13 Ways to Celebrate “Brooklyn Day”
The Ship Brooklyn Saints’ 175th Anniversary
Rebecca Ellefsen, Bay Area Historian and Genealogist
The Ship Brooklyn Saints sailed into the bay on July 31st, 1846. This summer is a perfect time to celebrate our Bay Area pioneers. Take a walk back in time and discover the foundations of beautiful California. As you learn about the impact of the Brooklyn Saints in our area, consider the stories you cherish from your own family’s heritage.
1. Ship Brooklyn Plaque (120 Broadway San Francisco)
This is the spot where the Ship Brooklyn dropped anchor July 31st, 1846.
2. American Flag Declaration and First Schoolhouse (Portsmouth Square. Parking garage available at 733 Kearny Street, San Francisco).
Captain Montgomery seized Yerba Buena (San Francisco), and raised the American Flag on July 9th, 1846, just three weeks prior to the arrival of Ship Brooklyn. The First School marker is located on the south side of the Plaza.
3. Pony Express Plaques (on the Clay Street side of a high-rise at 601 Montgomery Street, San Francisco).
Several of the Brooklyn Saints rode for the Pony Express.
4. Wells Fargo Museum (420 Montgomery Street, San Francisco).
The Saints contributed to many forms of transportation and commerce. The Wells Fargo Museum is a fascinating look at this era.
5. Walrus Wall (350 California Street, San Francisco).
This site marks the waterfront of one of San Francisco’s coves. It was filled in near the time of the Gold Rush.
6. Ina Coolbrith Park (Vallejo and Taylor in San Francisco).
Coolbrith was an early Church pioneer who crossed the Sierras as a young girl. Her poems were widely published as the first Poet Laureate in the state of California. This park with spectacular views is a remembrance of where her home once stood.
7. Brannan Street Warf Park (South of Piers 30-32 on the Embarcadero, San Francisco).
Samuel Brannan was the leader of the Ship Brooklyn Saints. This is a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic and views of the bay.
8. Monument to the early Pioneers of San Francisco (Cypress Lawn Laurel Hill Mound, 1370 El Camino Real, Colma, California).
This remarkable monument stands as a remembrance of the early Bay Area pioneers. This is the final resting place for over 35,000 San Francisco settlers, including some Ship Brooklyn Saints.
9. Old Sacramento Riverfront Historic District (Sacramento, California).
The Saints helped to develop this area in the mid 1800s. Enjoy this Gold Rush era town with fun for the whole family.
10. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (310 Back Street, Coloma, California).
Ship Brooklyn, Mormon Battalion, and early Saints all played a part in this rich early California history. With an abundance of activities, it is a great place to explore throughout the year.
11. Ship Brooklyn Plaque (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Oakland California Temple, 4770 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, California. The plaque is on the Southwest end of the parking lot).
Take in the beautiful views of where the Ship Brooklyn came into the bay in 1846. Just below the plaque in the mid 1800s was the little town of Brooklyn. It was eventually annexed into Oakland in 1872.
Discover your own family stories at this fun website. Free and easy to navigate, this site offers the largest family history collection in the world. Create your own family tree. Website assistance is available.
13. Family History Library
Next to the Oakland Temple, the library provides hands-on assistance in finding your ancestors. Find and share meaningful stories about your own family. This library is a jewel of Bay Area history.
These are great opportunities to honor the Ship Brooklyn Saints that sailed from New York City to San Francisco. Their faith is truly an inspiration. These brave pioneers contributed substantially to the development of the Bay Area, which will last long after this year’s 175th celebration of their voyage and arrival.
More About the Ship Brooklyn
Part 1: The Brooklyn Voyage: Saints of Service and Sacrifice
Part 2: Brooklyn Voyage, on the Lord’s Errand
Part 3: Brooklyn Saints Legacy
For Brooklyn celebrations, check with Templehill.org for updated information.