The Old Ship Saloon at Pacific and Battery is so named for the Gold Rush era ship the Arkansas: That vessel ran aground in 1849 after a rough passage from New York, and it's one of the many wooden ships that eventually became landfill in the shallow waters of the area that's now the Financial District. Before serving as landfill, though, the Arkansas' masts were cut off and it became a bar. Atlas Obscura recalls that the ship was landlocked by infill and made accessible via a gangplank that read “Gud, bad and indif’rent spirits solds here! At 25 cents each.”
Long a masthead of the Old Ship Saloon and bars preceding it, new pieces of the Arkansas were recently discovered, or rather re-discovered according to the Chronicle. Work crews for developer Grosvenor Americas were toiling away on the foundation for a seven-story condo building next to the Old Ship when they found pieces the Arkansas. Those were its hull and perhaps part of its cargo — shoes of leather, bottles — along with a fragment of wood 15-feet in length that appears to have been the Arkansas' keel, buried 25 feet deep in mud.
The developer reported the find to the city, as is required, but not to the media, and an archeological team was sent in to take a peek. Sadly, that group determined that it wouldn't be possible to excavate and preserve the pieces of the Arkansas, so they were buried again. Someone got wind of the discovery, though, and told folks at the Old Ship Saloon about it. They say loose lips sink ships, but in this case, the Arkansas is long buried, and it's nice that the public gets to learn a fun history lesson. 25 cents each for spirits, good, bad, or other? San Francisco really is more expensive than it used to be, I guess.