National Park Service
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park View south across the Aquatic Park Lagoon. Hyde Street Pier is on the left, the bathhouse/museum on the right, and the San Francisco skyline is in the background.
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EPPLETON HALL

Eppleton Hall at Hyde Street Pier.

STATS
Length100.5 feet
Breadth21.1 feet
Depth10.8 feet
Gross tons166
Net tons27 feet

Eppleton Hall was built in 1914 (the year this photo was taken) by the Hepple and Company of South Shields, England, for the Lambton and Hetton Collieries, Ltd. The vessel, named after the Lambton family's ancestral home, was designed to tow ocean-going colliers (coal-carrying vessels) to and from the port of Newcastle on the River Tyne. Coal was a booming business, and days of transit time were saved by towing the sailing vessels upriver to load. The vessel was also used to tow newly-built ships out to sea.

Eppleton Hall, a steam sidewheeler with side-lever engines, is the only remaining intact example of a Tyne paddle tug. A direct descendent of the first craft to go into commercial service as harbor tugs, the vessel was engaged on the Wear and Tyne rivers of northeast England from 1914-1967. In 1946, she was purchased by France Fenwick, Wear and Tyne Ltd., which operated her in the Wear River until 1964 (she is being restored to this period today). In 1952, the tug was modified slightly to obtain a Passenger Certificate, so that she could transport officials from newly-launched steamers (after the boats had completed their sea trials). Her last commerial owner was the Seaham Harbour Dock Board, which operated her from 1964 to 1967.

She was sold for scrap in 1967 (as this photo illustrates) and, while sitting on a mud bank, fire (part of the scrapping process) destroyed her wooden afterdeck and interior. From 1969-1979 Eppleton Hall served as a private yacht, during which time she was modified for an epic steam (via the Panama Canal) to San Francisco, passing through the Golden Gate in March of 1970 (when this photo was snapped).

The vessel was donated to the National Park Service in 1979. She is now berthed at Hyde Street Pier.


New-to-the-park image of Eppleton Hall from Sunderland, England.

A new museum group in Sunderland, England (where the Eppleton Hall was built) is trying to preserve the 1864 City of Adelaide (the worlds oldest clipper ship) -- and they are also interested in other surviving ships and boats with connections to their port. After hearing about their plans, the park inquired if the group might have any information about the park's own Eppleton Hall. The new-to-us photo above is the result! Click on the image for a larger view.

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