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Steamer Rosalie c. 1893
[original in SCIF archives]

Rosalie (#) (1893-1918), 136-foot steamship built at Alameda, California for ferry service. Newspaper accounts from the year of her launching indicate she was to be used for service to Santa Catalina Island, but later accounts indicate that service was sort lived. She spent much of her career in Puget Sound and briefly ran on the Alaska route between 1897 and 1900. By 1918, Rosalie had been taken out of service and was laid up in the West Waterway in Seattle. On June 22, 1918 the vessel was destroyed by fire.

In the News~

April 1, 1893 [LAH]: “Capt. Al Hayward of the yacht San Diego, says the San Diego Union, who returned this week from San Pedro and Catalina, says the fine excursion steamer Rosalie, lately finished in San Francisco, was built for the Los Angeles Terminal railroad, and will be used in connection with the railway in transferring passengers to Catalina Island. The yacht San Diego has been engaged in this business, as well as the steamer Falcon. The business is increasing and demands a larger vessel. Last season over 5000 visitors were entertained at Avalon, on the island, and this season is expected to show a large increase. The mysterious steamer Rosalie was built and floated without its proposed use becoming public. She was reported to be designed for passenger traffic between this port and San Pedro, in connection with the Santa Fe Company, and another use is found for her as an excursion ferry in San Francisco bay. She is built without regard to cost, in the most elegant and substantial manner, with day accommodations for several hundred passengers. Her plans do not admit of carrying passengers on an extended journey, but as a ferry or excursion boat she is the finest on the coast.”

May 19, 1893 [SBMP]: “The steamer Rosalie from San Francisco, en route to San Pedro, reached this port at 12 o’clock yesterday noon. The steamer is a new pleasure boat and will run between San Pedro and Santa Catalina Island. She carries a crew of eleven men, commanded by Captain S[amuel] Bonifield. The trip from San Francisco to this port, 280 miles, was made in 28 hours, which is the lowest rate of speed at which the boat runs. The boat was built at a cost of $70,000 and is splendidly equipped and furnished. She will probably carry from 350 to 400 passengers.”

May 21, 1893 [LAT]: “The excursion steamer, Rosalie, stopped at this port yesterday. She has just been built to run between San Pedro and Santa Catalina Island, the painters being still at work on the interior. She is finished inside in sycamore and is licensed to carry 400 passengers in the bay and 350 in deep water. The vessel is fitted up with electrical lights, elegant upholstering and many conveniences, and cost $70,000. Captain Bonifield and crew of eleven men made the trip from San Francisco to this port in twenty-eight hours under a low head of steam, this being at the rate of about twelve knots and hour.”

May 26, 1923 [LAH]: “The steamer Rosalie, Captain Bonifield, reached Redondo port from San Pedro at 4 o'clock P.M. today, landing a big crowd of passengers, which proved to be the members of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade and invited guests. After enjoying a look around Redondo Beach for a short time the large party got on board the special train awaiting them on the Redondo railway and were soon spinning away for Los Angels on that line.”

March 29, 1911 [SFCall]: “Obituary. Bonifield—On steamer J.B. Stetson, March 25, 1911, Captain Samuel Bonifield, beloved husband of Frances L. Bonifield, and father of Herbert and William E. C. Bonifield, a native of Zanesville, Ohio, aged 61. Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend the funeral today (Wednesday) at 2 o'clock P.M. from the Albert Pike Memorial Temple, 1859 Geary Street, under the auspices of California commandery No. 1. K. T. Interment at Cypress Lawn Cemetery, by automobile.”