Historical Photo – Amundsen’s Gjoa
The photo above, circa 1910, shows an afternoon on the Great Highway with an open-air automobile and a pedestrian clutching her hat to fight the wind. They are passing by the Dutch Windmill and the sloop Gjoa on the western edge of Golden Gate Park. Famed explorer Roald Amundsen sailed the Gjoa through the Northwest Passage, reaching Alaska in 1905 and bringing her to dock in San Francisco in October 1906. At the request of the Norwegian consul, the Park Commission took possession of the ship and she was installed near the old Life Saving Station on July 9, 1909. She remained parked at Ocean Beach until 1972 when the Gjoa was moved to a museum in Oslo. Photo courtesy of a private collector/Western Neighborhoods Project. (For a detailed story of Amundsen and the Gjoa, search this website for the “Looking Back” column.)
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