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Catalog Number WF 2393
Caption Ferry - ROSARIO
Description This view of the wooden ferry ROSARIO on the Guemes Channel is labeled, "# 17, Anacortes - Victoria Ferry Rosario, Anacortes, Wash., Brady." The ROSARIO was built in 1923 at the John Martinolich Yard at Dockton on Vashon Island. Originally named the WHIDBY (sic), the boat was constructed as a steam-powered vessel for the Puget Sound Navigation Company's run from Everett to Whidbey Island. In 1931 Puget Sound Navigation rebuilt the boat for use on any of its routes. Originally constructed at 114', the boat was lengthened to 155', resulting in a larger car-carrying capacity. Its steam engine was replaced with a 600 horsepower Sumner diesel, and her name was changed to ROSARIO. See WF 2387; the WHIDBY'S engines were installed in the PUGET. The ROSARIO could now carry 33 cars and 312 passengers. She was moved to the Anacortes-San Juan-Sidney, B. C., run. The 4-23-1931 ANACORTES AMERICAN reported that "60 Anacortes folks enjoy trip to San Juan Islands aboard new Black Ball ferry, ROSARIO." The ROSARIO served that route until 1941 when she was replaced by the VASHON. The ROSARIO then moved to routes further south on the Sound and was one of the vessels purchased by Washington State Ferries when Puget Sound Navigation sold out in 1951. In 1953 she was sold to the Scheerer Canning Company, which converted the ROSARIO to a floating cannery on the banks of the Snohomish River.

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, as was the City Float; see WF 0178. In 1923, a new route was added to serve Sidney, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. 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.
Date 1932 c.
Photographer BRADY, Ferd
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Maritime - Boat
Transportation - Maritime
Place - Anacortes, WA

Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms ferry
Ocean Dock
Mosquito Fleet
Puget Sound Navigation Company
Black Ball Line
Curtis Wharf
Guemes Ferry
International Ferry Dock
McNaught Dock
Washington State Ferries
Ship Harbor
Object Name Negative