Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Crest Leaving the Harbor
The recent warm spring weather reminds us what a wonderful place Gig Harbor is. Getting out on the water is a great way to appreciate it whether by rowboat of steamboat.
You can just imagine what a fine day it is as this young girl sets out for a row at the mouth of the harbor. Suddenly, she hears the familiar chug of a steam engine and sees the Crest gaining on her and decides to drift ashore and watch it pass. The steamer was headed for Tacoma and Vashon Island in this 1905 photograph.
Designed by Emmett Hunt and built in Tacoma in 1899, the Crest carried passengers and goods between Gig Harbor and Tacoma. By 1908, she was sold to the Tacoma & Burton Navigation Co. for service on Vashon Island. But she came back to the peninsula.
By 1912, the newly-formed Bay Island Producers’ Union needed a boat to carry berries and other produce from Hales Pass to the Tacoma markets. The farms along the southern end of the peninsula were noted for their excellence, earlier ripeness and could command good prices. But only if the goods could arrive at the Tacoma markets quickly.
Frank Samuelson, Elias Muri, Mark Smaby, Amanda Bruce and Charles Warren each invested $1000 in the Producers' Union. Captain Tom Torgerson, with Engineer Tom Olds and Deckhand Art Ahlberg, ran the boat between Anchorage on Fox Island, Arletta, Warren, Sunny Bay, Cromwell, East Cromwell, Union, Picnic Point, Berg's Landing and Point Fosdick, before heading up the Narrows to Seneca and on to the Tacoma City waterway.
The boat was transformed again in 1926, when its new owners converted it into a tugboat. She caught fire during a storm in Multikeo and sank in 1928.
Photo courtesy of the Wilkinson Family.
Linda McCowen, Historic Photo Editor
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