Friday, April 8, 2016

Postcard Post: The Kalakala

This postcard is near and dear to my heart.  There is a lot of history behind the Kalakala.  Living in the Pacific Northwest we are dependent on our ferries, this is one story I would love to share.
The Kalakala was a beauty in the height of her service. 

A little history, originally named Peralta, built in 1926 for the San Francisco Bay ferry fleet. In 1933 Peralta fell victim to arson, only the hull was left intact.  Later in 1933 the vessel was sold to PSNC also known as the Black Ball Line who rebuilt the ship. The new design was inspired by contemporary aircraft with the help of a Boeing engineer.  The new ferry named Kalakala, went into service in 1935!
In her heyday she had a full-service galley, a ladies lounge, and a men's taproom.  She was even used for "moonlight cruises" with a live dance orchestra.  During WWII she transported shipyard workers between Seattle and Bremerton. By the 1950's the ridership began to dwindle, postwar cars were not as wide as newer cars, which had a hard time fitting on the car deck. She was featured transportation for tours of the Bremerton shipyards during the Seattle World's Fair in 1962.  The Kalakala finally retired in 1967.  But that wasn't the last of service... later she was towed to Alaska and worked as a factory ship.  Finally, in 1970 the Kalakala was beached in Kodiak in 1970 and used to process shrimp.
That still isn't the end of the story.  In 1998 the Kalakala was towed back to Seattle.  There was huge effort to raise funds to refurbish the Kalakla as a museum and more, the dream was never realized.  The Kalakala was towed to several mooring sites before ending up in Tacoma. 
Dreams dashed and lawsuits filed during the next years. In 2011the Coast Guard declared she was a hazard to navigation.  Then in 2012 the Coast Guard claimed the Kalakala was too fragile to be moved to other moorage and might have to be scrapped.  Finally, in 2015 the once grand Kalakala now rusting and listing not fit for service in any manner was scrapped.    
Learn more about the Kalakala HERE!
The back of the postcard.

I am sharing this postcard with Postcard Friendship Friday!

Note - all postcards shared on Postcard Friendship Friday are from my private collection


Beth Niquette said...

I loved riding the ferrys when we lived in Olalla. What a beautiful area. The story of this little ferry from 1935 is wonderful and poignant. Thank you for sharing her history. Happy Postcard Friendship Friday, my dear Lyneen. :D

Coffeedoff said...

Lovely story