September 10, 2010

Gate Five, Sausalito

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Gate Five originated as part of the huge Marinship shipyard in Sausalito, where hundreds of cargo carrying "Liberty" ships were built at a furious pace for the WorldWarII effort.

The beatniks were probably already at Gate Five, but in the 1960's footloose hippies gathered here, using just about anything that would float as a home.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This is about all that's left of the Charles Van Damme. Built in 1916, the Van Damme, named after its original investor, was a sidewheel ferry that carried cars and passengers between Richmond and San Rafael for 40 years.

The Van Damme finally became a picturesque addition to the Sausalito waterfront, making an appearance as a locale in several movie productions.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

In the 1970s, the Van Damme became the social and cultural hub for the freewheeling houseboaters and anchor-outs, who were then fighting a battle against Marin County authorities in what became known as "The Richardson Bay Houseboat Wars." The anchored-out hippies won the war -- but not before sewage problems were addressed.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

In it's glory days the Van Damme was turned into a plush after-hours club called "The Ark". It was a hangout for some of the biggest rock musicians of the '60s; like Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jerry Garcia, Steve Miller, Otis Redding, David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Moby Grape and Jimi Hendrix.   They all played there or visited the place.   No fooling.

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Anonymous said...

Very informative and interesting. Wish I could have hung out with some of those musicians at "The Ark."


Unknown said...

You are so creative! Love this pictures! Love the colors! :D
Happy weekend!

ollie said...

fascinating place that i haven't heard of before, thanks for sharing your wonderful photos of it!

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