Constructed: 1910, Moran Shipbuilders Length: 160.3 Feet Beam: 32 feet Draft:20.7 feet 926 tons Propulsion:
One triple expansion steam engine, developing 1,100 Hp 16 knots
Above: the steamer Kulshan, tied up at Bellingham. Author's collection.
'The Moran Co. at Seattle completed a first-class
steel screw steamer, the Kulshan for the Seattle -
Bellingham service of the Puget Sound Navigation Co.,
replacing the Whatcom Of 926 tons, with dimensions of
160.3 x 32 x 20.7, the Kulshan was equipped with
triple-expansion engine (17, 28, 47V 2x36) with steam at
225 pounds working pressure from two ofl-fired water
tube boilers. The engine developed 1,100 horsepower.
Her contract speed of 13 knots was easily exceeded on
her four-hour continuous steaming trials, during which
she averaged 14.32 knots. Later in the month of August
she carried a grand excursion and basket picnic party
from Seattle to Port Ludlow to celebrate the 58th
anniversary of the establishment of the Puget Mill Co.
there, then entering the Bellingham route, which she
maintained dependably for almost twenty years. Her
performance was a source of pride to Puget Sound
residents, for she was practically a 100% local product,
much of the steel for her construction having been rolled
at the Irondale mill near Port Townsend.
Her first master was Capt. John ("Red Jack") Ellsmore,
one of the pioneer Sound captains, who had commanded
the old stern-wheeler State of Washingtorn both under
Pacific Navigation Co. and Puget Sound Navigation Co.
ownership. A second steel passenger steamer, Sioux,
was launched at Moran's on December 31, going into
service early in 1911."-- Gordon Newell, "Maritime Events
of 1910," H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific
Northwest., p. 172.
The Kulshan held down the Seattle-Bellingham for
route for nearly her entire career, remaining on the route
until 1929. At that point auto traffic was already
becoming the main for of transport on Puget Sound, and
the Kulshan spent most of her time in lay-up, never
working full time again.
Not viable as a candidate to be converted into a
ferry, the trim steamer was broken up for scrap in 1938.