Museum News

Celebrate Holidays by the Sea on December 5

Watch the boat parade and enjoy a variety of beautifully decorated vessels.

Watch the boat parade and enjoy a variety of beautifully decorated vessels. Port of Los Angeles photo.


Saturday, December 5 is the annual Port of Los Angeles boat parade, from 6-9 pm. The Museum will be open and will host a toy drive from 6-9 pm.  Stop by, donate a toy, enjoy the parade, and catch a special screening of the movie “Elf” in the downtown harbor next to the Museum. For more information, check the community calendar for updates.

Watch a tattoo artist at work on November 7!



Tattoo courtesy Karel Beck

Visit us on Saturday, November 7 at 11am to watch artist Karel Beck create a tattoo from start to finish.  Admission to the demonstration is free.

Karel Beck has been a tattoo artist for 13 years.  She has worked at Atomic Tattoo in Hollywood, Slideshow Tattoo in Venice Beach, and was a founding artist of Transitions Tattoo shop in Huntington Beach. Her specialties include color, photo realism and portraiture. You can see more of her work on instagram.

Don’t miss the visit Tattoo and Scrimshaw exhibit, on view until December 13.





Sustainable Seafood Expo is October 11th! 

seafood ban ner

On Sunday, October 11, the Maritime Museum will be among the exhibitors at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Expo.  Learn how the fish in your dish was caught or farmed, and how you can make sustainable seafood choices!  Visit our booth to learn the history of the local fishing industry, and win a prize or two!


The 10th Annual Archives Bazaar is October 17th! 



Saturday, October 17th, from 9am-5pm will be the 10th annual Archives Bazaar, held on the University of Southern California Campus. The Museum will be showcasing some of our treasures from the library and artifact collections.  Admission is free, and over 80 archives will be participating.  Explore the diversity of stories that make Southern California a place of discovery!

Smithsonian Museum Day:

Museum Day Live-2015-banner

Museum Day Live is September 16. The Museum is proud to participate in Smithsonian Magazine’s 11th annual Museum Day Live by offering free admission to all visitors on Saturday, September 26. Free tickets and a full list of participating institutions are available for downloading at the Smithsonian website.

Mexican Naval Ship “ZAPOTECO” to visit June 27-30

The Mexican Naval Ship ZAPOTECO

The Mexican Naval Ship ZAPOTECO

The Mexican Naval Ship ZAPOTECO will be visiting Berth 46 (in the outer harbor) and will be open for free public tours June 27-30.    ZAPOTECO  (MP02) is a  Huasteco Class logistics vessel commissioned in 1986.  The ship is 2,650 tons displacement (full load),
and has a crew of 57.  Maximum Speed: 17 knots
ZAPOTECO is also  used as hospital and disaster relief vessel.

(Information courtesy

Click here for the schedule and free shuttle information

Maritime Museum is a “Blue Star” Museum for 2015

2015 Blue Star Museums

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense.

The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move.  “Parents of young children tell us that they go together to museums to learn new things and have family time together,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Blue Star Museums helps them do both, by helping military families learn about the  cultural resources in their communities, and offering a fun, high-quality experience that’s budget friendly as well as family friendly. We’re proud to help connect museums to military communities nationwide.”

The complete list of participating museums is available at

Museum Celebrates Lunar New Year with Family-Friendly Activities February 21, 2015

The Lunar New Year Celebration will be February 21, 2015 (Port of Los Angeles photograph)

The Lunar New Year Celebration will be February 21, 2015 (Port of Los Angeles photograph)

On Saturday, February 21, the Museum joins the Port of Los Angeles in welcoming the Lunar New Year.  The center of activity will be the Downtown Harbor (next to the Museum), and will include entertainment, lion dancers, food trucks, and fireworks. The Museum will offer free family-friendly activities including a scavenger hunt and crafts from 3:00 – 5:00pm.


Mexican Tall Ship CUAUHTEMOC to visit the harbor October 27-30, 2014



Mexican Naval Training Ship Offers Free Visits October 27-30

ARM Cuauhtémoc, a Mexican Navy barque, also known as the Ambassador and Gentleman of the Seas, will sail into the Port of Los Angeles next week and offer free public tours throughout the week on the LA Waterfront.

The historic vessel, with a crew of approximately 200 aboard, will arrive at Berth 46, also known as the Outer Harbor, on Monday, October 27 and be available for free public tours through Thursday, October 30.
Tour hours are:
·         Monday, October 27        11 a.m.-4 p.m.
·         Tuesday, October 28   –    Thursday October 30       10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Tours are on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations or tickets are not required. Free parking is available at the Outer Harbor, located at 3011 Miner Street in San Pedro.

As a sail training ship, Cuauhtémoc has operated for more than three decades and trained generations of officers, cadets and sailors in navigation and sailing maneuvers. The vessel last visited the Port of Los Angeles in 2005 as part of Tall Ships Festival LA.

Cuauhtémoc is the last vessel of a series of four windjammers. Other ships include Gloria from Columbia,Guayas from Ecuador and Simón Bolívar from Venezuela. Cuauhtémoc bears the name of the last Aztec emperor who was imprisoned and executed in 1528 by order of Herman Cortés, the conquistador.

Cuauhtémoc is a Class A, three-masted barque built in Bilbao, Spain in 1982. It was the first ship of its kind in Mexico. The ship is 297 feet in length, and weighs 1,800 tons with a rig height of 168 feet. She carries 23 sails with a maximum sail area of .6 acres.  The vessel’s home port is in Acapulco, Mexico.

For more information, call the Port of Los Angeles Public Affairs office at 310-732-3508.

Preview of New Children’s Exhibit set for Saturday, September 27th at 1:00 pm


Kids of all ages are cordially invited to try out the Los Angeles Maritime Museum’s new children’s exhibit: “What’s Going on in the Harbor Today?” during an open house on Saturday, September 27 from 1:00pm to 4:30pm.  Enjoy exploring the new, permanent exhibit, designed with the help of  teachers, parents, and children.   Discover the modern harbor, learn to load cargo, test your knowledge of ships, play dress up, and get ready for an afternoon of fun!  Admission is free.

The exhibit was made possible by the generosity of the following:  Friends of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Port of Los Angeles Community Benefit Grants, City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks, The Lee (Sher) and Joseph M. Mardesich, III Children’s Education Fund (in memoriam), Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, Southern California ILWU Pensioners, Local 13, San Pedro Retired Elks, The Corner Store, San Pedro

Shipwreck Documentary to be shown Saturday, October 4th

Cover image courtesy Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Cover image courtesy Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Of the thousands of voyages transporting Mormon migrants across the Atlantic and Pacific between 1840 and 1932, only one – the JULIA ANN – wrecked and resulted in loss of life. Now, after several years of research, Professor Fred Woods of Brigham Young University reveals an amazing story of shipwreck, faith, and perseverance. Join us on Saturday, October 4th at 1:00pm and discover the history of the 1855 shipwreck of  JULIA ANN, her ties to San Pedro, and the fate of her passengers and crew in Dr. Woods’ new book and accompanying documentary: “Divine Providence: the Wreck and Rescue of the JULIA ANN”.

The presentation and film viewing are free. Dr. Woods’ book: “Divine Providence: The Wreck and Rescue of the JULIA ANN” (DVD included) will be available for sale in the Sea Chest Museum shop for $24.99 plus tax. Friends of the LA Maritime Museum receive at 10% discount.

About the Author: Dr. Fred E. Woods is a professor at Brigham Young University in the department of Church History and Doctrine and earned his Ph.D. in Middle East studies from the University of Utah with an emphasis in Hebrew Bible. His recent works include “Finding Refuge in El Paso: The 1912 Mormon Exodus from Mexico”, and he has also produced several documentaries.  Dr. Woods’ specialty is the Mormon maritime migration to American in the nineteenth century, and he is the compiler and editor of the Mormon migration website


News: Summer 2014

The Visit of the World’s Largest Rubber Duck: Part II

Even though the Tall Ships Festival has ended, the world’s largest rubber duck will continue to visit the harbor from August 25th through September 7.   After “resting” over the Labor Day weekend, the duck will return to the downtown harbor (next to the Museum) on Tuesday, September 2. It will remain here through next Saturday, and make a final appearance in Wilmington (Banning’s Landing) on Sunday, September 7.

The world's largest rubber duck, as seen from the Museum windows.

The world’s largest rubber duck, as seen from the Museum windows.

Grand Opening of Downtown Harbor on Friday, June 20th

Celebrate the Opening of the New “downtown harbor” and plaza on Friday, June 20th from 5-8pm.  Enjoy music, food, and entertainment, check out the new marina, and enjoy the new plaza at the Museum’s front door!  The Museum will remain open until 7pm, so be sure to stop in for a visit and see how our exhibit renovations are shaping up.

The event is free to the public!

You can find more information and the official press release here:

Looking South

The new docks of the downtown harbor, looking South

News: Fall 2013

Museum to Celebrate 50th Birthday of Vincent Thomas Bridge on November 16th

On Saturday, November 16th from 1pm-3pm, the Museum will host a birthday celebration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Vincent Thomas Bridge.  The 2.2 mile bridge, which opened in 1963, links San Pedro to Terminal Island and was the first welded suspension bridge in the United States.

Vincent Thomas Bridge

Vincent Thomas Bridge

Festivities include crafts, games, and a special birthday cake.   A special exhibit of bridge and ferry artifacts will be on view.  Admission is free.

Torrance Parker to Make Deep Dive on October 23

Torrance Parker

Torrance Parker

Renowned deep sea diver and author Torrance R. Parker, 85, will perform a live diving demonstration in a canvas diving suit with brass helmet on Wednesday, October 23 at 1:00 pm at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum followed by a book signing and reception for his second book: 20,000 Divers Under The Sea: A History of the Mediterranean and Western Atlantic Sponge Trades with an Account of Early Deep Diving.

Ms. Elisabeth Fotiadou Consul General of Greece in Los Angeles is honorary host for the event. All proceeds from book sales will go to the Friends of Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

The book presents a deep and thorough account of sponge diving from ancient Greece to its current epicenter in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Parker chronicles the history of sponge diving, an ancient trade for an ancient organism 600 million years old beneficial for humans through time — from the first sponge trade in the Aegean Sea – to its expansion into the greater Mediterranean area – to the technological change introduced to the Greek sponge fishermen in 1863 with compressed air diving apparatus. Parker connects Greek immigration to America and the establishment of the sponge diving industry in Florida.

A native of Oklahoma, Parker began his diving career on a Greek sponge diving vessel at age 16 during World War II. In 1947 he arrived in San Pedro and founded Parker Diving Service Inc., a general engineering and commercial diving firm. Since its founding, the company has performed work in many parts of the United States, as well as Central and South America. Still operating under the Parker name, it is now the oldest continuously operating commercial diving company in California.

The presentation is free, and the book will be available for purchase in the Sea Chest Museum Shop. (Friends of the LA Maritime Museum receive a 10% discount)


2000 Divers Under the Sea

Learn more about Torrance’s amazing career here.

Links to Media Coverage of the Event are here

Photos from the October 24th edition of the Daily Breeze are here

Attention, USS Los Angeles CA-135 Shipmates!

The Museum has received a grant from the US Navy Cruiser Sailors Association to purchase audio equipment in order to record oral histories from officers, crew, and families of the men who served aboard the USS Los Angeles CA-135.   Portions of interviews will be made available on our website and will be incorporated into the Museum’s CA-135 exhibit. If you would like to participate please contact us.

News: Spring 2013

The Steamship Historical Society has named the Los Angeles Maritime Museum’s tugboat ANGELS GATE as the 2013 Tugboat of the Year. The award was presented on Saturday, May 4th, during the Society’s annual conference held in Long Beach, California.

“Each year the Steamship Historical Society of America recognizes vessels, people or entities that have exemplified or made a significant contribution to the history of engine-powered vessels. ANGELS GATE was selected in recognition of her approaching  70th anniversary and the Museum’s devoted efforts to preserve her and make her available for educational and enjoyment purposes”, stated CDR John Hamma, USN (Ret), President of the Society.

Library Blog Post:

See the Library’s Blog, “Adventures in Maritime History”, and a post on tattoos on blogspot.

New Acquisitions

The Great Bridge by David McCullough

The Great Bridge by David McCullough

A generous donation of several hundred books on the subject of deep diving was received in late summer, 2014.   Of the many titles, ones that stand out as unique in this collection are eminently readable, such as “The Great Bridge” by David McCullough, who also wrote “The Path Between the Seas”, a history of the Panama Canal.

You can see this title and more at the LibraryThing web pages for the Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Library here.

From the Collection

Model of the fishing vessel DEL RIO, 1936.

Model fishing boat, DEL RIO, a purse seiner, circa 1940.

Model fishing boat, DEL RIO, a purse seiner, circa 1940.

The scratch-built model was given to Paul Petrich Sr. by modeler John Jack Greget between 1937 and 1940. At the time, Petrich was a part-owner of the real DEL RIO, a purse seiner built in 1935 by the J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corporation, Tacoma, WA. DEL RIO worked in Los Angeles Harbor in the 1930s. In 1940 the US Navy purchased Del RIO and converted her to minesweeper AMc 19 Grosbeak, patrolling the vicinity of San Francisco Bay. After WW II, GROSBEAK was returned to the owners, and resumed her original name of DEL RIO and her original mission of fishing. On October 28, 1952, while fishing for sardines near Anacapa Island, she caught on fire and sent out a distress call. The crew was rescued but DEL RIO sank.

According to Paul Petrich, Jr. in his article Shipwreck of the Purse Seiner DEL RIO, “The DEL RIO was a representation of the life’s blood of the commercial fishing enterprise then based in San Pedro. Fishermen were recorded in San Pedro’s first U.S. Census count in 1850, and by 1909 the port town was annexed to the City of Los Angeles, in part due to its growing fishing industry. The DEL RIO was an example of a type of boat designed to use a purse seine net. The purse seine was a round-haul net which was set to circle the fish, but it could also be closed at the bottom, like a purse, when hauling the fish in.”

You can read more about the Del Rio at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Library. To request an appointment, fill out the request form here.