Early sections of San Francisco were built upon ships abandoned by prospectors during the California Gold Rush. Many were intentionally run aground to become bars and hotels. Now, hundreds of wooden ships lay beneath the city streets and a portion of their subway goes through the hull of one.
San Francisco’s Foundation is Built on Old Ships from the Mid-1800s
In 1994, construction workers in San Francisco’s financial district began digging to build a new light-rail tunnel beneath the city when they hit something. It was a massive ship named “the Rome.”
The ship was so large that the crew had to tunnel through the ship’s hull to construct the tunnel. Now, the J, K, L, M, N, and T trains all ride through the hull of this ship every day.
But why was there a ship buried beneath the city, and how did it get there? To understand that, we have to travel back in time nearly 200 years.
The origins of San Francisco’s ships
When the gold rush began in 1848, thousands of people sailed into California, hoping to strike it rich. The ships that sailed there were often just enough to get the cre… Continue Reading (2 minute read)