ABOUT THIS BOOK
This collection of historic maritime photos has been selected to give the reader an overview of what one might have seen through the lens of a camera as they traveled about Puget Sound or the coastal waters of Washington State, including portions of the Columbia River. Certainly, all larger towns, and many smaller hamlets, had resident photographers that printed their images on postcard stock to advertise their location. In other cases owners or captains of the many vessels also had photographs made into postcards. In addition, there were images taken depicting various marine vocations, such as marine fisheries. It is with this mind that the photographs have been selected for this work.
While marine postcard images are still easily found through online sources, postcard shops, and postcard clubs, some can be difficult to find. This is especially true of vintage images of Mosquito Fleet vessels, tugs, and ferry boats and landings. Therefore it has been the goal of the author to publish views seldom seen. In addition to each image, an informative caption has been included below each photo,
My interest in this project does not come from many years of experience as an “old salt,” but from my childhood experiences aboard my parent’s modest cabin cruiser, Catherine E. While dad’s boat was modest by today’s standards, it was, never the less, his pride and joy. Dad was quick to tell anyone interested that his cruiser had been built as a fishing boat in 1927 or 1928 somewhere in Seattle by the Mansker Brothers—Acme and Clair. Dad had bought the tired old fishing boat after 20 years of service in Alaskan waters. This was right after the end of World War II in 1947. In the next few years, dad built a new cabin and completely remodeled the galley and sleeping quarters. Final improvements included a new 60 hp. Scripps Marine engine, new fuel, and water tanks, and a custom-built “Ocean-Phone” ship-to-shore radio.
Once completed, dad wasted no time in joining the Seattle Power Squadron, which provided plenty of opportunities for weekend cruises to local ports around Seattle, including Eagle Harbor, Port Ludlow, Port Madison, and many others. Dad also participated in patrolling the Seattle Times fishing derby around Elliot Bay in the early to mid-1950s. Summers were spent cruising the American side of the San Juan’s. Favorite ports included Roche Harbor, Deer Harbor, Friday Harbor, Fisherman’s Bay, Anacortes, La Conner, and Fossil Bay.
But dad’s interest in boats did not start in 1947 with the purchase of a run-down fishing boat, so I will take a moment to tell you a little more about my father and his love of boating and also his interest in history, especially the Mosquito Fleet.
Dad was born in Portland, Maine in 1906 where my grandfather was stationed at Fort Preble with the 107th Company of the Coast Artillery. In 1910 grandfather was transferred to Fort Worden, near Port Townsend. The family came to Seattle by train a few months later. From Seattle, they took the steamer, Major Evan Thomas to Port Townsend. In 1912 grandfather was reassigned to Fort Whitman on Goat Island at the south end of the Swinomish Slough, where the family lived until 1917.
By 1926 dad was living on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, where he rode the steamer, General Frank M. Cox to Galileo High school each day. During this time he was surrounded by considerable marine activity.
During World War II dad served as quarter-master on the tug Retriever, which had been rebuilt from the Major Evan Thomas, on a dangerous voyage to Edna Bay Alaska The Retriever towed two large barges, one full of detonators and other with munitions on the trip north, and pulled a large Davis-raft of spruce sticks back to Seattle.
By the time dad retired in the early 1970s, he had already bought waterfront property on Fisherman’s Bay on Lopez Island, and he had become active in the Lopez Island Historical Society.
Dad had always been a storyteller but in some ways, he saved the best until last. This is when dad made an offer in response to the editor of Marine Digest about 1970. I will pick up the story with selected quotes from Nothing But Up, one of my previous books.
To the Editor, Marine Digest
I saw in the Digest you are asking for signs for the new ferries. I make the following proposal. I will manufacture one set of name-boards, one for each end at no cost. The boards would be one inch thick, mahogany with letters recessed one half-inch. Boards would be varnished with gold lettering in the recessed area. I ask that installation be made by others and that I receive a sketch of the size of the board and the letters required.
Harland Eastwood, Sr.
It is unclear if Dad was serious about his offer or if he was just giving the Washington State Ferry System a bad time for not having name-boards on some of their new ferryboats. Whatever Dad’s intentions were, it didn’t take long for the ferry system to reply. Here is an article from a February 14, 1970, edition of the Marine Digest, showing that his offer had been accepted.
Seattle — Harland Eastwood, Sr., who volunteered to make the first name boards for the pilothouse of the Washington State super-ferries, has had them picked up by Henry Mehus of the State Ferries for installation probably on the Hyak. The state ferries have matched Eastwood’s prototype board with a number of other boards fashioned at the ferry repair yard at Winslow.
According to Ralph White, traffic manager for WSF, they will all be installed on the “supers” right after the busy repair season is over at the repair yard. Ken Campbell, of Seattle, started a crusade to get the boards on the ferries. The Marine Digest got in the act editorially, and Eastwood volunteered to make the first board. Soon the effort will pay off.
NAME BOARDS PLACED ON ELWHA
Seattle — The first of the official name-boards for the pilot houses of the Washington State Ferries were installed recently on the super-ferry Elwha. This culminates efforts on behalf of Ken Campbell, the Marine Digest, and Harland Eastwood (who designed the first boards) to have all of the names installed on the State’s super-ferries pilot houses for ready identification for commuters and summer tourists snapping photos of our supers. Ralph White, WSF traffic manager, informs us that the huge boards are painted white with deep-recessed green letters. He says that by the present tourist season all of the supers should be so equipped, the boards being turned out at the Winslow repair yard, from Eastwood’s prototype. The Marine Digest is proud to say that its editorial campaign produced results.
In addition to dad’s experiences, Dad loved to talk about vessels of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet, of which he was very knowledgeable. There is no doubt that my love of history was also fostered by my father. So, it is to him, Harland Eastwood Sr., that I dedicate this book.