U.S. Coast Guard Lightships

& Those of the U.S. Lighthouse Service


A print image of the LV-70

A print image scanned from the U.S. Lighthouse Service's List of Lights and Fog Signals
on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States
[;] Corrected to June 30, 1906, Plate IV.
(Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1906).
Click on thumbnail image for a 300 dpi version.



BUILT AT: Portland (OR)

BUILDER: Wolff & Zwicker Iron Works

(Approp. for lightship for San Francisco harbor)


SISTER VESSELS: None, but plans & specifications same as for LV 68 and 69

DESIGN: Steam screw - composite hull (steel frame & topsides, wood bottom) 2 masts with lantern galleries; stack amidships

LENGTH: 122'10 (loa); BEAM: 28'6"; DRAFT: 13'9" (depth); TONNAGE: 590 displ, 450 gross

PROPULSION: Steam - single one cylinder surface condensing engine, 22" bore x 20" stroke, 350 IHP; one Scotch main boiler 11'3" dia x 12'2" long; 4 bladed propeller 8' dia; max speed 8 1/2 knots; also rigged for sail

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: Cluster of three 100cp electric lens lanterns permanently mounted in galleries at each masthead

FOG SIGNAL: 12" steam chime whistle; hand operated 1000-lb bell

-Steel stem, keel, frame, bilge & sheer strakes reinforced with diagonal steel bracing keel to sheer; wood planked from keel to main deck level; steel plated from main deck level to weather deck-
-1898: Apr, fog whistle raised to smokestack level to improve audible range-
-1899: Aug, wireless telegraph equipment installed for 17 day experimental use-
-1900: Oil lamps were installed and used 1900-1904 due to problems with boilers and generating equipment-
-1904: Oil lamps removed and replaced by single electric lens lantern at each mast head-
-1910: Equipped with submarine bell signal-
-1918/19: Equipped with radio-
-1922: Equipped with radio-beacon-
-1929: Fog signal replaced with air diaphone


1898-1930: San Francisco (CA)


1898: Contract called for delivery 1897 but extended to 1898; Mar 11, delivered to Yerba Buena Depot; shipped officers & crew; made sea trials Mar 21; supplied and coaled Apr 3-
1898: Apr 7, convoyed by tender MADRONE and placed on San Francisco - 3 1/4 mi outside the bar in 109 ft on range marked by Alcatraz - Fort Point lighthouses; showed 2 occulting white lights-
1898: Apr, fog signal found inaudible more than 1/2 mi to windward; coal was changed and whistle raised to smokestack level-
1899: May 14, lost chain shackle and broke adrift; steamed to Yerba Buena for replacement anchor and chain; on station May 16; arrangements made to have gas schooner IDA A. transport crew, mail & supplies every 2 weeks; Aug experiments conducted for 17 days with wireless telegraph equipment - "not entirely successful"-log indicates 6 carrier pigeons were sent ashore with messages during test period; Sep 20-Oct 8, withdrawn for major overhaul, station marked first by black can buoy, later by tender MADRONE; consumed 541 tons coal during year-
1900: May 5-11, oil lamps substituted for electric due to boiler problems; Jun 18-26, fog whistle inoperative, hand bell used for 86 hours-
1904: Nov 26, fog signal characteristic changed to 2 sec blast, 28 sec silent-
1905: Apr 2-24, withdrawn for repairs, station marked by lighted buoy; 5,258 vessels reported passing the station during the year-
1906: Apr 18, while under repair in shipyard, vessel was moved for safety to Yerba Buena Depot during earthquake and fire; generator and parts of electric plant ashore in shop were destroyed; since no replacements available, vessel returned to station Jun 2 showing 2 fixed white oil lights until generator replaced later in year
1907: Jan 2-Feb 11, withdrawn for repair, station marked by Relief LV 76-
Remained assigned to San Francisco Station until 1930

More notes: LV 70
1900: Jul 25-29, electric lights & fog signal inoperative due to boiler trouble, oil lamps substituted; Nov 5-Dec 10, withdrawn for repair, station marked by lighted buoy-
1901: Mar 4, oil lanterns "permanently substituted" for electric, being suspended below the galleries, now shows 2 fixed white lights at reduced range" This done because of "expense and labor for maintenance" of electricity; Apr 3 May 2, withdrawn for repair; Sep 15, Master reported large number of land birds, including owls, cranes and hummingbirds roosting aboard, apparently became lost in dense smoke from northern forest fires-
1902: parted chain and off station Feb 25-28, Mar 27-Apr 1; Apr 1-30, withdrawn for repair-
1903: Feb 3, in collision with schooner NOVELTY; 239 tons coal used during year-
1904: Reverted to electric operation "now showing 2 fixed white with eclipses"



Sold May 21, 1930; became cannery tender TONDELAYO; wrecked in Clarance Passage Alaska, 1941


1897-1904: Julius Huebner, Mate
1898-1900: Abner I Lowell, Master
1905: Henry C Pierotti, Mate
1906-1914: George A Murk, Mate
1914-1916: Harry C Grimm, Mate
1916-1917: John B Sorenson, Mate
1917-1918: August Nilson, Mate
1918: Owen F Fisher, Mate
1918-1920: Peter E Henriksen, Mate
1920-1927: Rudolph Smith, Mate
1928-?: Erich R C Hesse, Mate

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Last Modified 2/29/2012