along the shoreline. (A detailed article about her life as a fishing barge, including a photo of the pilothouse in the surf, can be found here.)
Golden StateThe Golden State was one of seven Diesel-electric powered ferries purchased by Golden Gate Ferries in the 1920s. The company had got its start in 1920 when local demand for auto ferry service between SF and Sausilito was ignored by the then-dominant Northwest Pacific Ferry company. Golden Gate Ferry Company began operations in 1922 with three ex-Key System steam-powered ferries, and then started buying new Diesel-powered vessels. All of the line's ferries had names that started with Golden.
The wood-hulled Golden State was launched in 1926 at Alameda by the General Engineering & Drydock Company. Three Diesel engines drove generators that powered two electric motors shafted to propellers, making the Golden State and her sisters faster than the older side-wheel ferries. With business booming (keep in mind, the Golden Gate Bridge didn't open until May of 1937), the line opened a second route to Berkeley in 1927, competing directly with the Southern Pacific. SP has a rich tradition of not tolerating competition, and so in 1929 gained control of Golden Gate and its fleet. Now the SP's Southern Pacific-Golden State subsidiary, the Golden fleet continued in service until the two big bridges opened.
Golden State had a lot of life left in her, and in November 1937 headed north to Puget Sound, becoming the Kehloken (Chinook for swan). Operated by Black Ball Ferries, the refitted vessel entered service on January 7, 1938 on the Seattle-Suquamish-Indianola route, and later between Seattle and Winslow. With newer ferries in service, Kehloken made her final revenue trip between Edmonds and Kingston on Labor Day, 1972. After languishing for three years, in 1975 she was purchased for $25,000 and towed to Lake Washington for conversion into a floating restaurant and nightclub. That was a short-lived career, and in September 1979 a fire onboard burned her to the waterline. The remains were taken over by the Department of Natural Resources, cleaned of anything toxic and then deliberately sunk off of Whidbey Island's Possession Point to serve as an artificial reef. She is, today, a popular spot for scuba diving. (Photos of the Kehloken, including the fire, can be seen here. A good dive report can be read here.)