NPS Number: 07000306

The S.S. Pomona was built in 1888 by the San Francisco Union Iron Works as a three-decked, two-mast, propeller steam schooner. In 1894 the triple expansion engine was refurbished with a forced draught system which used less coal and made her go faster. In 1897 she was sold and reconditioned. The ship’s rear superstructure was shortened and a steam-driven electric generator was added. On March 8, 1908, while on route from San Francisco to Eureka, the S.S. Pomona struck a submerged pinnacle off Monterey Reef and was sunk approximately one mile south of Fort Ross. Today her stern is submerged in 17 to 40 feet of water. The steel hull and machinery are well preserved and have remained stable since sinking. Almost fifty percent of the vessel remains intact despite prior salvage operations. It was listed under Criterion A at the state level of significance in the areas of commerce and transportation; under Criterion C at the national level of significance in the areas of architecture and engineering; and under Criterion D at the national level of significance in the area of archeology. From 1888 to 1908 the S.S. Pomona served as a Pacific coastal merchant vessel engaged in transport of mail, passengers, and cargo to isolated areas from San Francisco to Vancouver, British Columbia. Designed and built by the San Francisco Union Iron Works, the S.S. Pomona, in its design and method of construction represented a major change from wooden hulled walking-beam compound steam vessels to the new and innovative steel hulled propeller propulsion system. The property represents an important and unique source of historical information. Comparisons of the steam propulsion system, including the triple expansion engine, drive train, boilers, and other associated components from the S.S. Pomona in California and other known vessels of this era may produce new insight into the evolution of marine technology in a regional and national context.

Registration Date: 1/31/2008

County: Sonoma

Fort Ross Cove, off Fort Ross Historic State Park

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