Sunday, July 07, 2013

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park

When we visited Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park we were told that this is the longest park name in the National Park system.  It's also an unusual park in that the sites are not contiguous.  This park celebrates the work done in the United States to support the efforts of our troops overseas during World War II.  Richmond, CA was home to three large shipyards run by Henry Kaiser.  The town of Richmond grew from 20,000 to over 100,000 residents in just a few years, straining its resources immensely.

Start your visit at the Visitor Education Center to see exhibits on the shipyards, the beginnings of child care in this country, the unique contribution of Kaiser to health care, and the large numbers of women and minorities who entered the urban workforce.  During our visit, we saw two interesting films on Richmond, CA and the Home Front.  Here you can pick up maps for driving and walking tours of the park. The Visitor Education Center is open daily (except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day) from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at 1414 Harbor Way.

Next head to Kaiser Shipyard 3 where you can see historic buildings and tour the SS Red Oak Victory.  This ship hauled ammunition during World War II and was built at nearby Shipyard 1.  The ship is named after Red Oak, IA, the town that suffered the highest per capita loss of military personnel during the war.  The Red Oak was scheduled for demolition but was rescued by the Richmond Museum of History.  Visitors are welcome on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Admission costs $5 per person.

SS Red Oak Victory

Whirley Crane

Your last stop can be the Rosie the Riveter Memorial.  The design is in the shape of prefabricated parts used in the construction of Liberty and Victory Ships and is laid out to resemble a vessel under construction.  The memorial, which precedes the founding of the national park by three years, honors the women who entered the industrial workforce for the first time during World War II.

Rosie the Riveter Memorial

If you want some lunch during your visit, Assemble Restaurant is located next to the Visitors Center and has American food.  For Italian cuisine with a water view, check out Salute e Vita Ristorante near the Rosie the Riveter Memorial.

To take a private, custom tour that includes a visit to Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at or (415) 337-1874. 

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