National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco
ALMA was built by F. Seimer, a local shipwright, for James Peterson in 1891 and was named for Peterson's daughter.
These flat-bottomed, centerboard schooners were popular carriers of most anything produced by man or nature. Major cargo was hay and grain, though the vessels were frequently used for other purposes.
The crews usually consisted of one or two people; the master or owner and a hired crewman. These men did all the loading and discharging of cargo. They kedged, sailed and poled their way into every backwater, tideflat, and creek on the bay, lying on the mudflats at low tide; traversing the bay fringe when the tide was in.
Schooners of this type averaged 60 to 70 feet in length and were between 20 and 25 feet in width. Before roads and trucking made shore installations easily accessible, literally hundreds of these vessels plied their business on San Francisco Bay as well as all major waterways of the United States from Colonial times through the 20th century. While built and operated on San Francisco Bay, ALMA is in many ways indistinguishable from scows which were launched and sailed on Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, inland rivers, and other coastal waters of the United States.
No scow schooners save ALMA are known to survive afloat in the United States. Possessing a high level of integrity, ALMA is of exceptional national significance as the only American scow schooner surviving as a floating, intact representative of her type.
Excerpted from the NRHP Nomination Form.
ALMA is a National Historic Landmark.
Aquatic Park and Vicinity