The Matson Navigation Co. can trace its history to 1887, when the Swedish-born Captain William Matson purchased this 150-foot brigantine from his employer, J.D. Spreckels. She carried 600 tons of sugar and 12 passengers between Hawaii and the mainland until 1896.This was the first of several famous Matson vessels to bear the name Lurline. William Matson had first come to appreciate the name in the 1870s while serving as skipper aboard the Claus Spreckels family yacht Lurline (a poetic variation of Loreley, the Rhine river siren) out of San Francisco Bay. Matson met his future wife, Lillie Low, on a yacht voyage he captained to Hawaii; the couple named their daughter Lurline Berenice Matson. Spreckels sold the 150-foot Lurline to Matson so that Matson could replace his smaller schooner Emma Claudina and double the shipping operation which involved hauling supplies and a few passengers to Hawaii and returning with cargos of Spreckels sugar. Matson added other vessels to his nascent fleet and the brigantine was sold to another company in 1896 Lurlineís builder Matthew Turner built some of the fastest racing yachts in the world, proven out during the famous races sponsored by the San Francisco Yacht Club, of which Turner was a charter member. One of the more famous Turner-built yachts was Lurline, originally built for Claus Spreckles, and which won three of the first four San Pedro-Honolulu yacht races. Turnerís legacy of records in shipbuilding stands today. He launched more sailing vessels than any other man in America - 228 of them in 33 years, 154 of which were built at Benicia. Turner was a master of marine architecture and ship design. His ships were built with an eye to being practical with innovative modifications to the hull and sails. None of his vessels sported the fancy scrollwork on the bow and stern that was popular in his day. Master Shipbuilder Matthew Turner is considered the 'grandfather' of commercial wooden shipbuilding on the Pacific Coast. Emigrating to California from Ohio at the height of the gold rush in 1850, he took to the sea after a failed stint at placer mining. In 1868 after serving as owner and master of several sailing vessels he designed the brig NAUTILUS for his own use. He was so pleased with her sailing qualities that he turned shipbuilding full time. Between 1868 and his death in 1909, Turner launched a total of 228 sailing vessels, a record unmatched by any other single American builder during the era of sail. A large number of his vessels became South Sea island traders, where Turner maintained extensive business interests. His experience sailing the South Pacific produced innovations including single section masts, where the spars are all one piece from keel to truck, and the introduction of the Bermudan sail, eliminating the dangerous gaff on the sail's upper edge having to be controlled when the sail was brought down.