The City of Chester was headed up the California coast to Eureka with 90 passengers on Aug. 22, 1888, when it was struck by the steamer Oceanic about 10 a.m.
Impaled on Oceanic, which was arriving from Asia, the City of Chester remained afloat for six minutes before sinking. Sixteen people died in the accident. Initial reports had criticized Oceanic’s Chinese crew, but that turned to praise when the crew’s bravery in rescuing many of the City of Chester’s passengers came to light.
Story: Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times | Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park