Shortly after California was awarded statehood in 1850, Mare Island became the first permanent U.S. naval shipyard on the West Coast and served as such for over 100 years. During its heyday, there were over 18,000 people employed on the island where naval vessels came in to be repaired and painted. During its long historic tenure, both the Navy and U.S. Marines have used the location for training operations.
As the oldest shipyard and naval facility on the West Coast, the shipyard earned a National Historic Landmark designation by the federal government in 1975. Mare Island Naval Base was deactivated during the 1995 cycle of US base closures. In 1998 the redevelopment on Mare Island began, with the eastern portion being turned into a mixed use community. Aside from the residential neighborhood and industrial zone, the plans also call for a large portion of the area to be set aside for wildlife habitat and wetlands.
The old growth douglas fir material we reclaimed, is from different buildings being salvaged as a part of the ongoing commercial development on Mare Island. Faint, as a result of years of foot traffic, some of the pieces of the 2×12 (which served as the buildings flooring) still have the painted numbers of the bays they were from. Black and yellow striping is also found toward the ends of all the boards, serving as a warning to the workers the ledge was near. Rich with local history, the material would make wonderful table tops, split in half to make interesting paneling, etc.