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During the 1849 gold rush dozens of ships were abandoned in San Francisco's Yerba Buena cove. They were sometimes just burned to the waterline but some were put to good use.

The emigrant ship Niantic was left on this spot in the early days "when the water came up to Montgomery Street." Converted for profit, it was covered with a shingle roof with offices and stores on the deck. At the level of which was constructed a wide balcony surmounted by a verandah. The hull was divided into warehouses, entered by doorways on the sides. A fire on May 3, 1851, destroyed all but the submerged hulk which later was used as the foundation for the Niantic Hotel, a famous hostelry which stood until 1872.

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