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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Aptos in Santa Cruz County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Seacliff SS Palo Alto 100 years

 
 
Seacliff SS Palo Alto 100 years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Frank Gunshow Sanchez, June 1, 2019
1. Seacliff SS Palo Alto 100 years Marker
Inscription.  Fearing the world might run out of steel, the United States commissioned tankers built of concrete during World War I (1914-1918). Launched in Oakland on May 29, 1919, the SS Palo Alto arrived too late to serve her intended purpose. She remained unused in San Francisco Bay until 1929, when the Seacliff Amusement Corporation bought her, intent of creating "a most unique amusement enterprise" on Monterey Bay.

The ship was towed to Seacliff Beach in 1930 and settled on the ocean floor. A pier was built for visitors to access the newly-built arcade, ballroom, restaurant and other facilities on the "Concrete Ship." The fun didn't last long, as financial strain and structural damage closed operations after only two seasons. Leaving a sunken, broken concrete ship just offshore from the newly-designated Seacliff State Beach.

The State of California purchased the ship for a $1 in 1936 and over the remainder of the 20th century, the "Cement Ship" became an icon. Generations of families fished off her sides and strolled her deck. At the dawn of the 21st century, the structure had thoroughly deteriorated and pedestrian access to the ship came

SS Palo Alto Concrete Ship image. Click for full size.
By Frank Gunshow Sanchez, June 1, 2019
2. SS Palo Alto Concrete Ship
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to an end. The SS Palo Alto will end her unusual voyage as habitat for the seabirds who roost on her deck and the intertidal animals who cling to her hull.

Dedicated June 1, 2019
El Viceroy Marqués de Branciforte, Chapter 1797, E. Clampus Vitus
California State Parks, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

 
Erected 2019 by E Clampus Vitus El Viceroy Marqués de Branciforte Chapter 1797 , California State Parks, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasWar, World IWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant day of the year for for this entry is May 31.
 
Location. 36° 58.349′ N, 121° 54.821′ W. Marker is in Aptos, California, in Santa Cruz County. Marker is on State Park Drive, on the left when traveling south. Marker is on the wall left of the main entrance of the Seacliff Visitor Center and Park Store. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: State Park Drive, Aptos CA 95003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. S.S. Palo Alto (here, next to this marker); Hotel Bayview (approx. 0.8 miles away); China Beach (approx. 1.4 miles away); Capitola’s Natural Riches (approx. 2 miles

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away); Camp Capitola Superintendent’s Office (approx. 2 miles away); Historic Lawn Way Cottages (approx. 2.1 miles away); Venetian Court (approx. 2.2 miles away); Charlotte (Charlie) Parkhurst (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aptos.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 3, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2019, by Frank Gunshow Sanchez of Hollister, California. This page has been viewed 153 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on June 3, 2019, by Frank Gunshow Sanchez of Hollister, California.   2. submitted on June 2, 2019, by Frank Gunshow Sanchez of Hollister, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 26, 2021