CALIFORNIAN was built from the ground up in 1984 at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay. She was launched with great fanfare for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In July 2003, the Governor signed a bill into law designating CALIFORNIAN as the official tall ship of the State of California.
CALIFORNIAN is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. LAWRENCE, which patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush. The Revenue Cutter Service, along with four other federal maritime agencies, was consolidated into the United States Coast Guard in 1915.