Eureka (No. 5174)

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Eureka (No. 5174) (1864-1898), a 168-foot schooner-rigged passenger freighter built in Mystic, Connecticut as the Little California. She came to the west coast in 1866, and for several years made runs to Alaska. According to Santa Cruz Island Company records, Eureka carried cargo for the Santa Cruz Island Company for a decade from 1889 through 1897. In 1891 she was acquired by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company. Eureka was scrapped in San Francisco in 1898, and the Santa Rosa replaced her as a passenger vessel.

In the News~

April 6, 1884 [SBI]: “A review of Santa Barbara shipping... At present, besides the Queen of the Pacific now running regularly the Ancon, Eureka, and Los Angeles and every week an additional freight steamer leaves San Francisco for the southern coast and for special loads when freight accumulates the Bonita, the Newport and another small steamer calls when required. The regular steamers stop at nine ports…”

April 30, 1886 [SBDP]: “The Eureka day before yesterday steamed over to Santa Cruz Island with Superintendent Caire and a party of fifteen from San Francisco, who will spend the summer on the island.”

August 19, 1886 [SBDP]: “J. B. Joyaux of Santa Barbara was in Ventura yesterday. He returned home on the Eureka last evening.”

December 4, 1888 [SBMP]: “The family of Justinian Caire left Santa Cruz Island Sunday morning on the steamer Eureka for San Francisco.”

May 23, 1890 [SBDI]: “Yesterday afternoon two fine seals were shipped by steamer Eureka. They go to San Francisco and from that point to New York City. These seals were of large size, one weighed 560 pounds and the other 450 pounds. They were caught at Chinese Harbor, Santa Cruz Island. There were seven caught, but only two lived to get to our wharf.”

July 7, 1890 [SBDI]: “Our citizens are doing nobly in arranging for the reception of the Editorial Association… Mr. Justinian Caire, the president of the Santa Cruz Island Company, in his reply to our application for leave to land upon the Company’s wharf, says: ‘The authorization asked in your favor of the 3rd is cordially granted. You will consider yourselves at home on Santa Cruz Island.’…”

July 9, 1890 [SBDI]: “About eight people went on the excursion to the islands today on the steamer Eureka, besides the steamer’s regular passengers.”

July 12, 1890 [SBDI]: “…The excursion to Santa Cruz Island was an unqualified success…”

July 13, 1890 [LAT]: “On Wednesday many of the visitors… numbering about eighty, went on an excursion on the steamship Eureka to Santa Cruz Island, en expedition which, however, was not altogether enjoyed.”

July 16, 1890 [SBDI]: “…Wednesday some of the party took a ride upon the Eureka which made a trip to Santa Cruz Island…”

July 23, 1890 [SBDP]: “Santa Cruz Island… The Eureka, a staunch built steamship had been chartered for the occasion… About one hundred editors, their wives and daughters, besides a few citizens of Santa Barbara boarded the ship… Santa Cruz Island is ten miles wide by twenty-two miles long… upon which about 80,000 sheep feed, the property of Mr. Justinian Caire of San Francisco…”

July 23, 1890 [SBDI]: “Santa Cruz Island… Among the many pleasurable incidents in store for the editors at the semi-annual session of the Editorial Convention of Southern California was a visit to Santa Cruz Island… The Eureka… had been chartered for the occasion…”

November 19, 1891 [SBMP]: “The steamer Eureka made a trip over to Santa Cruz Island yesterday after leaving this port on her way south.”

March 29, 1892 [SBDI]: “Captain Larco shipped a large lot of crawfish to San Francisco north yesterday on the Eureka.”

May 1, 1892 [SBMP]: “A few live seals captured recently at the islands were shipped yesterday on the steamer Eureka to San Francisco.”

June 15, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Ruby, in charge of Captain Stevens, came in from the islands Monday evening bringing eight live seals in boxes. Three of them are very large, one especially so. It is thought by those who assisted in his capture that he will weigh 900 pounds and is the largest one ever shipped from here. They were shipped north to San Francisco yesterday on the steamer Eureka. Five of the number are for the park and the other three go inland.”

October 1, 1892 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa has returned from Santa Cruz [Island] with two seals. They were shipped to San Francisco last night on the Eureka.”

July 31, 1894 [SBDI]: “Two anchors arrived on the steamer Eureka from San Francisco last night for the schooner San Mateo, and today she sailed for San Miguel Island to bring over the seal hunting party whom she was compelled to abandon during the storm.”

January 30, 1898 [LAT]: “The Hueneme correspondent of the Ventura Free Press says: ‘The old steamer Eureka of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, which has plied up and down this coast for the past fifteen years, has been withdrawn, and will be abandoned on account of age. Eureka is an ancient craft, and one with an interesting career of more than thirty years. She was built at Mystic River, CT, in 1864, and christened California… She is now succeeded by the Bonita.”