Ferryboat Relic on the Shores of South Puget Sound
In the late 1800s, a popular way to cross Puget Sound was by ferry. The boats were then owned and operated by privately run steam-powered ships.
In 1888 the City of Seattle offered the first regularly scheduled ferry service in the Sound, from West Seattle to downtown - Kline and Bayless, 'Ferryboats’
By the early 1900s the “mosquito fleet” crisscrossed the Sound on 34 different routes. One of the last privately run routes was the Steilacoom to Anderson Island route.
One of the most odd sights in Puget Sound is an old relic from these early times - marooned on the beach. The boat is "The Ocean City." Its resting place is in Oro Bay on Anderson Island, across the waterway from Steilacoom and Tacoma.
“The Ocean City” - a historic 189-foot ferry capable of carrying 50 cars. Constructed in 1928, this remarkable vessel was originally equipped with steam power and commissioned by the Reading Railroad.
In 1950, the State of Virginia acquired the ferry.
Captain Tom Palmer, a Pierce County Ferry captain, purchased the ferry in 1984, and hoped it would supplement his current 30-car ferry. -Rivited Airstream Blog
In 1984, “The Ocean City” was purchased, with the plan to add to the existing fleet servicing the Steilacoom to Anderson Island route. During the boat’s 7,000 mile, two month trip via the Panama Canal, the privately owned ferry service was purchased by Pierce County.
The new operators didn’t need its services. Today it sadly lists to the side in Oro Bay, along the shores of South Puget Sound.
INFORMATION SOURCES: Riveted Blog (Airstream RV's), Kline and Bayless 'Ferryboats’
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