Radio Call Letters: WH7219 Official Number: 224839 Built: Seattle, 1925, rebuilt 1947 Length: 150' 7" Beam: 55' 1"
Draft: 10' 6" Auto Deck Clearance: 11' Speed: 10 knots Horsepower: 1,200 Propulsion: Diesel Electric (DC) Autos: 30
Passengers: 300Gross Tonnage: 466
Name Translation: taken from her builder, Captain Crosby.
The Crosline at Colman dock in the 1930's. Courtesy of Tom Sanislo.
| The Crosline was launched on 22 June 1925 for the Crosby Direct Line Ferries from the Marine Construction Company on the Duwamish River in Seattle. She was built to make the run between Manchester on the Kitsap Peninsula and Alki Point in West Seattle. Carrying 65 cars, the little single-ended ferry could make the run in 25 minutes with her Seattle-built Sumner diesel providing the power.
In 1926, scarcely a year after going into service and as somewhat of a surprise to the people of the Crosby Direct Line Ferries, the company merged with Puget Sound Navigation. Owner Captain Harry W. Crosby remained in charge, however, and the merger didn't affect the Crosline, which remained on the Manchester-Alki route until 1941, with the exception of two summer season in the San Juan Islands in 1939 an and 1940 when she assisted the Rosario.
With enough ferries to spare, PSN sold the Crosline in 1942 to Canadian interests. They sailed the ferry on the North Vancouver run during WWII, converting her into a passenger only vessel for the shipyard workers. After the war, the Crosline was no longer needed.
The Washington State Department of Highways, having made a contract with Washington Navigation to keep ferries running from the Kitsap Peninsula to Tacoma after the Narrows bridge collapsed, needed another vessel. They purchased the Crosline in 1947 and sent her into the Lake Union Drydock company for an extensive rebuild.
Refitted with Cooper-Bessener diesels, the Crosline also emerged from the rebuild as a double-ended ferry. A second wheel house was built, and in this capacity she could off load and load cars more efficiently. She went to work on the Narrows route, but was moved in February 1949 to the Fauntleroy-Vashon route to take over for the old ferry Lincoln.
After the State took over ferry operations in 1951, the Crosline became a part of the new WSF fleet. The State moved the ferry to Hood Canal in June of 1952, working only weekends, which she did until 1961 when the bridge was built. Becoming part of the reserve fleet, she worked only the summers of 1962, '63 and '64 on the Mukilteo-Clinton route as the "extra" boat. For 1965, '66 and 1967 the little Crosline worked Sundays only on the Vashon-Fauntleroy run. Her last trip was the 9:55 p.m. departure on Labor Day of 1967.
The ferry system sold her on December 19th of the same year. She was first used as a warehouse on Lake Union. Sold again in 1975, she was moved to Coos Bay, Oregon to be used as a restuarant. The venture fell through, and instead her superstructure was removed to become a shore-based warehouse. Her hull was eventually disassembled,, the the remaining timbers and planks of the Crosline became part of a fishing boat and a dock.
An email sent to the author in 2007 indicated that the dock and warehouse that had been built out of the Crosline had since been torn down. It is unknown if the fishing boat made from her timbers or is still afloat.
|This snapshot of the Crosline was likely taken from the Rhododendron as the Rhody departed Lofall in the 1950's. Author's collection.The interior of the Crosline was strictly no frills, but not uncomfortable. Her wooden construction is very evident in her floorboards. . Courtesy of Tom Sanislo.|
|To the LESCHI
|The Crosline Legacy...
Though the ferry is long gone, the name seems to have left and indelible mark on the Coos Bay landscape.
Presumably where the ferry was once moored in Coos Bay there is a "Crosline Drive."
Anyone with furthre information on the road or the Crosline, please feel free to Email me!
The Crosline at Coos Bay, Oregon, in 1977. Probably one of the last photos taken of her. Author's collection.