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Historic steamboat Virginia V visits Vashon Aug. 17

The Virginia V runs near the Tacoma Narrows bridge. - Steamer Virginia V Foundation photo
The Virginia V runs near the Tacoma Narrows bridge.
— image credit: Steamer Virginia V Foundation photo

Steamboats played an important role in Vashon and Maury islands’ history and development, and this summer brings opportunities to learn about this history firsthand.

The steamer “Virginia V,” a national historic landmark constructed in 1922, will visit the Island on Aug. 17. The boat will pick up passengers at the northend ferry dock and cruise around the Island past waterfront landings where Islanders once waited for the daily boats that took them to Seattle or Tacoma.

“If you haven’t seen Point Robinson or Quartermaster Harbor or Camp Sealth from the water, now is your chance,” said Vashon Maury Island Heritage Association president Bob Fetterley.

The Heritage Association is sponsoring the cruise in partnership with the Seattle-based Steamer Virginia V Foundation. Along with historical highlights, the cruise features a presentation about Island geology and environmental history developed by the Heritage Association and Vashon College.

“A hundred years ago, there were so many steam boats buzzing around Puget Sound that they were known as the Mosquito Fleet. What many people do not realize is that the steamer ‘Virginia V’ is the last steam powered, wood-hulled passenger vessel still operating on the whole West Coast and one of only two left in the United States,” said Islander Greg Beardsley, a long-time member of the “Virginia V” crew.

Tickets for the Aug. 17 cruise are $60 for Heritage Association members and $75 for non-members. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Barbara Steen at 463-9355 or VashonSteen@aol.com or stop by the Island Heritage Museum between 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays or Books by the Way during regular business hours.

Local authors Jean Cammon Findlay and Robin Paterson captured this unique segment of our maritime past in their new book “The Mosquito Fleet of South Puget Sound.” Findlay and Paterson will visit the Heritage Museum at 2 p.m. Sunday June 29, to present an illustrated talk on their new book.

One chapter of the book is devoted entirely to Vashon Island boats, beginning with the “Swan” and concluding with the beloved “Virginia V.” Photos and stories also feature the Island’s dry docks and ship builders and the competitions and rate wars among the various boats.

— Holly Taylor is a heritage and historic preservation consultant and a volunteer with the Vashon Maury Island

Heritage Association.

Steamboats played an important role in Vashon and Maury islands’ history and development, and this summer brings opportunities to learn about this history firsthand.

The steamer “Virginia V,” a national historic landmark constructed in 1922, will visit the Island on Aug. 17. The boat will pick up passengers at the northend ferry dock and cruise around the Island past waterfront landings where Islanders once waited for the daily boats that took them to Seattle or Tacoma.

“If you haven’t seen Point Robinson or Quartermaster Harbor or Camp Sealth from the water, now is your chance,” said Vashon Maury Island Heritage Association president Bob Fetterley.

The Heritage Association is sponsoring the cruise in partnership with the Seattle-based Steamer Virginia V Foundation. Along with historical highlights, the cruise features a presentation about Island geology and environmental history developed by the Heritage Association and Vashon College.

“A hundred years ago, there were so many steam boats buzzing around Puget Sound that they were known as the Mosquito Fleet. What many people do not realize is that the steamer ‘Virginia V’ is the last steam powered, wood-hulled passenger vessel still operating on the whole West Coast and one of only two left in the United States,” said Islander Greg Beardsley, a long-time member of the “Virginia V” crew.

Tickets for the Aug. 17 cruise are $60 for Heritage Association members and $75 for non-members. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Barbara Steen at 463-9355 or VashonSteen@aol.com or stop by the Island Heritage Museum between 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays or Books by the Way during regular business hours.

Local authors Jean Cammon Findlay and Robin Paterson captured this unique segment of our maritime past in their new book “The Mosquito Fleet of South Puget Sound.” Findlay and Paterson will visit the Heritage Museum at 2 p.m. Sunday June 29, to present an illustrated talk on their new book.

One chapter of the book is devoted entirely to Vashon Island boats, beginning with the “Swan” and concluding with the beloved “Virginia V.” Photos and stories also feature the Island’s dry docks and ship builders and the competitions and rate wars among the various boats.

— Holly Taylor is a heritage and historic preservation consultant and a volunteer with the Vashon Maury Island

Heritage Association.

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