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San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Roald Amundsen
1872-1928
 
Roald Amundsen Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 26, 2009
1. Roald Amundsen Marker
 
Inscription. Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian polar explorer, was the first to detect the magnetic North Pole and to navigate the Northwest Passage, the Arctic water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He left Norway with a crew of six on June 16 of 1903 in 1 69-foot converted herring boat named Gjoa. Amundsen spent three years on the perilous journey. The Gjoa continued on, sailing through the Bering Strait and anchored off Point Bonita, outside the Golden Gate, on October 19, 1906. The San Francisco Norwegian community purchased the Gjoa from Amundsen and donated the ship to the people of San Francisco in 1909. In 1911, Amundsen became the first explorer to reach the South Pole. The Gjoa remained at this site at the western end of Golden Gate Park until 1972, when it was returned to Norway. The restored ship is now on display at the Maritime Museum in Oslo.
The Amundsen Monument is a bauta, or stone shaft, of Norwegian granite which was donated by Bay Area Norwegians March 1, 1930.
 
Location. 37° 46.196′ N, 122° 30.629′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is at the intersection of Great Highway and John F. Kennedy, Jr. Drive, on the right when traveling north on Great Highway. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 Great Highway, San Francisco CA 94121, United States of America.
 
Roald Amundsen Marker and Bauta Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 26, 2009
2. Roald Amundsen Marker and Bauta
 

 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The New Cliff House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Schooner Parallel “Blown to Atoms” 1887 (approx. 0.6 miles away); In Memory of Adolph Sutro (approx. 0.7 miles away); Peoples of the Coast - Why did they live here? (approx. mile away); Heavy Cruiser USS San Francisco (CA38) (approx. 0.9 miles away); This Memorial to Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (approx. 0.9 miles away); FDR's Salute (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. The marker is mounted on a rock in front of a larger monument in the parking lot of the Beach Chalet, on the western edge of Golden Gate Park.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Roald Amundsen Monument - Or The Ship That Isn't There. The Western Neighborhoods Project's history of the Gjoa as it relates to San Francisco, by Hamilton Barrett. Includes photos. (Submitted on August 4, 2009.) 

2. The Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant - San Francisco. The Beach Chalet Restaurant's website. Includes a virtual tour of the structure, which is well worth viewing for the WPA murals that decorate the inside of the buidling. The Beach Chalet was declared an officially designated city historical landmark (#179) on December 22, 1985. (Submitted on August 4, 2009.) 
 
Roald Amundsen Marker, Bauta, and The Beach Chalet Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 26, 2009
3. Roald Amundsen Marker, Bauta, and The Beach Chalet
The Beach Chalet opened in 1925 and was designed by noted architect Willis Polk. Today the Beach Chalet houses a restaurant and brewpub.
 

3. Roald Amundsen. Wikipedia.org's biography of Amundsen. (Submitted on August 4, 2009.) 

4. Gja. Wikipedia.org's history of the Gja, telling how the sloop, built in 1872, started out as a herring fishing vessel, then became an explorer's vessel, and then a neglected landmark. (Submitted on August 4, 2009.) 
 
The <i>Gjoa</i> and the North Dutch Windmill at Golden Gate Park Photo, Click for full size
4. The Gjoa and the North Dutch Windmill at Golden Gate Park
The front of the postcard reads:
Captain Amundsen's Arctic Exploring Ship "Gjoa"
First vessel to make the Northwest Passage
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California


Although the ship is now gone, the windmill, built in 1902, is still there.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 2, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,634 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 2, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   4. submitted on August 4, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
 
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