The Carquinez

Ferry Boat Carquinez The steam ferry boat "Carquinez" was used to transport the Pony Express rider and horse between Benicia and Martinez, California, when the mail was routed overland between Sacramento and Oakland due to missed boat connections in Sacramento.

In 1851 Oliver C. Coffin and Seth Swain were granted the exclusive franchise to operate a ferry across the Carquinez Strait on the Sacramento River between Martinez, the county seat of Contra Costa County, and Benicia. In 1854 Coffin placed into service the double end dual paddle wheeler "Carquinez", the first ferry vessel used on the west coast constructed specifically for that purpose. The ferry had been framed and fitted in an eastern shipyard and shipped around the Horn as ballast in the hold of a sailing vessel.

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