The Valley of Heart's Delight

Captain James R. Herriman
"The Anchorage"
Santa Clara Valley- 1888

BIO Pen Pictures


CAPT. JAMES R. HERRIMAN was born in Bangor, Maine, March 10, 1837. His father, Hezekiah Herriman, also a native of Maine, was a ship-master, as were other members of his family. He followed the sea for some years, but during the last ten years of his life was in business in Bangor, where he died. His wife, Margaret, nee Bassett, was a native of Maine, and she died in Stockton. They reared six children, five sons and one daughter. All the sons were seafaring men and commanders of large vessels. One has since died. James R., the subject of this sketch, was reared in Bangor. Upon the death of his father, his mother moved to Prospect, Maine, and afterward he went to Winterport, Maine, where he attended school until fifteen years of age. He then, like a great many boys, got the sea fever and went to sea. He shipped as a cabin boy, and from this he passed through the several grades, until at the age of twenty-two he became captain and took command of a vessel, and from this time on his life was on the sea. He has had command of five different ships, all large ones. He was engaged in the merchant trade with foreign countries, mostly with the East Indies, Europe, and California. During the late Civil War he was in command of a transport vessel, conveying troops and munitions of war for the United States Government. He was at York River, lying there with army stores. During the fight "contrabands" came there in large numbers and were shipped to different places, Captain Herriman landing his load of them at Annapolis, Maryland. He was with the transports on the Mississippi River, below New Orleans, when the attack was made on Forts St. Philip and Jackson, his vessel being loaded with shot and shell for the war vessels which followed. He lay just below the mortar boats. After the forts were silenced by the gunboats the transports followed them up to New Orleans. The captain was in transport service until May, 1864, when he was discharged by the government. He then returned to his old trade in the mercantile business, in which he continued until he took command of the clipper ship America, in which he had an interest form 1882 to 1887. In 1887 she was badly damaged in a gale off San Pedro. She was afterward repaired, and is now running along the coast. Captain Herriman severed his connection with it soon after it became damaged, and in May he purchased his present ranch near Saratoga, where he has since resided. The ranch has nearly twenty-three acres in apricots, the rest in peaches, plums, and cherries, and all in bearing. In 1887 he had twelve tons of apricots, and five tons of peaches. The ranch is called "The Anchorage." The first year he was on the place it paid eight per cent interest on the investment.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H.S.
Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. page 266-267 transcribed by Carol Lackey-