The steam schooner Wapama was built by the St. Helens Shipbuilding Company for the Pacific Coast lumber trade and coastwide service in 1915. Her hull constructed in St. Helens, Oregon, and her triple-expansion steam engine and associated machinery installed in San Francisco, Wapama entered service under the ownership of her builder’s parent company, the McCormick Lumber Company.
Laid up in 1947, the ship was partly restored for public display by the state of California after 1958. Never fully restored, the vessel was transferred to the National Park Service in 1977. She was placed on display at Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco as a floating exhibit until 1980 when her hull was so badly deteriorated that she was placed on a barge to protect her from sinking. Moved in 1986, a 1997 study recommended dismantling. More documentation was completed during the dismantling process.
Wapama was typical of the numerous steam schooners that carried lumber, general cargo, and passengers between urban centers and small coastal settlements along the Pacific Coast. As the last surviving example of this type of vessel, she was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984.