Sixteen people died when the ship, carrying 90 passengers, went down on its way to Eureka, Calif. Many Chinese crew members on the Oceanic were initially subject to racist taunts, though they were later praised for their bravery in rescuing passengers from the sinking steamer.
NOAA scientists located the 202-foot-long wreck, which was covered in mud about 216 feet underwater, using sonar scanning technology.
The loss of the City of Chester is considered the Bay Area's second-most deadly shipwreck.
"Discoveries like this remind us that the waters off our shores are museums that speak to powerful events, in this case not only that tragic wreck, but to a time when racism and anger were set aside by the heroism of a crew who acted in the best traditions of the sea," Delgado said of the find.