The Lathrop Rotary rededicated a brass plaque marking the historic 1846 journey of the first known sail launch to journey from San Francisco up the San Joaquin River.
The plaque along with a second one that marked the final segment of the transcontinental railroad being completed had been mounted on a stone monument Matheny Road near the entrance to the Mossdale Park boat launch park on the San Joaquin River for years.
The plaque commemorating the Comet’s journey was found recently and re-installed on the monument.
The launch carried Mormon Church members that was part of a large group of men that traveled by ship via Cape Horn in the fall of 1846 to present day San Francisco that was then known as Yerba Buena.
The Comet carried 20 of those men inland after it departed from San Francisco headed for the San Joaquin Valley under the leadership of William Stout. They sailed on the Comet up the San Joaquin River and landed near what is now known as the Mossdale Crossing. They continued farther up the river and then headed 1.5 miles up the Stanislaus River where they established a settlement in the area that is now known as Caswell State Park. It was the first known American settlement in the San Joaquin Valley.
The settlement known as New Hope was up and running before winter settled in 1846.
The plaque also references how John Doak and Jacob Bosnell operated the first ferry on the San Joaquin River at Mossdale starting in November 1848.