Not too far from the WCTU fountain on the corner of Petaluma Blvd. South & Western Avenue (Blog #5), is the name of a paddle-wheel steamer that served Petaluma in an earlier time. It’s painted on the wall of a very “familiar” building next to the river. Have you seen it?
Just walk across Petaluma Blvd. toward the turning basin. As you near the Jack Balshaw bridge and look up toward the side wall of the Great Mill, to your right. What’s “strange” about this story is that the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad (P&SR), had two steamers – the “Gold” and the “Petaluma” that departed for San Francisco every morning and afternoon for a fare of 50 cents.
Adair Heig’s “History of Petaluma” states that, “In Petaluma the train pulled up at the little Washington and Copeland Street depot, leaving passengers to walk the remaining block to Steamer Gold Landing in the canal at the foot of Copeland Street. Freight trains were shunted directly to the landing.”
Since railroad service will be returning to Petaluma, I wonder if the Steamer Gold Line will be reactivated? Stay tuned for future “Strangeness of the Familiar” blogs.