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Things to do in Vallejo

    USS Iowa USS Iowa Vallejo, California
    USS Iowa (BB-61), was nicknamed the Big Stick and was the lead ship of her class of battleships and the fourth such ship to be named after the state of Iowa. Since the Montana-class battleships were cancelled, the Iowa would become the last lead ship of any class of battleships, and the only one that served during WWII in the Atlantic. In WWII, she would serve as the presidential shuttle in the Atlantic fleet, taking President Roosevelt back and forth to the Tehran conference. She was transferred to the Pacific fleet in 1944 and shelled beachheads at Eniwetok and Kwajalein in preparation of the Allied landings as well as screening the numerous aircraft carriers that were joined to the group. In the Korean War, she was part of the raids on North Korean coasts, and then the Iowa was decommissioned into the US Navy reserve fleet, which was known as the mothball fleet. In 1984, she would be reactivated to be part of the 600 ship Navy plan under President Reagan, who believed that a large armed force of naval, air and ground forces would be enough to deter any other power on the earth to attempt attacking us; as well as producing 17,000 nuclear warheads. In 1989, there was an explosion that wrecked her number 2 gun turret, which killed 47 sailors, although no one has ever been able to determine the origin or reason. In 1990, the Iowa was again decommissioned and then struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1995; but just four years later, in 1999, she would be taken out of mothballs and reinstated until 2006 to comply with the federal laws that stated the navy had to have two Iowa-class battleships afloat. The mighty battleship is sitting proudly at dock in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, near San Francisco, waiting to be taken to the Naval Shipyard Mare Island, Vallejo, California to become a museum vessel. Her main battery had nine 16 inch 50 caliber Mark 7 naval guns that were capable of firing a 2700 pound armor-piercing shell almost 24 miles; with a second battery of twenty 5 inch 38 caliber guns in twin turrets that could fire 14 miles away. After the improvements in aircraft, and the necessity to keep air superiority, as well as protect the aircraft carriers, the Iowa would be retrofitted with a number of Oerlikon 20 mm and Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns. In 1943, she put out to sea for a shakedown cruise in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic areas, and then went to Argentia, Newfoundland to counter the threat of the German battleship Tirpitz that had been reported in the Norwegian waters. In October of 1943, she arrived in Norfolk for two weeks of maintenance and then carried President Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and other high ranking brass to Casablanca, French Morocco to start the first leg of the trip to the Tehran conference. That trip had a rather bizarre and unusual event occur, and should be a great read for those of you who enjoy history, the navy and ships in general. In fact, the rest of the Iowa's career is an exciting and memorable one, which is why the ship is still floating and not sunk as a faux reef or scrapped for the tons of metal she has. It would be a very interesting adventure to visit this monstrous ship that carried almost as many men as an aircraft carrier did, walking on the beautiful teak decks, all 46,000 square feet of it, or even check out the enormous gallery that would have to feed 3,000 sailors a day. You will certainly enjoy visiting the Iowa, as well as seeing the cabin that President Roosevelt had, with the only bathtub that has ever been installed on a ship before. Most sailors will tell you that when you are out at sea, to conserve fresh water, you would use salt water to wash with in the shower, so it would be something to question as to whether the President had to use salt or fresh water. There are a number of memorabilia in the suite, and the web site telling something about the new birth at Mare Island had a picture of the tub, with a battleship floating in it, like the kind you might have had as a child, as well as a book on the corner's edge and a big bright yellow rubber ducky. Evidently, the President had a great sense of humor. Check out the Iowa, because you are certain to be amazed.

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    McCune Rare Book & Art CollectionMcCune Rare Book & Art Collection Vallejo, California
    The McCune Collection is located in the JFK library in Vallejo, California and contains an outstanding collection of rare and unusual books, binding tools and printing equipment that was left to the city by Dr. Donovan J. McCune. The most significant parts of the collection are found in; Latin and Greek texts that include the incunabula, Californiana and fine printing and binding, as well as fabulous prints and photographs. Incunabula, which is Latin plural, identifies literary products that were printed before 1501, and comes from the Latin "cunae" for cradle or infancy, in other words before the real production of books began, although the Mainz Bible or more familiarly known as the Gutenberg Bible was printed using moveable type in 1450 to 1455 in Mainz, Germany. The McCune collection contains the following categories; art prints and photos, rare books, Albion printing press, books about books, i.e.. printing, binding, and so on, book club of California, Latin books, private printers and Californiana.  The unique stature of the McCune collection, what puts it miles apart from any other rare book collection is that you can't, mustn't, ever touch the book, the pages, or anything, since most of the time they are neatly tucked under some foot thick glass panel that doesn't do much more than let you peruse what's in front of you. But not the McCune, here you are encourage to touch, feel, smell and read any page, book, manuscript or other materials that you might want to. Imagine holding a page of an original 15th century French illuminated manuscript or the original leaves from early Chaucer books from the 1550s or Shakespeare's plays from the 1620s. Just imagine the thrill of holding and touching pages and books made of handmade paper, hand drawn illustrations from more than 500 years ago and a myriad of rare books that were created at the beginning of the printed age. Feel the unique texture of paper, vellum or other types of pages, printed long before this country was discovered or began. It is a marvelous opportunity for everyone that has ever wanted to see, to feel what these antiquities actually felt like. Listen and learn about some of the amazing stories how these magnificent books came to be here, available for your touch, smell and sense of wonder, they even have a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, although it isn't mentioned as to whether this incredible piece of history can be held, but just to look over the page and the way that the page came to be in the hands of one Donovan McCune. Learn about the story that Gabriel Wells told, in 1921, almost a century ago, when he was able to get a damaged copy of the Gutenberg Bible and since it couldn't be sold as a book, took the remaining pages and put them in a leather portfolio with a bibliographical essay written by A. Edward Newton, and were then sold for $150 to $500 a piece in the 1920s! His story is inspiring and encourages visitors to go to Vallejo, California just to visit the library and enjoy the wonders of this unbelievable collection; and it is all for free. Yes, free, free to get in, free to touch, feel, smell and visualize the history, the amazing cultural history of these great books, so rare that you might not ever have another chance to feel the textures, touch the bindings and smell the old centuries of time in such a spectacular medium. What a trip that would be. 

     Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum Vallejo, CaliforniaThe Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum has collected and is sharing the unique history of Vallejo, California and the United States Navy at Mare Island by presenting displays and programs to explore and celebrate the amazing cultural traditions of this community. The museum is actually located in the historic city hall and showcases five galleries that are dedicated to the community and US naval history. It also sponsors many cultural and educational programs that include concerts, lectures, audio/visual presentations, group tours and recitals in their Heritage Chamber, as well as other special events that will educate and encourage the community. Spaced out in more than 25,000 square feet, the exhibits include parts of the permanent collection, traveling exhibitions, local private collections and borrowed relics from the massive collection at Mare Island; with even a working periscope that has been installed through the roof of the museum and offers one of the most exciting and beautiful views of the city. One of their current exhibitions is called An Enduring Legacy: History of the North Bay African American Community from 1850 to 1950. It is a marvelous place to visit and learn more about this city, although not as well known as many others by the rest of the country, Vallejo is certainly full of history and historical events. You can learn all about it and the naval yard that helped build the ships that were so important to WWI and WW II as well as a great amount of the region that sit above San Francisco, and also is located on a bay.

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Local Restaurants in Vallejo

    Front Room at the Wharf
    Appetizers; shrimp cocktail, fried calamari, French fried zucchini, prawn cocktail, antipasto, prawn Dijonnaise, marinated artichoke hearts, crab cake with aioli sauce, mussels garlic butter, Chevy Chase with avocado. Salads; served with breadsticks; avocado with stuffed shrimp over bed of lettuce & more; shrimp Louis is baby shrimp piled high atop combo salad with choice of dressing; tomato stuffed shrimp; chef's special salad bowl is combo of crispy greens, tomatoes, olives, topped with julienne of smoke ham, turkey & tangy cheese choice of dressing; turkey salad is creamy blend of chopped turkey & onion surrounded by combo salad.  Entrees include soup or salad, bread sticks & ice cream; seafood combo, chipino, prawn provencale, prawn Dijon with lemon butter & Dijon mustard sauce; trout meniere, trout almandine; pepper steak with fresh peppercorns, brandy & cream sauce; NY steak, teriyaki steak marinated in house special teriyaki sauce; sirloin tips sautéed with mushrooms & onions, creamy sauce; ground round steak is half pound beef char-broiled with spaghetti & sautéed mushrooms; surf & turf is NY steak cooked to order & seafood combo.

    Havana Sol
    Entrees; ropa Vieja is shredded beef with onions & peppers, black beans & rice, sweet plantains; costilla de res is beef short ribs, braised in coffee & Caribbean hard spices, collard greens, mashed sweet potatoes; churrasco estilo Cubano is grilled NY steak, with chimichurri sauce, papas fritas, grilled asparagus; rabo de buey is oxtails braised in smoky tomato adobo sauce, with yuca & carrots, white rice; pollito asado is grilled breast of chicken, pure cane chili glaze, black beans & rice, sautéed collard greens; lamp chops espadas is orange-mint glaze, purple mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus; Havana Sol sampler is costillas Cuban spare ribs, Havana wings, mariquitas, papas rellenas; grilled prawns with lemon saffron sauce, purple mashed potatoes, broccolini, baby carrots; paella Valenciana is prawns, mussels, clams, scallop, Spanish chorizo, calamari, chicken, green peas in saffron rice; fish of the day; mariscos enchilados is prawns, fresh fish, mussels, clams, Spanish chorizo, in smoky seafood broth with white rice; costillas Cubanas is St. Louis cut pork back ribs with pineapple citrus rum glaze, black beans & rice, sweet plantains, citrus slaw; chuleto de cerdo is French cut pork chop, orange guava mint mojo, mashed sweet potatoes, broccolini; portabella mushroom Napoleon is red pepper citrus sauce, melted boursin cheese, sweet plantains, grilled asparagus.


Shrimp Louis Front Room at the Wharf Vallejo, California


 Paella Valenciana Havana Sol Vallejo, California


Churrasco estilo Cubano Havana Sol Vallejo, California

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    Mare Island Naval Shipyard Mare Island Naval Shipyard Vallejo, California
    The Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINS) became the first United States Navy shipyard on the Pacific coast, located some 25 miles northeast of San Francisco, in Vallejo, California. Here the Napa River runs through the Mare Island Strait and thus divides the peninsula shipyard, called Mare Island, from the main part of the California coastline that holds Vallejo. The shipyard became quite well known as the main US West Coast submarine port and the biggest and most significant shipbuilding yard in the region during WWII. It was closed in 1996, due to cutbacks in the defense budget, and has been involved in numerous redevelopment changes. There are 52 structures located there that have been named a National Historic Landmark District in 1975. Back in 1853, the Navy bought 956 acres and started constructing shipbuilding operations in 1854, under the command of Commander David Farragut, the same man that would become famous during the Civil War battle of Mobile Bay, when he was heard to say, "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" During the late 1800s, the island would become an important Pacific Ocean repair station, taking care of American, Russian and Japanese vessels. In 1901, the shipyard, known now as the Union Iron Works, would be contracted out to John Philip Holland's, Holland Torpedo Boat Company, to construct two Adder-class submarines, which would later become A-class. These two subs were called the USS Grampus I A-3 and USS Pike I A-5 and became the first two US submarines to be constructed on the west coast. The shipyard would also help with the civil defense and emergency response efforts that occurred on the west coast, one time sending warships to the Pacific northwest to settle Native American uprisings. It also sent ships to Central America and the Panama Canal to protect American political and commercial interests; as well as helping supply munitions and logistics for the Spanish-American War. They also sent ships, men and material to help with the aftermath of the great earthquake of San Francisco in 1906, with numerous arctic missions as well. The base would become involved in ordnance manufacturing and storage almost its entire history, that also included ordnance from before the Civil War.  On January 1, 1918, the Marine detachment at the base played against the US army in the Rose Bowl, beating them 19-7, and then again the next year, but this time they played against a Great Lake Naval Station team that included future football greats Jimmy Conzelman, George Halas and Paddy Driscoll and the marines lost 17-0. In WWII, the island peaked on its capacity and ability to build ships, repair them, maintain a plethora of ships and overhaul others. During this period, the island had 50,000 workers employed here, with Royal Navy cruisers and destroyers coming in for repairs or overhauls and four Soviet navy subs for service. It was one of the main bases for the construction and maintenance of the navy's Pacific fleet of submarines, building 17 of them and 4 sub tenders by the time it was done; as well as building at least 89 sea going vessels. In 1911 they built the USS Jupiter that would later be converted to the first United State Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Langley. One noteworthy mention is that the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear powered submarine in the navy, was decommissioned at Mare Island in 1980 and going back over her records, it was noticed that the Nautilus history didn't mention the time that the USS Essex, CVS-9 from Quonset Point, Rhode Island ran over her stack in 1966, forcing both vessels to head back to their respective shipyards for repairs and the loss of both captains. 

    Mare Island
    Mare Island Vallejo, California
    Mare Island is really a peninsula on the west coast, alongside the city of Vallejo, California and northeast of San Francisco. The Napa River is its eastern boundary as it enters the Carquinez Strait juncture that is located on the east side of San Pablo Bay. It is a peninsula because there aren't any full bodies of water that surrounds or separates it from the mainland, with numerous other islands included with it. There are a number of small sloughs that create seasonal water flows around the islands, but Mare is the biggest at 3.5 miles long and a mile wide. Thanks to the Napa River flow, where it widens, there is a natural harbor formed between the island and the mainland that is perfect for shipping of all types and kinds. Perez Ayala, a Spanish explorer would become the first European to land there in 1775, and it was part of Rancho Suscol that was deeded to General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo in 1844. It was then named Isla de la Plana by Ayala and soon would become a waypoint for the early settlers. During a terrible storm in 1835, a crude ferry of sorts was taking men and livestock through the Carquinez Strait, when it capsized and fear of the loss of the General's favorite horse, his prized white mare was paramount. A few days later, however, the mare was discovered on the island after swimming ashore, and at that point, Vallejo renamed the island to Mare Island in her honor. In 1850, Commodore John Drake Sloat was commanded to lead a survey party along the coast to find a good spot for the nation's first Pacific naval installation, so upon finding the island such a great place, he recommended it since it was free from ocean gales, floods and freshets. In November of that same year, just two months after the territory had become a state, President Fillmore ordered the island be saved for government use. The navy department took Sloat's advice and purchased the island for almost $84,000 to become a naval shipyard, and within two years, the island became the first west coast naval station having Commodore David Farragut become the island's first commander.

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    Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of AnthropologyPhoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology Vallejo, California
     The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology was called the Lowie Museum of Anthropology before it was moved to Berkeley, California and started in 1901 with the patronage of Phoebe Apperson Hearst, with the idea of creating a museum to support the systematic collection of ethnologists and archaeologists for the department of anthropology at the University of California. It was located in San Francisco at first from 1903 until 1931, opening to the public as a museum in 1911; and then moved to the University of California at Berkeley. At the Berkeley campus, the museum was housed in the old civil engineering building until 1959 and then moved to the newly constructed Kroeber Hall. It has become the research unit of the college to collect, preserve, interpret and research the world record of material culture, striving to understand the history and diversity of mankind. Numerous famous people in American anthropology have come to be associated with the school in one capacity or another and include their first director, Frederic Ward Putnam, anthropologists William Bascom, Alfred Kroeber and Robert Lowie, as well as archaeologists George Reisner and Max Uhle. It was here that Ishi, the famous last member of the Yani tribe lived from 1911 until he passed on in 1916. The museum contains about 3.8 million items as well as extensive documentation that contains photographs, fieldnotes, sound and film recordings. The main collections include; about 9000 California Indian baskets, which represent just about every tribe in the state and every basketry technique; a broad collection of 20,000 Egyptian relics, with a significant amount about predynastic Egypt; a huge Peruvian collection with the majority in pottery and textiles; 16,000 African relics and a significant collection of Oceanic items that include collections from the Trobriand Islands.

    Lindsay Wildlife Museum
    Lindsay Wildlife Museum Walnut Creek, California
    The Lindsay Wildlife Museum is one of the oldest wildlife rehab centers in the nation, located near Walnut Creek, California and is one of the most popular family museum in the San Francisco East Bay area. It is a very unusual natural history and environmental education center that houses wild animals that are so close you could reach out and touch them. Here you can listen to the cries of a red tailed hawk and get up close and personal with a gray fox, even watch a American bald eagle eat his lunch. There are more than 50 live, non-releasable, native California animals being displayed in all their natural magnificence. The museum started in Walnut Creek in 1955, in hopes of connecting people with the wildlife around them to help inspire responsibility and respect for the vast wilderness that we share. There are numerous hands-on areas for children with a pet education area for small domestic animals, as well as changing natural history and art exhibits. Their on-site wildlife rehabilitation center takes care of almost 6000 orphaned or injured wild animals every year with tens of thousands of children coming here to learn more about their environment with outreach programs to their classrooms and tours of the museum. Both science and nature oriented trips and classes are held for adults and children with over 600 volunteers coming here to help feed and care for these wild creatures, support the museum's missions and teach children and adults about the wonderful world of nature. The museum was started by Alexander Lindsay in 1955 as the Diablo Junior Museum, but became the Alexander Lindsay Junior Museum in 1962 after he passed on at the young age of 44. It would be moved in 1965 to a water-pump house in Larkey Park in Walnut Creek, and in 1970 started their first formal wildlife rehabilitation program, and the first in the country. By 1986, the city had to give up the museum which then became a nonprofit independent operation. The following year, the junior would be dropped from the official name and making it just the Lindsay Museum. It moved again in 1993 to a newly constructed 28,000 square foot building by the old pump house and changed its name to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum to be more specific.

Thrifty Car Rental Vallejo

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Oakland Apt. Thrifty Rental Cars - 7600 Earhart Rd.

    Grizzly Island Wildlife AreaGrizzly Island Wildlife Area Solano County, California
    The Grizzly Island Wildlife Area sits serenely inside the Suisun Marsh that contains 84,000 acres of land and is the biggest contiguous esturine marsh in the United States, with the wildlife area sitting on about 15,300 acres of prime wildlife habitat. The Grizzly Island area is found in a complex patchwork of about 10 distinct land areas, some not connected and others on private land. You will discover a variety of recreation possibilities and the area is a great buffer to stop the encroaching development that wants to eat up as much of the marshland as possible. There are natural tidal wetlands and artificially diked marshes with each area of habitat attracting a different type of wildlife. You can wander around the bay with marvelous views or walk along the graveled foot trails at Peytonia Slough, all while the tides ebb and flow, changing the complexities of the marsh with animals like the California clapper rail and the Suisun shrew. Fish and Game managers take care of the many waterways and pumps that make up the 8500 acres of seasonal ponds, filled with plants like the alkali bulrush or fat-hen with enough nutrients to feed the majority of wildlife here and the birds that migrate here; with more than 100,000 waterfowl coming to nest or rest here during the year. The unique blend of wildlife and marsh scenery has been encouraging nature lovers, bird watchers, fishermen, hunters and others to visit here for whatever their reasons are for many decades with boats and canoes making easy travel through the sloughs. Up to 75 miles of roads are here with trails, and there a number of self-guided hiking tours in the planning stages. One of the most natural places for tule elk is here, that was reintroduced in 1977 and they have multiplied like rabbits, with many hundred of them being shipped off to other parts of the country to start new herds. In fact, many parts of the wildlife area are now closed down for the annual elk hunt so that these creatures don't over run the area. Some other rare or threatened and endangered species include; Suisun aster, salt marsh harvest mouse, soft-haired birds beak, peregrine falcon, California black rail, bald eagle and the California clapper rail.

    Museum of Paleontology
    Museum of Paleontology Berkeley, CaliforniaThe University of California Museum of Paleontology can be found on the campus of the college in Berkeley, California, inside the Valley Life Sciences Building (VLSB) that was designed by Arthur Brown, Jr. and opened in 1921. Even though it is located on the campus of the large university, it is the main repository for the fossils found throughout the state, since the original fossils that were discovered by the California Geological Survey from 1860 to 1867 and has become the nucleus of the splendid collection it has grown into. The museum was one of the first in the nation that had its own web site in the early 1990s since it was located within a technology-oriented university with good internet connection and skillful people. It has been nominated for a Webby Award five times, and got a medal from the Smithsonian Institute, as well as having a cameo shot in the movie, Deep Impact, but under another name.  The museum is constantly being active in the national and international research for fossils and has the country's biggest collections of fossils and houses a state-of-the-art facility to study these ancient relics. Their collections are divided into categories named; archived/supplementary data, microfossil holdings, historical archives, invertebrate holdings, paleobotany holdings and vertebrate holdings.

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    San Pablo Bay National Wildlife RefugeSan Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge Vallejo, California
    The San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge contains 13,190 acres of pristine marshland in Vallejo, California that was started in 1970 and runs along the north shore of the San Pablo Bay area and contains the biggest remaining continuous patch of pickleweed-dominated tidal marsh in the northern area of the state. In the past, the wetlands that encompassed San Pablo Bay were one of the biggest tidal marsh regions on the Pacific coast, but then progress reared its ugly head and salt production, draining, diking, hydraulic mining, agriculture, filling and development slowly changed so that today, almost 85% of the tidal marshland has been changed, altered or destroyed. There are numerous types of habitats in the refuge that include managed wetlands, mud flats, seasonal wetlands, open water and tidal marsh. The site is host to millions of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl that includes the biggest wintering population of canvasbacks, and has given a year-round habitat for some of the sensitive species like the endangered California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse. The refuge is something of a historical picture of what the San Francisco Bay region looked like before it become inhabited and over developed, which is exactly why this refuge and many others like it have to been committed to conservation and preservation; before it is too late and gone forever. There are 11 species of fish that must swim through the marsh to get to their fresh water spawning grounds, otherwise, there will be another group of species that has been endangered or made extinct by the ravages of developments and progress. It is a place of quiet solitude surrounded by a wilderness of houses, businesses and companies, thriving, ebbing and flowing like the tides of the ocean; but still there and still vibrantly alive with many types of wildlife and just one of the many reasons we need to be more considerate of what we are doing to not just the landscape, but to the creatures that live there day in and day out; never troubling or bothering us, unless we try to destroy their habitat.

    Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front Nation
    Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park Richmond, California
    Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park can be found in Richmond, California near Vallejo and includes a number of historic places that were built in the 1940s to support our country entrance into WWII. It opened in 2007, although the ideas and plans began in 2000 and has been in the development stages ever since, which has put some limits on the amount of visitor services that are available versus what will be. There is a marvelous self-guided auto tour that you can enjoy or just walk along at your own pace, with bus tours starting in 2007 and is a guideless type. There is a Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Marina Park that can be visited any time of the year, from the early morning until night drops, as are the majority of parks in other parts of the city that are managed by the National Park Service. The park was initiated by the building of a Rosie the Riveter memorial in the shoreline park to give honor to the many Rosies women that had been the majority of the workforce at the shipyards. The Richmond shipyards, four of them, had 27 shipways, and were able to make 747 ships during its operation, which was more than any other shipyard in the nation. The city is also home to 56 various war industries, which is also more than any city in the country; and caused the city to grow from 24,000 people to 100,000 almost overnight. It was such a large influx at the same time that the school systems, businesses, housing, roads and community services were quite overwhelmed. The initiative behind the memorial was begun by Councilwoman Donna Powers and continued to grow under the direction of Project director Donna Graves and it would become the first national memorial to the home front American women. The memorial itself is located in the Marina Bay Park that had been the former site of Kaiser Richmond Shipyard #2 and is as long as a Liberty ship with the shape of that ship being constructed. The metal pier represents the stern as it sits by the water's edge, with a cylinder frame acting as the smoke stack and the bow is built with prefabricated parts that is very much like the ones constructed by the yard's workers. There is a wonderful timeline of the war put along the walk that flows along the length of the memorial, with excellent interpretive panels placed inside the structure to give information about the women's history, the home front and the labor history. The Ford Motor company assembly plant at Richmond was the biggest assembly plant on the west coast, and put together about 49,000 jeeps and 91,000 other military vehicles. The company had thousands of workers there during the war, with many women coming into the workforce for the first time; with Rosie the Riveter becoming a period song that represented these hard working determined women. The shipyards in Richmond belonged to the Kaiser Shipyards, and their building of the 747 ships in the war is one feat that has never been equaled in the world, before or since. Liberty and Victory ships were built here and finished in two thirds the normal time, and at a quarter of the cost of the average of all other shipyards. The SS Robert E. Peary was built in less than five days, which had been part of a contest among the shipyards, and by 1944, it would take a bit over two weeks to put together one of these Liberty ships using the regular methods. Another outstanding example of their magnificent work, the SS Red Oak Victory was one of the 414 Victory ships that were built at the Richmond yards, and one of the few that was transferred from the merchant marine to the navy to carry cargo and munitions to the ships of the fleet, without one casualty. Housing projects were built in a hurry which provided another venue for workers, as was the Kaiser Richmond Field Hospital, the Maritime and Ruth Powers Child Development Centers and more that brought these thousands here to help with the war effort. Many of the permanent houses, the hospital and more is still there today and quite visible for tours and present such an interesting attraction that it would take some time to visit and learn about each one.

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May 13, 2011