Happy Birthday, Loma!

SAN DIEGO—California was on the verge of completing its seventh year in existence when a San Diego shipyard unloaded its first-ever boat – a schooner named Loma – onto the local bay. Capt. James Keating, the first keeper of Point Loma Lighthouse, owned the shipyard responsible for building the first boat in San Diego.

Loma was launched on Aug. 13, 1857 – meaning the schooner would be 162 years old today.

“The schooner Loma, the first vessel ever built on the San Diego Bay, was launched,” an article posted on the “California Maritimes” website stated. “She was built at the shipyard of Captain James Keating, and was christened, as the Herald informs us, in due and ancient form.”

What follows are some other notable moments – all in August – in boating and maritime history, according to news reports posted on the California Maritimes website.

  • 2, 1916: Alaska Steamship Co. established Los Angeles Harbor as its port of call for its Seattle to Philadelphia steamer line. The first steamer line – named Alaska – would travel from the Pacific Northwest to the Mid-Atlantic via Panama Canal, according to the Los Angeles Herald. Alaska was set to depart Los Angeles and head south toward Panama on Nov. 26, 1916.
  • 11, 1893: Governor Ames, a five-mast schooner, left Redondo Beach for Seattle. The schooner was, at the time, the largest merchant vessel in the world, according to the Los Angeles Herald.
  • 23, 1800: Betsy, reportedly the first American ship, arrived in San Diego under the command of Capt. Charles Winship.
  • 30, 1910: Omega, a German ship, arrives in San Diego after being at sea for 157 days. The cargo ship departed out of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, according to the Los Angeles Herald. “The Omega was forced to lay outside most of the day because of the inability of the tug to locate her in the dense smoke that hangs over this city for a considerable distance out to sea,” the Herald reported. “San Diego Bay has been hidden in the pall since Saturday afternoon, and it is claimed the smoke is from the big fires that have been raging in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Today it is as thick as ever.”

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