[Gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno]
Abraham Powell was born on January 24, 1828 in Philadelphia, Pa. As a youth he was employed in the Philadelphia Navy Yard and learned the trade of ship-joiner and civil engineer. He made numerous sea journeys in his youth, traveling to the West Indies and Europe.
In 1849, Powell joined the rush to California and boarded the ship "Oseola" in Philaelphia with sixty-four of his fellow pioneers. The ship went around Cape Horn and arrived in San Francisco on August 5, 1849. Upon arrival Powell entered into partnership with a fellow traveler as builders and joiners. Together they constructed numerous houses and buildings around San Francisco.
In 1850, Powell returned to Philadelphia. He was appointed Master Joiner at the Mare Island Navy Yard in 1854. Until 1858 Powell had full control of the yard operations on the Island. He was also Naval Constructor during this period, but continued as Master Joiner down to 1864.
In 1865 Powell entered into the private sector and became general manager of the Puget Sound Lumber Company. He first established a retail yard in Vallejo and then extended his operations by building yards in Napa, Suisun, Colusa, and in Yolo County. He also owned a redwood mill at Stuarts Point in Sonoma County. Powell was active in the Masonic Order, both in Philadelphia and California.
He served as Mayor of Vallejo for eight years and was a member of the board of Supervisors of Solano County