Rosie the Riveter Museum & SF Bay Trail Walk - February 2019

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On Sunday of President's Day weekend, seventeen of us met at the Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond for a visit, followed by a walk on the San Francisco Bay Trail.  The nearby section of the Bay Trail is the longest part yet completed.   

The walkers arrived around 10:30 am and headed to the Museum.        

Rosie the Riveter is symbolic of the sudden entry of American women into the manufacturing workforce during WW II.  Good paying jobs in industry suddenly opened up not only for women but also for non-white men and women.   

This was a first in America, a necessary first because of the immense labor shortage, once the Country's heavy industries mobilized for war on a very large scale.  After December 1941, most working age men enlisted & went off to fight, so the door to good-paying jobs opened and older white men and younger white women, and persons of other ethnic groups were hired & trained to do welding or heavy metal fabrication, or other industrial or scientific skills.   

Richmond Marina, with naturally deep harbors & rail access, quickly developed into four separate shipyards, all owned by social visionary Henry Kaiser.  During the War this area produced a total of 747 ships, mainly Liberty Ships and Victory Ships, but some smaller models too.  The Kaiser shipyards employed as many as 90,000 people, with factories operating on a 24-7 schedule. 

Some of the photos of workers leaving on shift changes show thousands of workers, going back to their homes, or catching buses or trains.  It's a bit mind-boggling.        

Other shipyards in the Bay Area during WWII included Mare Island in Vallejo, Marinship in Sausalito, Moore Dry Dock in Oakland, and, Bethlehem Shipyard as well as Hunter's Point Dry Dock, in San Francisco.

People from all over the country, many or most having lived through the seemingly unending dog days of the Depression, flocked to these factory jobs and as a result, Richmond's population in a two year period (1942-44) grew from 30,000 to 130,000.     

note - you can usually enlarge any part of a pictures by left-clicking in and then out again.       

hikers arriving at the Museum Ford Assembly Building      
  big Eucalyptus at the Museum Rosie the Riveter entrance statistics on jobs  the workers
what a mixture of people ! from a 1943 photo ship building info Liberty &  Victory ships

The Museum brochure stated that by the end of the war, there were six million women employed nationwide in the war effort.  My Mom, a Navy Wave, was among them.  She walked past the White House twice a day on her commute to the Federal Real Estate Department where she did clerical work.  

Our group took about an hour to see the exhibits, including the well-done 16 minute documentary.  The Docent encouraged people to visit on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, because they have a 93 year old Docent, a real Rosie who worked here.   

Afterwards we returned to the vehicles to get our hiking gear & lunches, then off we went on a six-plus mile roundtrip walk, the turn-around point being just shy of Point Isabel.  

start of the walk Marina area looking back birders Max & Gail
    Albany Hills beyond the Marina   red phormium or Flax
hiker group at Rosie Memorial sculpture of a boat hull another Rosie the walkers
  homes with Bay views   Pride of Madiera looking back to Shipyard #2
Vincent Park flags & Angel Island  Mt. Tam in distance Gazania
  we found a few bayside lunch spots Dick and Max Max, Rich & his sister Gail post-lunch walk
Oakland way off to the south Albany Hills again out walking impromptu  shot
    the Marina again winter light & East Bay scenery     
sailing regatta like butterflies  w/Oakland shipyard in the distance back at the Museum      
  four images of SF   G.G. Bridge   
on the ride home...              

Most of the Sacramento hikers detoured to Heretic Brewery in Fairfield, for a brew & snack; then we had only a short drive to the Davis park & ride. 

Weather note - this was the first clear day, following three days of intense storms, bringing a lot of rain and a few minutes here & there of hail.  It seemed as if the storm clouds had just cleared out when we arrived at the Richmond Marina and the Museum parking lot. 

Once we were out walking many people vocalized their appreciation for such a fine sunny day, as it turned out to be, with clear air & views across the Bay.  Can you get too much fresh air?  

Also, following weeks of storms, on the drive home it was great to see the Yolo Bypass between Davis and Sacramento looking like an inland sea, full to the gills. This shows how substantial a storm season it has been this winter, and let's hope this correlates with lower fire risk in late summer & fall.   

All photos were taken with a hand-held Canon G16 point & shoot.  

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