Last month or was it the month before already, we met Mike’s son and his wife for brunch at Assemble on the water in Richmond. We diligently used our GPS, which was telling us to go through a guard gate. Huh?
Yes, we just had to tell the guard where we were going and she cheerfully waved us on. Choices: Assemble or Rosie the Riveter Museum.
Can you guess? Food, walk or history? Yes, we ate first. My first beignet – delicious. Ready to go back again. Assemble. It retains some of its industrial charm. (Mike and I are big on big industry that was starting to fade in our youth.)
Next to the restaurant is Craneway Pavilion – where Fords used to be assembled and is now used for musical events. Surrounding the building is a wide pier that links to the Bay Trail going to Brickyard Cove and then to Pt Richmond. Why we may have seen so many bicyclist is, that it’s over 3 miles to the Shipyard 3 or to Brickyard Cove (not necessarily connected.) and over 4 miles to Miller Knox.
While we could appreciate the view from here (towards Brooks Island and San Francisco) – around the building, some of the first section is not a lovely walk by the Bay.
We headed the other direction towards Marina Bay.
In a short distance we were at the inner harbor basin, where we turned left (otherwise we’d be wet). This is a simple trail to follow – less than a mile to Marina Park or about 1.5 mi to Barbara and Jay Vincent Park.
Along the way are maps and indicators to the past. In this picture the sign indicates you are facing Mare Island Naval Shipyard, in Vallejo.
Closer to the marina the ‘trail’ is more boardwalk.
Other Bay Trail Walks Bay Trail Map
Museum & Shipyard History
Kaiser had four shipyards in the Bay Area. (One is 3 miles away on the Bay Trail.) We explored the Rosie the Riveter, WWII Home Front filled with the history of the shipyards and the times.
A number of displays discussed the massive effort made in the Bay Area to build many ships – about 750 for World War II. Many people were needed to build those ships. (This kind of factory entrance reminded me of Chicago Southworks – when steel still ruled.)
Room for families was another kind of project. Often is was a camp situation with not enough room.
Some of the pictures were of Kaiser Hospitals – after all a whole range of services needed to be filled. I had an appointment at one when we lived in Richmond. Funny to have a memory of a building from just one visit, that becomes part of a museum display. Several displays described what was happening to Richmond as a town.
Another major part of the story is women working in the shipbuilding, due to the men joining the fight in Europe or the Pacific. After the war, many women returned to the home or more ‘traditional’ work. There was no “Rosie” – the name coming for a song – but it is an iconic image of women working. Read Wikipedia for more Rosie.
I felt the museum gave a good sense of the time – we can hardly imagine it today. Visit the website and then pay a visit.
Words and pictures by Lynn Millar – available upon request.