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Catalog Number D.IX.095
Caption KULSHAN
Description Copied from the collection of the donor. The subject is the steamer KULSHAN under way with decks loaded. View is facing the front right of the boat.

The KULSHAN, named for the Indians' traditional name for Mt. Baker of Koma Kulshan, was built in Seattle in 1910 by the Moran Shipbuilding Company, a "first-class steel screw steamer." This view is labeled, "The Kulshan, landing at Anacortes dock, Anacortes, Wash." The vessel weighed 926 tons, with dimensions of 160.3 x 32 x 20.7, and "was equipped with triple-expansion engine (17, 28, 47.5 x 36) with steam at 225 pounds working pressure from two oil-fired water tube boilers. The engine developed 1,100 horsepower. Her contract speed of 13 knows was easily exceeded on her four-hour continuous teaming trials, during which she averaged 14.32 knots." Following her construction, the KULSHAN served the Seattle-Anacortes-Bellingham route, eventually replacing the WHATCOM on that run; see the 7-19-1917 ANACORTES AMERICAN ad for the steamers WHATCOM and KULSHAN, and the 8-25-1927 ad for the KULSHAN. The KULSHAN ran from Seattle to Anacortes (via Deception Pass) and Bellingham in one day, and returned to Seattle via the same route on the next day. In 1928 the KULSHAN was replaced by the steamer SOL DUC, which was "larger and carried more passenger accommodations." The KULSHAN'S performance was "a source of pride to Puget Sound residents, for she was practically a 100% local product, much of the steel for her construction having been rolled at Irondale near Port Townsend." Quotes are from H. W. MCCURDY MARINE HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, p. 172.

Various ferry landings have served Fidalgo Island since 1890. The traditional landing place for passenger boats at that time was the Ocean Dock located at the foot of P/Commercial Avenue on the Guemes Channel. Vessels of "Mosquito Fleet" vintage continued to dock there until those wooden vessels gradually became obsolete and transportation routes were consolidated on the Sound by such lines as the Puget Sound Navigation Company. Starting around c. 1915, that company's Black Ball Line docked its domestic passenger vessels on the west side of Curtis Wharf which was built c. 1904 and located at the foot of O Avenue on the Guemes Channel; the company's international (Sidney, B. C.), and San Juan Islands ferries docked at the Guemes Ferry landing at the foot of Q Avenue. The Guemes Ferry, which commenced in 1913, had been started by Harry Rickaby, a boat builder whose boathouse was also based at the foot of Q Avenue, a was the City Float; see WF 0178. In 1923, a new route with automobile service was added to serve Sidney, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island by Captain Harry Crosby. In 1926, Puget Sound Navigation purchased Crosby's ferry run which was now also serving the San Juan Islands. With this increased business, the Black Ball Line consolidated all of its boat landings at the Curtis Dock in 1928. The 3-22-1928 ANACORTES AMERICAN reported, "Puget Sound Navigation Company has been granted permission to move its Sidney and island ferries docking place from foot of Q Avenue to foot of O Avenue where the company's steamers have landed for years." See WF 0173, 0176.

Sometime over the next two decades, the Black Ball Line began docking at the "International Ferry Dock" at the foot of I Avenue and 6th Street. This historic side had once been occupied by the McNaught Dock, built in 1890 to service steamers and trains coming to this portion of Anacortes. See WF 0060. As the Washington State Ferry service replaced the Black Ball line, those ferries servicing the outlying San Juan Islands and Sidney, B. C., docked there. On 12-30-1949, due to rising ferry rates and a virtual monopoly by the Black Ball Line, Washington State announced it would purchase most of the equipment and operations of the Puget Sound Navigation Company. The sale took place in 1951, and Washington State Ferries began service, using the re-flagged Black Ball vessels, on 6-1-1951. In 1959, work bean on a new site for the San Juan and Sidney, B. C., ferries at Ship Harbor. The area was so-named during the mid-1800s when sailing vessels would anchor there while waiting for a tow further east into inland waters. By the 1890s Ship Harbor hosted numerous salmon canneries, such as the Fidalgo Island and Rosario canning companies. The last of the buildings associated with the cannery era were demolished to make way for the new Washington State Ferry terminal, which officially opened in May 1960. The old International Ferry Terminal at 6th and I Avenue then became the Guemes Island ferry terminal. See the 7-6-1950 ANACORTES AMERICAN for a Brogan photo of the Black Ball Line ferry at International Ferry Dock.

Wallie V. Funk compiled this partial list of ferries that served Anacortes, the San Juan Islands, and British Columbia.
1920s: CITY OF ANGELES, MT. VERNON, PUGET, CITY OF BELLINGHAM, GLEANER, HARVESTER KING
1930s: ROSARIO, QUILCENE, CITY OF BREMERTON, CROSLINE, BAINBRIDGE
1940s: VASHON, QUILLAYUTE, CHIPPEWA, NISQUALLY
1950s: VASHON, KLICKITAT, ILLAHEE, NISQUALLY
Subjects unknown
Search Terms KULSHAN
Object Name Print, Photographic