Monday, October 8, 2012

No. 127 Historic Ships Wharf

Historic Ships Wharf at Lake Union Park

Lake Union Park
860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA

The Historic Ships Wharf, located behind the  old Naval Reserve Center, is home to several historic vessels that have been awarded National Landmark Status, including the steamer Virginia V, the tugboat Arthur Foss, the fireboat Duwamish, and the lightship Swiftsure.
The Historic Ships Wharf also hosts a steady stream of historic visiting vessels, from square riggers to schooners to workboats.

South Lake Union Park
The Arthur Foss, built in 1889, is one of the oldest wooden-hulled tugboats afloat in the United States. In 1898, in response to the Alaskan gold rush, she transported barges full of gold seeking miners and supplies up the Inside Passage. There are no other Alaskan Gold Rush vessels still operating today. She was cast by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio to play in its 1933 production Tugboat Annie. In World War II, Arthur Foss journeyed south to join the war effort. Before the Battle of Wake Island began in late 1941, she was the last vessel to get away. After the war, she served the economy of the Northwest by working in the timber industry.
South Lake Union Park
Lightship 83, now called Swiftsure, was built for the U.S. Lighthouse Service as the Blunts Reef, California lightship. She is the oldest surviving example of an American lightship with its original marine steam engine. She weathered severe storms and heavy damage from ramming by a steam schooner during her first six years of service. She later rescued 155 survivors from a stranded coastal steamer. Sails were used to help keep her on station in the early years. Replaced at Blunts Reef in 1930, she became the San Francisco lightship. Swiftsure was decommissioned in 1960, after 56 years of continuous duty, and purchased by Northwest Seaport in 1966. The Swiftsure can be viewed at Lake Union Park in Seattle.

South Lake Union Park
1933 Salmon Troller "TWILIGHT"

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