The Steam Ferry Berkeley in the early 20th century. Courtesy Maritime Museum of San Diego

The Maritime Museum of San Diego announced Monday it was awarded a $200,000 federal grant to help preserve the historic 1898 steam ferry Berkeley.

The award under National Maritime Heritage Grant Program will be used to preserve the weather-beaten starboard, or south, side of the ferry. The work could take up to two years.

Powered by a triple-expansion steam engine, the Berkeley provided service between Oakland and San Francisco for nearly 60 years, and helped evacuate thousands of San Francisco residents after the great earthquake in 1906. The ship is both a state and national historic landmark

Earlier this year the museum completed preservation of the weather decks of the tall ship Star of India.

The Maritime Museum has been the recipient of three National Maritime Heritage Program grants in recent years.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.