The Ark in Sausalito: the Charles Van Damme Ferry
Modern attention may be drawn to Sausalito’s two most famous (or notorious) houseboats, the Taj Mahal and Forbes Island. But it so happens that the two most famous boats in 20th Century Sausalito history gained their fame as retired ferries: the S.S. Vallejo and the S.S. Charles Van Damme.
A club and performance venue in the 1960’s, the Ark was the popular name for the old ferry boat Van Damme. Local bands like the Redlegs (still playing locally as The Gaters and as Catfish and Tate) played benefits there in an unsuccessful effort to save the antique boat. Old handbills from the Ark can sell for hundreds of dollars each on the collectors market.