|Builder:||John H. Dialogue and Sons, Camden, New Jersey|
|Out of service:||1962|
|Identification:||Official number: 20481|
|Length:||151 ft (46 m) LOA|
|Beam:||26 ft (7.9 m)|
|Speed:||10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)|
|Location||San Francisco, California|
|Architect||John H. Dialogue and Sons|
|NRHP Reference #||75000225|
|Designated NHL||January 17, 1986|
History of Hercules
Hercules was built in 1907 by John H. Dialogue and Sons, of Camden, New Jersey. She was built for the Shipowners' and Merchants' Tugboat Company of San Francisco, as part of their Red Stack Fleet. After completion, Hercules was sailed to San Francisco via the Straits of Magellan with her sister ship, Goliah, in tow.
For the first part of her life, Hercules was an oceangoing tug. Because of the prevailing northwest winds, sailing ships often employed Hercules and her sisters on journeys north up the coast from San Francisco. For example, in 1916, Hercules towed C.A. Thayer to Port Townsend, Washington. On return trips back down the coast, Hercules often towed log rafts of Pacific Northwest timber, to Southern California mills. At other times, Hercules was employed towing barges to other ports on the West Coast and to Hawaii, and in transporting equipment for the construction of the Panama Canal.
In 1924, Hercules was acquired by the Western Pacific Railroad. For her new owners, she worked shuttling railroad car floats across San Francisco Bay from Oakland and Alameda to San Francisco. She worked in this role until 1957, when she was replaced by the diesel-powered train ferry Las Plumas. Hercules was kept in a stand-by role to the new ferry until 1961.
The California State Park Foundation acquired Hercules in 1975, and the National Park Service took over her restoration in 1977. In 1986 she was designated a National Historic Landmark. She is now one of the exhibits of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and is to be found moored at the park's Hyde Street Pier.
- "Hercules". National Park Service. Retrieved May 20, 2005.[dead link]
- Brehm, Frank (1996–2005). "Western Pacific - Marine". Retrieved May 20, 2005.
- Welts, Allen W. (October 1, 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form / Tugboat Hercules" (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
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