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Larkspur II ScStr - History

Larkspur II ScStr - History


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LarkspurII
(ScStr: dp. 738; 1. 169'; b. 30'; dr. 9'1"; cpl. 30)

The second Larkspur was a lighthouse tender built in 1903 at Port Richmond N.Y. She was transferred to the Navy with the entire Lighthouse Service by an Executive order of' 11 April 1917. Throughout the war she patrolled the Atlantic coast. She was returned to the Department of' Commerce 1 July 1919.


The 30 Year History of AMD Graphics, In Pictures

ATI introduced an almost entirely new architecture called TeraScale to power its Radeon HD 2000-series products. This was ATI's first unified shader architecture, and it was also the first design introduced after ATI's merger with AMD. TeraScale was designed to be fully compatible with Pixel Shader 4.0 and Microsoft's DirectX 10.0 API. It first appeared inside of the R600 core, which powered the Radeon HD 2900 XT flagship.

The Radeon HD 2900 XT included similar video acceleration features as AMD's older GPUs. This was done in part to reduce the overall production costs of the chip, but also because the CPUs of the time were fast enough to handle media decoding, albeit at higher power consumption.

Although the new card's architecture differed significantly from AMD's Radeon X1000 series, one key element shared between them was the ultra threaded dispatch processor mentioned on the previous page. However, it was updated to increase performance and efficiency. The R600 GPU was manufactured on an 80 nm process, and it had a total of 320 Stream processors, 16 TMUs, and 16 ROPs. The core continued to use a ring bus, in this case populated by eight 64-bit memory controllers connected to 512 MB of GDDR3 or 1 GB of GDDR4.

The Radeon HD 2900 XT performed well, but it was unable to match Nvidia's flagship GeForce 8800 GTX.


ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500 (2001)

The All-in-Wonder Radeon 8500 used ATI's R200 GPU with four pixel pipelines and two TMUs per pipe, along with a pair of vertex shaders. Through its implementation, ATI supported Microsoft's Pixel Shader 1.4 spec. The company also rolled out HyperZ II with R200, improving the technology's efficiency.

A core clock rate of 260 MHz and 128 MB of 550 MHz DDR memory landed the All-in-Wonder 8500 close to the performance of AMD's Radeon 8500, which was enough to compete against Nvidia's GeForce 3.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Two ships have borne the name U.S. Grant while serving in the United States Navy. For the biography of Ulysses S. Grant, see Ulysses S. Grant on page 394. Ulysses Simpson Grant--born on 27 April 1822 at Point Pleasant, Ohio--graduated from the United States Military Academy on 1 July 1843. He served with distinction in the war with Mexico--under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, taking part in the battles of Resaca de la Palma, Palo Alto, Monterey, and Vera Cruz. He was twice brevetted for bravery: at Molino del Rey and Chapultepec. After growing restive during frontier duty in the peacetime Army, he resigned his commission in 1854 and attempted to pursue careers in business and farming.

Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant was commissioned a colonel in the 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He later became brigadier general of volunteers on 7 August 1861. Following the captures of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in February 1862, President Abraham Lincoln promoted Grant to Major general of volunteers. These victories opened Tennessee to federal forces, and earned Grant the nickname of "unconditional surrender."

He doggedly pursued the Confederate Army and won impressive--but costly--victories at Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga. His willingness to fight and ability to win impressed President Lincoln who appointed Grant lieutenant general and gave him overall command of the Army.

Grant left Major General William T. Sherman in immediate charge of all troops in the west and moved his headquarters to Virginia where he turned his attention to the long frustrated Union effort to take Richmond. Despite heavy losses and difficult ten, the Army of the Potomac kept up a relentless pursuit of General Robert E. Lee's troops and won bloody contests in the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, at Cold Harbor, and at Petersburg. His relentless pressure finally forced Lee to evacuate Richmond early in April 1865 and forced him to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on 9 April 1965. Within a few weeks, the War between the States was over.

Grant became ad interim Secretary of War on 12 August 1867--when Johnson suspended Secretary Stanton--and held the office until early the next year. he ran for the presidency on the Republican ticket in 1868 and won the election. His two terms were marred by economic, social, and political turmoil Grant himself was not involved in the scandals, and his personal reputation emerged untarnished.

He devoted his twilight years to writing and completing his two volumes of Personal Memoirs which were published the of his death. Grant died on 23 July 1885, at Mt. McGregor, N.Y.

(ScStr: dp. 15,010 l. 508'2" b. 55'3" dr. 27'6" dph. 31'8" s. 15 k. cpl. 211 trp. 1,244 a. 4 6", 2 1-pdrs., 2 mg.)

Konig Wilhelm II--renamed Madawaska in 1917 and U.S. Grant in 1922--was a steel-hulled screw steamer launched on 20 July 1907 at Stettin, Germany, by Vulcan Aktiengesellechaft. Built for the transatlantic passenger trade, Konig Wilhelm II operated between Hamburg, Germany, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, under the house flag of the Hamburg-Amerika Line, until the outset of World War I in 1914. Voluntarily interned at Hoboken, N.J., to avoid being captured by the Royal Navy, the passenger liner was seized after the United States entered the war on 6 April 1917, as were all other German vessels in American ports. Before agents of the Federal Government took possession of the ship, her German crew unsuccessfully attempted to render her unusable by cracking her main steam cylinders with hydraulic jacks.

Following repairs to the damaged machinery, Konig Wilhelm II was assigned the identification number 3011 and commissioned on 27 August 1917, Lt. Charles McCauley in temporary command pending the arrival of Comdr. Edward H. Watson. Renamed Madawaska on 1 September--the ship was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force of the Atlantic Fleet. During World War I, she conducted 10 transatlantic voyages in which she carried nearly 12,000 men to Europe.

After the armistice of 11 November 1918, Madawaska made seven more voyages, bringing 17,000 men home from the European theater. She completed the last of these runs upon her arrival at New York on 23 August 1919. She was decommissioned on 2 September and simultaneously transferred to the War Department.

Sailing for the Pacific soon thereafter, Madawaska embarked elements of the Czech Legion at Vladivostok, Russia, early in 1920, as part of the evacuation of that force in the wake of the Russian Civil War in Siberia. The ship sailed to Fiume, Yugoslavia, and disembarked her Czech passengers to return to their homeland. Subsequently sailing for New York, Madawaska was inactivated and turned over to the Shipping Board for lay-up.

The following year, however, the War Department reacquired the vessel and authorized a major refit for her before she could resume active service. During this overhaul, which would last through the spring of 1922, the ship was fitted with modern marine water-tube boilers for greater safety in operation and to enable the ship to make increased speed. On 3 June 1922, at Brooklyn, N.Y., the transport was renamed U.S. Grant, Princess Cantacuzene, wife of Major General Prince Cantacuzene, Count Speransky of Russia, and a granddaughter of General Ulysses S. Grant, christened the ship.

For almost two decades, U.S. Grant soldiered on in the Army Transport Service, maintaining a regular schedule of voyages carrying troops, passengers, and supplies along a route which included calls at San Francisco, Calif. Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii Guam Manila, Philippine Islands Chinwangtao and Shanghai, China the Panama Canal Zone, and New York. For many of these years of service in the Pacific, U.S. Grant served as the sole source of refrigerated stores from the United States. Her periodic arrivals at Apra Harbor invariably produced a temporary improvement in the diet of Americans living in Guam.

On one voyage to Guam, the transport was nearly lost. On the late afternoon of 19 May 1939, U.S. Grant ran aground on the dangerous inner reef in the as-yet unfinished harbor. Fortunately, the accident did not occur during typhoon season. The combined efforts of Penguin (AM-33) and Robert L. Barnes (AG-27) failed to budge the ship off the coral, leading the Acting Governor of Guam, Comdr. George W. Johnson, to hit upon a man of action in collaboration (by radio) with Capt. Richmond K. Turner, in Astoria (CA-34), which was then en route to the island.

For 21 hours, members of the U.S. Naval Insular Force and local stevedores unloaded 300 tone of cargo from the grounded U.S. Grant, while much of her fuel was transferred to Robert L. Barnes and Admiral Halstead. Astoria--en route for the United States after carrying Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Saito's ashes back to his homeland--arrived at 0630 on 21 May. She took up her assigned position, as did Penguin, Robert L. Barnes and Admiral Halstead, at 0809 U.S. Grant lurched free of the coral reef, to the accompaniment of cheers from the transport's crew. The island's newspaper, The Guam Recorder, subsequently reported in its June 1939 edition: "The short time in which the difficult operation was carried out was due to the efficient cooperation of all . . . involved, the Army, Navy, and Merchant Marine." All cargo was soon reloaded, and U.S. Grant resumed her voyage.

She continued under the aegis of the Army Transportation Service through 1940. Then as war clouds gathered in the Pacific and Atlantic, U.S. Grant was subsequently reacquired by the Navy. Armed with seven 3-inch guns (she had been unarmed while serving as an Army transport), the vessel was refitted at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., and was commissioned on 16 June 1941, Capt. Herbert R. Hein in command. Continuing her service as a transport, the ship received the classification of AP-29.

U.S. Grant operated between ports on the west coast and into the Aleutian Islands through the outbreak of war in the Pacific on 7 December 1941. She carried passengers and cargo to Alaskan ports as the United States built up its defenses in that area against possible thrusts by Japan. In February and March 1942 U.S. Grant conducted voyages to the Hawaiian Islands. During the former month, she returned some 1,000 enemy aliens (mostly Japanese with a sprinkling of Germans) for placement in internment camps in the southwestern United States. Among these passengers was prisoner of war number one, Lt. Kazuo Sakamaki, whose midget submarine had run aground off Barber's Point, Oahu, on 7 December 1941. In April, U.S. Grant resumed trips to Alaskan ports carrying troops from Seattle to American bases on the Alaskan mainland and in the Aleutians and continued this vital routine until the spring of 1942.

The Battle of the Coral Sea during May 1942 convinced the Japanese that a thrust at Midway Island was imperative, in an attempt to draw out the American fleet--particularly the dwindling number of vital carriers. Consequently, a powerful Japanese fleet sailed for Midway, while a smaller task force headed northward for the Aleutians to launch a diversionary raid. Carrier-based planes from the carrier Ryujo struck Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on 3 June, and Japanese troops occupied Attu and Kiska islands on the 7th.

During this time, U.S. Grant carried troops to Kodiak, Alaska, and Cold Bay into the summer. She narrowly escaped being torpedoed while proceeding from Seattle to Dutch Harbor in convoy on 20 July. Alert lookouts picked out the tracks of two torpedoes and evasive action enabled the ship to avoid the deadly "fish" which passed close aboard, from starboard to port.

The venerable transport disembarked Army troops at Massacre Bay on 14 June, three days after the initial landings. The following month, as American and Canadian troops prepared to assault Kiska, Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell broke his flag in U.S. Grant as Commander, Task Force 61.

During this operation, U.S. Grant served as combination transport and communications vessel. The Americans eventually discovered that the Japanese had stolen away like nomads, leaving only a few dogs to "contest" the landings, and had completed their evacuation, undetected by the Allies, by 28 July. During the Kiska landings, the transport not only carried Army troops, but also a Mexican liaison group a detachment of Canadian troops, and a group of civilian correspondents.

After a period of repairs in late 1943, which lasted into 1944, U.S. Grant resumed coastwise voyages to Alaska. From April to December, she shifted to the eastern Pacific to operate between Hawaii and the west coast. She often embarked medical patients to return them to the west coast from Hawaiian area hospitals. Arriving at San Francisco after one such voyage on 23 January 1945, U.S. Grant disembarked passengers and got underway the same afternoon without passengers or escort, bound for the Caribbean. Transiting the Panama Canal, after embarking passengers at Balboa, the ship operated in the Caribbean for the next six months, between the West Indies and New Orleans, La., until the end of the war.

U.S. Grant returned to Pacific duty in September, departing San Francisco on the 18th for Okinawa, via Eniwetok. She arrived at Okinawa on 12 October, in the wake of a destructive typhoon, and took on board 1,273 passengers for transportation to the United States, getting underway from the island on 21 October.

Arriving at San Francisco on 7 November, U.S. Grant disembarked her passengers soon thereafter. One week later, on 14 November, the transport was decommissioned and returned to the War Department. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 28 November

Turned over to the Maritime Commission, the erstwhile transport and veteran of two world wars was sold to the Boston Metals Co. on 24 February 1948 for scrapping.


Save the Silver Peso!

Larkspur, CA Silver Peso has been a bar in Larkspur since the 1930s.

The Peso was named by Thrillist as one of the top 21 dive bars in America.

According to the Marin History Museum, after World War II, a veteran purchased the bar "with silver pesos he recovered from Manila Bay after learning the Philippine government had sunk its bank reserves to prevent them from falling into Japanese hands".

The Peso's friendly vibe, mess of classic locals, reliably heavy pours and their well drinks are known far and wide.

The pandemic of 2020 was crushing for Rebel Lee, long-time bartender, and proprietor, to manage in addition to his health issues. In the spring of 2021, the Peso team & community decided to come together and help Mr. Lee reopen their Historic watering hole.

The Peso is gearing up to try and re-open mid-April w/ outdoor seating, limited indoor seating, and a few other tweaks to how we used to do things given the current climate we're all living in. A beer garden is in the works and the Peso needs a little more help to be able to open its doors.

Please share and donate if you can, stay safe and we hope to see you all very soon!

#SaveThePeso​ #SmallBusinessRelief​ #Larkspur​ #friendsofthepeso​ #marin​ #saveourbars​ #livelocal​ #shoplocal​ #smallbusinessmarin


ATI Rage 128 Pro (1999)

The Rage 128 Pro supported DirectX 6.0 and the AGP X4 interface. ATI also updated aspects of the triangle setup engine, increasing theoretical geometry throughput to eight million triangles/second. These enhancements landed the Rage Fury Pro around the same performance as 3dfx's Voodoo3 2000 and Nvidi's Nvidia's Riva TNT2.

ATI complemented the multimedia features of its Rage 128 Pro with an on-board chip called the Rage Theater. This allowed the Rage Fury Pro to output video through composite and S-video connectors.


How Couture Designer Lily Samii Built an International Fashion House From a Small Marin Boutique

“I can’t believe I’ve lived in Marin County for over 50 years,” Lily Samii remarks as she holds a set of blueprints in her hand. The always well-dressed designer has her dark hair pulled back in a neat ponytail. “It seems like yesterday that I opened LYZ Ltd. in Larkspur. After my retirement and during the pandemic, I decided to occupy my days with other hobbies, including building a guesthouse from the ground up.”

While construction doesn’t seem to correlate with the refined world of fashion, it perfectly fits Lily Samii’s creative ethos. For decades, Lily has always been designing and building things of beauty.

Although Lily’s international career in fashion spans over 50 years, Lily dedicated most of those years to the women of Marin. Many know Lily Samii as the inspired genius behind LYZ Ltd. in Larkspur. It was considered one of the most successful retail boutiques in the country, with an impressive lifespan of 30 years. How Lily, a daughter of Iranian nobility, ended up in Larkspur’s wooded hamlet transforming homemakers into confident leaders through wardrobe changes is just one part of this fairy tale.

Lily had a promising career in Hollywood. She interned with Edith Head and James Galanos. But one day while at work, she suffered from a terrible accident that left her with broken vertebrae and years of physical therapy. After months of rehab, Lily and her husband moved to the Bay Area. During that time, her husband accepted a job at the College of Marin and Lily also accepted a position in the art department at the college.

“While I was an assistant teacher in the art department, I asked my superior if I could use the pottery kilns after hours. I started making all sorts of things within several weeks, I had a nice variety of items. I went to Sausalito on the weekends and sold my pottery in the open market. Soon, my pottery became very popular because of my vibrant and unique use of glaze. What was funny — keep in mind this is the late 60’s and the summer of love was in full bloom—everyone around me wore hippie garb, and there I was with my signature black cashmere turtleneck, black capris and flats, and a fancy little table in a sea of people sitting on the ground and displaying their goods on a blanket or colorful, tie-dyed, psychedelic throws. I started with pottery and ended up with a complete collection of sculptures, jewelry, and tee-shirts. They were hippie-inspired, but done in a controlled and very well-made process. My price points were much higher than anybody around me, yet my sales were solid. That’s when I had the epiphany—my calling is to create fashion that clients would covet, not just wear,” Lily shares.

The following summer started Lily on her meteoric course in the fashion industry. In early 1969, Lily met Alice Zimmerman. Alice declared that it was time for Lily to open her own boutique. After some convincing, Lily agreed, and LYZ was born in 1969 at 1020 Magnolia Avenue in Larkspur.

“I started with 500 square feet. LYZ was tucked away in a strip mall that had a dime store and a liquor store. Most of the ladies who ended up being LYZ clients noticed my tiny storefront as they were going or coming from the dime store with their children in tow. They would poke their heads into LYZ, and little by little, they got to know me. That’s how my beautiful LYZ got its start.”

What set LYZ apart from the usual clothing boutiques was Lily’s dedication to her “ladies.” When asked how she can look at one of her clients and know exactly what would look best on her body, Lily speaks like an artistic mathematician.

“I have a keen sense of scale, color, balance, and attitude that helps me know what will look good on a client,” she says. “I have the ability to see a person in motion and instinctively know what will work best for her body.” Lily explains the importance of her role in dressing her clients. “When a woman walked into LYZ, 80 percent of the time she wasn’t a size 6 or 8 and 5 feet, 11 inches tall. My client was a normal woman, probably 5 feet, 2 inches to 5 feet, 5 inches and an average size 14. My goal was to make my client feel beautiful in her clothes. I would interview each of my clients before I ever bought clothes for them. I needed to understand her life. I have had clients who’ve had mastectomies and wanted to feel feminine, politicians who wanted to feel confident in their clothes, and housewives who wanted to feel sexy.” Lily lights up, remembering all the wonderful clients who put their trust in her. “I knew what I wanted for each of my clients, and I went after it. On my buying trips to New York or Milan, I would pound the pavement and go and go until I found what I envisioned.”

Lily remembers the first time she went to Michael Kors’ showroom — before he was famous — on Twelfth Street in New York. He was young and had a small collection. Lily looked at it and thought it was perfect for Marin. This was a pattern that set her business apart from other clothing stores. She worked hard to discover new designers of the time, such as Armani, Louis Ferro, Oscar De La Renta, and many others.

LYZ grew, and Lily took a second retail space, then the third, then the fourth. When she expanded to a fifth retail space in the same complex, she decided it was time to renovate.

“So that is when I gutted the whole space and created a beautiful environment where we could host parties. Children could meet their mothers and grandmothers, husbands could stop by for a glass of wine and check out what their wives had picked up. It was a wonderful place where the beautiful women of Marin could gather,” Lily reminisces upon the incredible growth of LYZ and her loyal clientele.

In the mid-nineties, Lily wanted to design, build, and create more. So, after 30 years in Larkspur growing LYZ, Lily was ready to start her own label for women. She opened her showroom and her production studio in San Francisco and launched Lily Samii. For decades, Lily designed gowns for celebrities, royalty, political leaders, and society’s most coveted personalities. Her masterpieces adorned the covers of magazine, and every major magazine in the nation has written about Lily Samii’s collections.

“I finally realized during my last remodel of my house what was the reason for the longevity and the success of my business model. I knew what I wanted, and if it didn’t exist, I was willing to find someone to design and make it for me. I believed that this is the same principle with my designs. If a woman wanted her special outfit in a certain color or style for her event, and no other designer offered it, that’s where I came in. We could create what she had envisioned and with the help of our incredible artisans throughout the world would create it for her.”

After 50 years as a beloved designer and curator of countless wardrobes, Lily put down her measuring tape and scissors and compiled her incredible history in the beautiful coffee table book, Lily Samii, A Journey Through Life and Fashion (published in 2020 by Lucia Marquand).

“Now that the book is published, I am enjoying my time in Marin. I can’t believe that I’ve lived here for so long and haven’t had the time to enjoy all the beautiful trails and hidden lakes and reconnecting with some of my old friends. It seems like no time has passed.”

Lily likes to keep busy, so she has parceled off a part of her 2-acre homestead in the rolling hills of Novato and is building a guesthouse. When asked about managing the new house’s construction, Lily shares that she has an uncanny ability to see beyond a structure and enjoys the challenge.

“I see things from inside out. Like now that I am building, I see beyond the frame. I see the layers and layers that go into building a home. I slice it up and take it apart and then put it back together. I deconstruct things in my head. It’s how I think when doing alterations, creating wardrobes for clients, and designing gowns. Now I am putting my talent to use by building a new home,” Lily explains as she walks past the grapevines lining her backyard, leading to the flags outlining the new house’s walls. So, what’s next for this intrepid renaissance soul who has continued to redefine herself throughout her life?

“I think I’m ready to write my next book.”

How to help:

Consider supporting one of these local nonprofits that urgently need support during the pandemic.


A UNIQUE CONFEDERATE NAVAL CUTLASS ATTRIBUTED TO THE CSS FLORIDA

Collectors and students of Confederate edged weapons, especially those of the Confederate States Navy, will recognize a unique cutlass that has been attributed to the CSS Florida. The background to this attribution can be found in an example from the Philip Medicus collection. In the book American Swords from the Philip Medicus Collection there is illustrated such a cutlass (Figure 1) with the following description:

“Confederate Naval cutlass associated with the CSS Florida. This attribution is based on another example, which had an old tag on it stating that it had been sold at the Florida’s prize court auction in Philadelphia. On the brass hilt, the homemade guard, made of three branches, is heavy and crude with a cutlass-like handguard on the opposite side. The two-piece wood grip is fashioned with rivet fasteners. The plain blade is straight, single-edged, and measures 26 inches. There are no markings. No scabbard.”

Figure 1: Photograph of Plate 11 from American Swords From the Philip Medicus Collection. Florida cutlass second in from the right. Courtesy Mowbray Publishers.

Having two of these cutlasses in my collection, I thought I would attempt to research the origins of this attribution and find out more about Florida. I first discovered that the cutlass with the “old tag” on it was once in the collection of Sidney C. Kerksis, therefore I had no reason to doubt the validity of the attribution.

The two cutlasses in my collection only differ slightly. They each have slightly curved blades. Number 1 has a blade length of 25 3/8 inches long with an overall length of 30 5/8 inches, and number 2 a blade length of 25 ¼ inches long and an overall length of 30 13/16 inches. (Figure 2) There is a unique cutout in the blade where they intersect with the hilt (Figure 3). The brass two branch guard is roughly cast and the two piece wood grip is secured to the tang with three random iron rivets (Figure 4). The blade on each cutlass contains what appear to be forging hammer marks (Figure 5) and I have observed these marks on other examples I have examined.

Figure 2: Photograph of two Florida Cutlasses (No. 1 on the top). Author’s Collection.

Figure 3. Photograph of the unique blade cutout. Author’s Collection

Figure 4: Photographs of the guards. Author’s Collection.

Figure 5: Photograph of forging marks on the blades. Author’s Collection

I was fortunate to obtain cutlass Number 1 from the collection of the late ASAC member Fred Edmunds through the Horse Soldier in 2001. After I purchased the cutlass, Fred was kind enough to send me a letter providing me with a history of the piece.

Wes Small, of The Horse Soldier, has requested that I drop you a line and furnish you with information concerning the Confederate Naval Cutlass which you purchased from him sometime ago. I am enclosing a copy of the write-up which I prepared for their catalog when the item was offered for sale. I am not sure it is word-for-word with the catalog entry. At any rate, the cutlass was displayed in The Confederate States Armory & Museum, which I owned and operated in Gettysburg, from May 1992 to July, 1999, along with many other Confederate weapons. Also enclosed herein, you will find Norm Flayderman’s catalog # 37, which was issued in May of 1959. Your Confederate Naval Cutlass is the exact one described as item #493. Also, at a price of $74.50, it was a pretty good buy at the time!

Enjoy it in your collection!

Cutlass Number 2 in my collection was obtained from an antique shop in Norfolk, Virginia in 2016 with no provenance other than it came from the estate of a local collector.

Over the years of displaying my Confederate Naval collection at various Civil War shows, I received many comments as to the origins of these Florida cutlasses. One such speculation was that they were purchased by the Florida in Bahia, Brazil, when the ship made a port visit there prior to it being seized by the USS Wachusett in 1864. I do not believe that the origin of these cutlasses to be anything but Southern so I was determined to find out the truth. I discovered that the Confederacy had not one but five ships named Florida. Searching for references, I discovered a series of books titled “Directory of American Naval Fighting Ships.” Volume II of the series lists ships of the Confederate States Navy. It was my hope that by reviewing the history of each of the ships named Florida I would find a clue as to the origin of these cutlasses. Below are quoted excerpts that document the history of each of the ships:

(ScAlp: l. 191’ b. 27’2” dph. 14’ dr. 13’ s. 9.5 k.

(12 under canvas) cpl. 146 a. 6 6” r., 2 7” r., 1 12-pdr.)

CSS Cruiser Florida was built by the British firm of William C. Miller & Sons and purchased by the Confederacy from Fawcett, Preston & Co., also of Liverpool who designed her. Known in the shipyard as Oreto and initially called by the Confederates Manassas, the first of the foreign-built commerce raiders was commissioned Florida Union records long continued to refer to her as Oreto or to confuse her with Alabama although, fitted with two funnels she was readily distinguishable from single-stacked Alabama.

Florida departed England 22 March 1862 for Nassau to coal and contrived to fill her bunkers, although entitled only to enough to make the nearest Confederate port. The Governor drew the line, however, at an attempted rendezvous with her tender in Nassau harbor so she transferred stores and arms at isolated Green Cay. There she was commissioned as Florida 17 August, with veteran Lt. John Newland Maffitt, CSN, in command. During her outfit, yellow fever raged among her crew, in 5 days reducing her effective force to one fireman and four deckhands. In desperate plight, she ran across to Cuba. There in Cardenas, Maffitt too was stricken with the dreaded disease.

In this condition, against all probability, the intrepid Maffitt sailed her from Cardenas to Mobile. In an audacious dash the “Prince of Privateers” braved a hail of projectiles from the Union blockaders and raced through them to anchor beneath the guns of Ft. Morgan for a hero’s welcome by Mobile. Florida had been unable to fight back not only because of sickness, but because rammers, sights, beds, locks and quoins had, inadvertently, not been loaded at Nassau. Having taken stores and gun accessories she lacked, along with added crew members, Florida escaped to sea 16 January 1863.

After coaling again at Nassau, she spent 6 months off North and South America and in the West Indies, with calls at neutral ports, all the while making captures and eluding the large Federal squadron pursuing her.

Florida sailed 27 July from Bermuda for Breast, where she lay in the French Government dock from 23 August 1863 to 12 February 1864. There, broken in health, Maffitt relinquished command to Lieutenant Morris. Departing for the West Indies, Florida bunkered at Barbados, although the 3 months specified by British law had not elapsed since last coaling at an Empire port. She then skirted the U.S. coast, sailed east to Tenerife in the Canaries and then to Bahia, 4 October 1864.

Anchored in the Brazilian haven, on 7 October Florida was caught defenseless in a night attack by Comdr. Napoleon Collins of USS Wachusett, while her captain was ashore with half his crew. Towed to sea, she was sent to the United States as a prize despite Brazil’s protests at this violation of neutral rights.

At Newport News, 28 November 1864, Florida reached the end of her strange career when she sank in a collision with the USAT Alliance, a troop ferry and thus could not be delivered to Brazil in satisfaction of the final court order. Commander Collins was court-martialed but won fame and eventual promotion for his daring.

Florida captured 37 prizes during her impressive career her prizes Tacony and Clarence in turn took 23 more.

(Bark: t. 296 dr. 12’ a. 1 12-pdr. how.)

Tacony, also called Florida No. 2, was built in 1856 at Newcastle, Del. While traveling in ballast from Port Royal, S.C., to Philadelphia, PaShe was captured on 12 June 1863 by brig Clarence, under Lt. C. W. CSN, which in turn had been captured and then detached by CSS Florida. Lieutenant Read, finding Tacony a far better vessel than his own, transferred his force to her and burned Clarence. Now called Florida No. 2 by her captors, Tacony sailed northward along the New England coast to harass Union shipping.

Between 12 June and 24 June Tacony captured 15 vessels. Her last prize captured on 24 June was the small fishing schooner Archer. By now subject to a frantic and intensive search by the U.S. Navy, Lieutenant Read transferred his force to Archer, hoping to avoid his pursuers. He burned Tacony on the next day 25 June 1863.

The pilot schooner Florida was not issued a letter of marque but gave a better account of herself as a “junior privateer” than did many larger vessels better armed after formal commissioning. Maj. W. Bevershaw Thompson, CSA, chief engineer of the Coast Defense Department fortifying Hatteras Inlet approaches, in a report from Fort Hatteras, N.C. to the Military Secretary, Col. Warren Winslow, 25 July 1861 described her: “We have also a saucy-looking little pilot schooner, the Florida, mounting one 6-pounder rifled cannon. She captured a prize 2 days since, took her crew out, and sent her in with her own men. A U.S. Government steamers gave chase to the prize, and they were obliged to beach her near Nags Head. She, of course, is a total loss.” After this brief moment on stage during the early days of the war, history says no more of the enterprising pilot boat-privateer, it is impossible at this distance even to be sure that she was privately owned and not a North Carolina public vessel.

(SwGnt: l. 252’ b. 30’ dr. 6’ dph. 6’ s. 9 k. cpl. 65 to 94 a. 2 9” s.b., 1 8” s.b., 16.4” r.)

CSS Selma was a coastwise packet built at Mobile for the Mobile Mail Line in 1856. Little doubt now remains that she was originally named Florida. As the latter, she was inspected and accepted by Capt. Lawrence Rousseau, CSN, 22 April 1861, acquired by the Confederacy in June, cut down and strengthened by hog frames and armed as a gunboat, apparently, in the Lake Pontchartrain area. Her upper deck was plated at this time with 3/8"-iron, partially protecting her boilers, of the low pressure type preferred for fuel economy and greater safety in battle. CSS Florida is cited on 12 November 1861 as already in commission and serving Commodore Hollins’ New Orleans defense flotilla under command of Lt. Charles W. Hays, CSN.

The Mobile Evening News editorialized early in December on the startling change “from her former gay, first-class hotel appearance, having been relieved of her upper works and painted as black as the inside of her smokestack. She carries a jib forward and, we suppose, some steering sail aft, when requisite.”

Although much of Florida’s time was spent blockaded in Mobile, she made some forays into Mississippi Sound, two of which alarmed the U.S. Navy’s entire Gulf command: On 19 October Florida convoyed a merchantman outside. Fortunately for her the coast was clear of Union ships and batteries, for Florida fouled the area’s main military telegraph line with her anchor and had no sooner repaired the damage than she went aground for 36 hours. Luck returning, she tried out her guns on USS Massachusetts, “a large three-masted propeller” she mistook for the faster R. R. Cuyler. Being of shallower draft and greater speed, she successfully dodged Massachusetts in shoal water off Ship Island. The havoc caused by one well-placed shot with her rifled pivot gun is described by Commander Melancton Smith, USN, commanding Massachusetts: “It entered the starboard side abaft the engine five feet above the water line, cutting entirely through 18 planks of the main deck, carried away the table, sofas, eight sections of iron steam pipe, and exploded in the stateroom on the port side, stripping the bulkheads of four rooms and setting fire to the vessel . 12 pieces of the fragments have been collected and weigh 58 pounds.”

The first sortie by Florida caused consternation. Capt. L. M. Powell, USN, in command at Ship Island-soon to be main advance base for the New Orleans campaign-wrote to Flag Officer McKean, 22 October, “The first of the reported gun steamers made her experimental trial trip on the Massachusetts, and, if she be a sample of the rest, you may perhaps consider that Ship Island and the adjacent waters will require a force of a special kind in order to hold them to our use. The caliber and long range of the rifled cannon from which the shell that exploded in the Massachusetts was fired established the ability of these fast steam gunboats to keep out of the range of all broadside guns, and enables them to disregard the armament or magnitude of all ships thus armed, or indeed any number of them, when sheltered by shoal water.”

Protecting CSS Pamlico, in contrasting white dress and laden with some 400 troops, “the black rebel steamer” Florida on 4 December had a brush with USS Montgomery in Horn Island Pass that caused jubilation in the Southern press. Comdr. T. Darrah Shaw of Montgomery, finding his 10-inch shell gun no match for Florida’s long-range rifles, signaled Comdr. Melancton Smith for assistance, and when it was not forthcoming, ran back to safety under the guns of Ship Island. Shaw saved Montgomery and lost his command for fleeing from the enemy: Commodore McKean promptly sent Lieutenant Jouett to relieve him and forwarded Shaw’s action report to Secretary Welles, noting, “It needs no comment.” Crowded Richmond Dispatch on 14 December, quoting Mobile Evening News “The Florida fought at great disadvantage in one respect, owing to her steering apparatus being out of order, but showed a decided superiority in the effectiveness of her armament. That gun which scared the Massachusetts so badly, and had nearly proved fatal to her, is evidently a better piece or must be better handled than any which the enemy have.” With the advent of cruiser Florida, she was renamed Selma, in July 1862 Lt. Peter U. Murphey, CSN, assuming command.

On 5 February 1863, while steaming down Mobile Bay with 100 extra men in search of a blockader to carry by boarding, Selma was bilged by a snag in crossing Dog River Bar, entrance to Mobile, and sank in 8 feet of water. Pumped out hastily, she was back in service on the 13th.

By the following year, Selma, Morgan and Gaines, the only ships capable of defending lower Mobile Bay, were having a serious problem with deserting seamen, and intelligence reported Selma’s crew as having fallen as low as 16 men about mid-February. At the crucial battle of 5 August 1864, Selma particularly annoyed Farragut by a steady, raking fire as she stood off Hartford’s bow. After passing the forts, Farragut ordered gunboat Metacomet cast loose from Hartford to pursue Selma. After an hour-long running fight, Murphey, unable to escape to shallows out of reach, had to surrender to faster, more heavily armed Metacomet. Selma lost 7 killed and 8 wounded, including her captain.

She was sold at New Orleans, 12 July 1865, being redocumented as a merchant ship the following month.

(ScStr: t. 429 or 460 l. 171’ b. 29’11” dph. 9’6”)

CSS Florida, built at Greenpoint N. Y. in 1859, was thrice considered for a gunboat before she became one. Contrary to previous interpretation of the official records, closer comparison of entries reveals that she did not serve the Mississippi River Defense Fleet as originally intended but became a Government-owned blockade runner, most authors have confused her with the Mobilian CSS Florida who did not receive her name Selma until July 1862. CSS Florida of New Orleans was one of 14 steamers of Charles Morgan’s Southern Steamship Co. which Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell “impressed for public service” at New Orleans 15 January 1862, acting on Secretary of War Benjamin’s orders.

The colorful Lt. Beverly Kennon, CSN, had sought her command but had to be content with Governor Moore. He nostalgically described Florida to a court of inquiry as “a very fast and a very handsome vessel indeed. A direct-acting screw of about 100 horsepower . about the same size in all respects as the U.S. steam sloop Pocahontas.

Of the several ships of the same name, she apparently is the Florida who arrived at Havana 23 March 1862 with 1,000 bales of cotton. Attempting to repeat her success, she had loaded 211 bales in St. Joseph Bay near Pensacola when captured by Acting Master Elnathan Lewis with armed boats from US Bark Pursuit, 6 April. The borders had just captured a sloop, Lafayette, at St. Andrew’s, 20 miles below, and the latter’s Captain Harrison volunteered to pilot Lewis’ party on up to capture Florida. Surprised at 4 o’clock Sunday morning, Florida’s crew were unable to fire their ship.

It later appeared that the pilot, chief mate, first and second engineers were Union sympathizers. Mr. Lewis, after running Florida aground twice and jettisoning 30 bales of cargo, found “it was impossible to bring her out without the assistance of the engineers, pilot, and mate so rather than burn her he considered it prudent to bargain with them, and gave his word that they would receive $500.00 each. They were faithful.”

In the 30-mile passage to the bar, Florida and Lafayette were almost recaptured by the Confederates on 8 April after Capt. R. L. Smith, CSA, and his company of dragoons had galloped 24 hours from Marianna, Fla. to intercept them off St. Andrew’s. A ship’s boat was ambushed with four casualties, one dead, but the prizes continued on to Key West. There, 19 April 1862, Commodore McKean reporting to Secretary Welles confirms that Florida had never been converted: “I have examined her, and find that her upper deck is too light to carry guns of any weight. I have not the


Project Background

Ross Valley Sanitary District (RVSD) began clean up its 10.7-acre former wastewater treatment plant site at 2000 Larkspur Landing Circle in summer 2019 and completed the work on September 9, 2020. The property contained trace concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which was present in some of the paint that was applied to the concrete administration buildings. The concrete of the former plant was crushed and used as backfill back in 1999.

In March 2019, US EPA approved the remedial action plan to safely remove and dispose of this material, and in May 2019, RVSD selected a contractor to conduct the cleanup work. Site cleanup consisted of removal of about 64,000 tons of soil and demolition debris to a municipal landfill and removal of about 2,600 tons to a hazardous waste landfill. The site has been cleaned to the cleanest levels that enable unrestricted use of the property. Excavated areas have been back-filled with clean soil, with topsoil and hydro seeding.

The cost of construction, engineering and permitting for this cleanup has been approximately $9.5M since 2018, and $10M in total. On January 15, 2021, RVSD submitted the draft site cleanup completion report to U.S. EPA for their comment, and when the final revised report is accepted by the U.S. EPA, the site will be officially available for consideration of the appropriate unrestricted land use.

Click here to see the Larkspur Landing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Click here to see the Larkspur Landing Project Information Sheet.

The District is conducting a series of special board meetings as informational presentations about options for surplus property disposition at its former wastewater treatment plant site at 2000 Larkspur Landing Circle.

Informational Presentation III - January 27, 2021 - Surplus Land Act

Informational Presentation II - December 3, 2020 - Larkspur Landing Circle Land Use Entitlements and Larkspur General Plan 2040

Informational Presentation I - September 30, 2020 - Potential Transactional Structures (Sale, Lease, Joint Venture)

The District will provide updates on scheduled presentations, board meetings and opportunities for public engagement as they are proposed and conducted.


Personal Life

Korematsu married Kathryn Pearson in Michigan in 1946. They moved to California three years later. They had two children, Karen and Ken.

Korematsu&aposs daughter stated in a 2012 interview that her father "felt responsible for the loss of his Supreme Court case in 1944 in regard to the rest of the Japanese and Japanese Americans that had been incarcerated, and he carried around the weight of that shame for almost 40 years." Because Korematsu found it too painful to discuss his case with his children, both learned about it in school instead.


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