Class: Steel Electric Class Length: 256' Beam: 73' 10'' Draft: 12' 9'' Speed in Knots: 12 Max Passengers: 412 Propulsion: Diesel-Electric Max Vehicles: 64
City Built: San Francisco Auto Deck Clearance: 13' 10'' Year Built/Re-built: 1927 / 1981 Official Number: 226567 Call Sign: WA6855
Meaning of Klickitat: "Beyond" Also one of the Native American names for Mt. Adams.
FINAL DISPOSITION: Scrapped in Ensenada MX, 2009???
The Klickitat en route to Friday Harbor in the 1950's. The Klickitat called the San Juans home for decades before moving to Port Townsend. Author's collection.
| Southern Pacific Railroad built the M/V Stockton in 1927 part of a trio that included sisters Lake Tahoe and Fresno. Though mechanically the most advanced type of ferry in the world, they were built using old fashioned methods, which included riveting the hull.
While the hulls and superstructure were made of steel, the car deck was made of timber as was the passenger cabin, wheelhouses and crew quarters.
By 1938 the majority of ferries on San Francisco Bay were idled. Southern Pacific-Golden Gate attempted to hold on until 1940, but by then it was obvious that the era of the ferryboat was over. The vessels were offered for sale, and were sold to Captain Alexander Peabody's Puget Sound Navigation Company (Black Ball Line) in 1940. The vessels were all towed north to start their careers on Puget Sound.
Stockton became Klickitat, and started work on the Edmonds-Kingston-Port Ludlow route with the Nisqually. Both vessels stayed on this run from about 1941 until the Port Ludlow route was dropped in 1950 with the opening of the Lofall-Southpoint run.
The State of Washington took over ferry operations in 1951, sending the Klickitat up to the San Juan Islands where she would remain for the next 30 years. She was replaced as the Sidney ferry in 1965.
The Steel Electric ferries were modernized beginning in the late 1950's. All the boats had their decks sponsoned out eight feet. The passenger cabins were modernized though still made out of wood. The car deck was plated over with steel and the wooden railings on the promenade deck outside the passenger cabin were replaced with steel railings.
The ferry received a gold band on her smokestack in 1977 when the entire class turned 50 years old. It was at this time WSF made the decision to refurbish the class once again.
The Klickitat was the first to be rebuilt, and although she benefited from some lovely oak paneling in the passenger cabin, the rebuild of the passenger cabin on the whole was poorly executed. Perhaps the biggest mistake was replacing the observation room at either end of the passenger cabin with an outside shelter deck. The area that had once been a gracefully curved room with windows facing Puget Sound was instead filled by the crews quarters.
In addition, the ferry was not retrofitted with an elevator as the others in the class would be.
Amazingly, even though the ferry hadn't met current safety standards since the 1950's, when returned to service in 1982 the Klickitat went back to work on the Anacortes-Sidney run and was issued a SOLAS certificate. She didn't remain on the run long, being used on Hood Canal for a time until the bridge was reopened.
Not long after the ferry was moved over to the Port Townsend-Keystone route, where she would finish out her career.
Cracks were discovered in her hull in the spring of 2007, and even after repairs were made, concern about the condition of the hulls of the class had her removed from service along with the Illahee in November of 2007.
For a time it appeared that at least one ferry would make it back to service; however the Klickitat was not scheduled for any yard time to have repairs made. With the announcement that no more money would be put into the 80 year old vessels, the Klickitat was retired along with the rest of the class on 13 December 2007.
The Klickitat spent months tied up at Kingston while waiting for space to open up at Eagle Harbor. Finally she was towed down to the harbor to keep company with the rest of her sisters.
In June of 2009 the Klickitat, along with the Steel Electrics were sold for scrap.
The Klickitat and the Illahee left the Puget Sound for the scrappers in Mexico on August 14th, 2009. They arrived in Mexico on 25 August 2009, ending their 80 year service life.
|The Klickitat, she makes a landing at Orcas Island. The wooden railings on her promenade deck coupled with the portholes on the car deck place this photo as being taken between 1953 and 1958. Author's collection. At Right, with her tall masts and lack of crew's quarters behind the wheel house, the Klickitat was forever set apart from her sisters with her 1982 rebuild. Fortunately none of the others in the class would follow the same cabin plan as the Klickitat. Photo by Khris LaPlante.|
1. As the Stockton. 2. Being rebuilt in 1981. 3. Working the Port Townsend run, photo courtesy of Khris LaPlante, 4-6, the Klick's refurbished interior. 7. Tied up in Kingston after being yanked from service. Author's photo. 8. Leaving Puget Sound for the scrapyard. Couresty of Emory Lindgard.
Forward to the Nisqually
Back to the Illahee
|The mountain namesake...
Only two vessels for Washington State ferries have ever carried names that correspond to one of the major Cascade volcanoes.
Klickitat was one of the Native American names for Mount Adams.
The other mountain name?
That would be the Kulshan, which is one of the Native American names for Mount Baker.