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

Humphrey the Humpback Whale

Humphrey the Humpback Whale Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 7, 2009
1. Humphrey the Humpback Whale Marker
Donated to:
Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce
City of Rio Vista
to remember the visit of
the Humpback Whale
Oct. 10, 1985 - Nov. 4, 1985

Humphrey the Humpback Whale,
a mighty whale was he
He swam into the Delta, to see what he could see
The people stood and stared, and the fish were scared
He was famous across the nation, until they ended his vacation

Richard Fonbuens, Age 12
Donated by: Silva's Memorial's
Vallejo-Antioch, Ca. Dedicated Jan. 31, 1986
John Silva, Proprietor
Erected 1986.
Location. 38° 9.295′ N, 121° 41.392′ W. Marker is in Rio Vista, California, in Solano County. Marker is on Main Street near North Front Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rio Vista CA 94571, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans of Foreign Wars (here, next to this marker); Pony Express River Steamer “New World” (within shouting distance of this marker); Hotel Del Rio and Casino (approx. 4.3 miles away); Isleton’s Historic Old Town
Humphrey the Humpback Whale and VFW Markers - Wide Shot image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 7, 2009
2. Humphrey the Humpback Whale and VFW Markers - Wide Shot
(approx. 4.4 miles away); Bing Kong Tong Society Building (approx. 4˝ miles away); 66 Main Street (approx. 4.7 miles away); Birds Landing - Benjamin's Store (approx. 10 miles away); The Hump (approx. 10.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rio Vista.
More about this marker. The marker is located outside of the Rio Vista City Hall, where Main Street dead ends at the Sacramento River.
Regarding Humphrey the Humpback Whale. In the fall of 1985 a male humpback whale, christened Humphrey, became the most famous whale since Moby Dick by errantly swimming into San Francisco Bay and up the Sacramento River as far as Rio Vista, thus providing endless fodder for television news. He eventually made his way back to the ocean with more than a little assistance from the US Army and various wildlife agencies. The City of Rio Vista has commemorated his visit with this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Humphrey the Whale. Wikipedia's article on Humphrey, detailing his trip up the Sacramento River. Includes pictures. (Submitted on March 19, 2009.) 

2. CBS News Report From May 16, 2007 Highlighting Humphrey the Humpback Whale
Humphrey's Journey image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 7, 2009
3. Humphrey's Journey
View of the Sacramento River looking north from Humphrey's marker site. In the distance is the Rio Vista bridge, a direct lift drawbridge constructed in 1944. The bridge marks the approximate northern boundary of Humphrey's journey.
. In 1985 Humphrey mysteriously entered San Francisco Bay and was followed closely on the evening news by all Bay Area television stations. Each evening the Bay area audience would tune in for the latest update on Humphrey's plight, until even more amazingly he swam up the Sacramento River into a freshwater habitat. Then national media coverage began and the whole country watched the ensuing chapter. (Submitted on March 27, 2009.) 
Categories. Animals
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 19, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 5,023 times since then and 72 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week May 10, 2009. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 19, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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