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A guide to the Jack Ehrhorn collection of Stone Boat Yard naval architectural drawings, 1898-1993
HDC1611 (SAFR 22826)  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: Jack Ehrhorn collection of Stone Boat Yard naval architectural drawings
    Date: 1898-1993
    Date (bulk): 1912-1975
    Identifier/Call Number: HDC1611 (SAFR 22826)
    Creator/Collector: Ehrhorn, Jack Stone, Lester
    Physical Description: 1069 items
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Jack Ehrhorn collection of Stone Boat Yard naval architectural drawings (SAFR 22826, HDC 1611) consists of 1069 naval architectural plans, of which 176 are original drawings from the Stone Boat Yard or one of its predecessor businesses. This collection also includes 30 document files of research and business records from Jack Ehrhorn, Stone Boat Yard, or one of its predecessor businesses. This collection is open for use by appointment only; a small number of items are unavailable for due to their very fragile condition.
    Physical Location: San Franicsco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.

    Access

    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted. Restrictions are noted at the file level. Items in fragile condition are not available for use.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], HDC1611 (SAFR 22826), Jack Ehrhorn collection of Stone Boat Yard naval architectural drawings, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-01896
    SAFR-01896, Jack W. Ehrhorn Estate. Jack Ehrhorn, shipwright at the Stone Boat Yard for 40 some years, preserved records, photographs, casting patterns and other memorabilia of the yard.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    Company History: Stone & Swann boatyard; Stone & Van Bergen boatyard; W.F. Stone & Son boatyard; and Stone Boat Yard. Between 1853 and 1970 three generations of the Stone family built more than 225 wooden boats on the shores of San Francisco Bay. After 1970, Stone Boat Yard continued to operate until 2004 under various proprietors. Beginning in about 1937 Jack Ehrhorn (1919-2005) was a master shipwright; he became operations foreman at the W.F. Stone & Son boatyard where he developed a reputation as one of the west coast's premier craftsmen and builders. Jack Ehrhorn preserved the W.F. Stone & Son records that form the core of this collection.
    William I. Stone emigrated from Dartmouth, England and established a boatyard in the Hunter's Point area of San Francisco in 1853, where he specialized in building small commercial boats as well as racing and recreational yachts. He was in business until 1892, and he died in 1914.
    W.I. Stone's eldest son, William Frank Stone (1868-1923; known as Frank Stone) opened a boatbuilding yard on Beach Street in Tiburon in 1893, in partnership with someone only identified as Swann. Between 1893 and 1898, the Stone & Swann boatyard specialized in building yachts, smaller gas power launches, and row boats. Vessels built and repaired at this location are represented in Series 1 of this collection.
    In 1899 Frank Stone moved his operations to Harbor View, San Francisco, and opened a partnership with Edgar N. Van Bergen. In 1911, Stone & Van Bergen was evicted from this location because the planning and construction of the 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition. Vessels built and repaired at this location are represented in Series 2 of this collection.
    After being evicted from the Harbor View site in 1911, Frank Stone moved his operations to Oakland, at the foot of Diesel Way and Kennedy Streets, adjacent to the Union Diesel Engine company. His son, Lester F. Stone (1892-1975) was formally brought into the family business at this time, and the business name changed to W.F. Stone & Son. When Frank Stone died in 1923, Lester Stone became the sole proprietor. After finishing his apprenticeship in the late 1930s, Jack Ehrhorn was hired by Lester Stone to work in the Oakland yard as the lofts-man, master shipwright, and crew foreman. Following the entry of the United States into World War II and the subsequent expansion of Union Diesel, W.F. Stone & Son was evicted from the Oakland yard and moved across the estuary to Alameda. Vessels built and repaired at the Oakland yard are represented in Series 3 of this collection.
    From its new location on Blanding Avenue in Alameda, W.F. Stone & Son boatyard built mine sweepers, sub chasers and fire tugs for the U.S. Navy during the War. From 1946 until Lester Stone's retirement in 1970, Jack Ehrhorn and Lester Stone worked collaboratively to design and build the expertly crafted recreational and racing yachts for which the yard was renowned. By the late 1960s, however, the custom yacht building business was fading. Lester Stone retired in 1970 at the age of 78; he passed away in 1975. Vessels built and repaired at this location under the W.F. Stone & Sone business name are represented in Series 4 of this collection
    After Lester Stone's death in 1975 the yard was sold at least two times, but continued doing business as Stone Boat Yard, thereby retaining the historical name and connotations. When the business declared bankruptcy in 1986 it was purchased by Bill and Grace Bodle, who refurbished the machinery and rehired some former employees, including Jack Ehrhorn. Stone Boat Yard closed in 2004. Jack Ehrhorn passed away in 2005. This period is represented in Series 5 of this collection.

    Chronology

    1853-1893 W.I. Stone, San Francisco (Hunter's Point)
    1893-1899 Stone & Swann, Tiburon
    1899-1911 Stone & Van Bergen, San Francisco (Harbor View)
    1911-1941 W.F. Stone & Son, Oakland
    1941-1975 W.F. Stone & Son, Alameda
    1975-2004 Stone Boat Yard, Alameda
    Sources:
    Robinson, Judith. 'Transcript of an oral history interview with Jack Ehrhorn.' 2005 June 2. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
    O'Grady, Roberta Stone. 'Wooden shipbuilding in San Francisco Bay: one family's story. A Memorial of the Stone family' Presentation at the Contra Costa Hiking Club annual meeting, 2010 March 21. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
    Brooks, Douglas. 'The Stone Boatyard: Three Generations of quality,' Wooden Boat # 109 (November / December 1992). pp 60-68
    Saint Francisco Yacht Club. History at http://www.stfyc.com
    Stone Boat Yard Catalogue of Boats. Stone Boatyard Pamphlet File. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
    Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directories (years 1908, 1910, 1911)
    Heig, James (ed.) Pictoral History of Tiburon (San Francisco: 1984)

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Jack Ehrhorn collection of Stone Boat Yard naval architectural drawings (SAFR 22826, HDC 1611) consists of 1069 naval architectural plans, of which 176 are original drawings from the Stone Boat Yard or one of its predecessor businesses. This collection also includes 30 document files of research and business records from Jack Ehrhorn, Stone Boat Yard, or one of its predecessor businesses. This collection is open for use by appointment only; a small number of items are unavailable for due to their very fragile condition.

    Collection Arrangement

    The collection was donated in no discernable order, and many sheets have no positive identification of vessel name. Vessels were deductively identified by the processing archvist using extant notes on the plans, including dates, vessel type and size notes, contract and client information, etc. All original drawings were presumed to be original to one of the various Stone boat yards.
    Most of the sheets in the collection have small stickers or pieces of white tape affixed to the center bottom edge, with applied alpha-numeric notations. In some cases these numbers were assigned in batches or runs, and these batch numbers help identify vessels and jobs. These notations are referred to as 'applied numbers' and as 'item numbers' throughout the prepared finding aid.
    The Processing Archivist imposed an intellectual arrangement on this collection, and physically reorganized the collection to meet the physical preservation and storage requirements of the plans in the collection.
    The collection is arranged into eight (8) series. The first five (5) series include dated plans of vessels, including original drawings, that were either built or repaired by one of the various Stone family boatyards. These first five series are arranged by businees name, location and date. Series six (6) includes undated original drawings which cannot be identified by vessel or date; because these are original ink on linen or pencil on paper drawings, they are assumed to have been created by one of the various Stone boatyards. Series seven (7) includes blueprints, diazotypes and other duplicates of naval architectural drawings or vessels that were neither built nor repaired at any of the Stone Boat Yards. Series 8 includes business and research files.
    Series 1: Stone & Swann (Tiburon, 1893-1899). Series 2: Stone & Van Bergen (San Francisco, 1900-1911). Series 3: W.F. Stone & Son (Oakland, 1912-1941); sub-series 3.1: Built vessels; sub-series 3.2: Repair work and other jobs. Series 4: W.F. Stone & Son (Alameda, 1941-1975). Series 5: Stone Boat Yard (Alameda, 1976-2004). Series 6: Undated original drawings; sub-series 6.1: Named vessels; sub-series 6.2: Unnamed or unidentfied vessels. Series 7: Plans originating from other architects and yards; sub-series 7.1: Other naval architects; sub-series 7.2: Unidentified sources and vessels. Series 8: Business and Research Files.
    Storage Note: Plans are stored with 'like' items are far as material, and by size. Folders 1-11 are small map folders holding plans up to 18x28 inches. Folders 12-47 are map folders holding plans up to 35 x 46 inches. Rolls hold plans which exceed 46 inches in either dimension. Oversize box 1 contains all items that are very fragile and not available for use. Series 8 is housed in a single 8 inch wide document box. Folder 'T4' is a large map folder holding estray drawings which need rehousing with like material.

    Related Materials

    Several related collections sharing the same provenance are held by San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. These include the following plans and photograph collections.
    SAFR 17124 (HDC 277) Stone Boatyard records, 1913-1982. 74.5 LF. Includes business records and naval architectural drawings.
    SAFR 21341 (HDS 1288) Stone Boat Yard records and Marine Architectural Drawings. 207 items.
    SAFR 15003 (HDC 1109) Buccaneer (bilt 1931; yacht) census and registration. 5 items.
    SAFR 8120 (P77-022) Stone Boat Yard photograph collections. 140 items.
    SAFR 10116 (P92-042) Bill Bodle Stone Boat Yard photographs. 28 copy negatives.
    SAFR 10120 (P92-051) Jack Ehrhorn photographs. 17 copy negatives. Copies of originals from Stone Boat Yard and predecessor businesses.
    SAFR 17239 (P86-049) Ehrhorn photo collection. 2 items.
    SAFR 19781 (P01-023) Lester Stone photographs. 213 copy negatives.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Boatbuilding
    Yacht building
    Small craft--United States--History--20th century--archives
    Shipyards--California--History
    Stone, Lester F.
    Stone & Swann
    Stone & Van Bergen
    W.F. Stone & Son (Oakland)
    W.F. Stone & Son (Alameda)
    Stone Boat Yard
    Naval architecture drawings
    Naval architecture
    Boatbuilding