Leschi Ferry photograph album, 1913  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Leschi Ferry photograph album
1913 (inclusive)
11 photographic prints and 1 program (1 folder)
Collection Number
Photographs documenting the launch of the ferry Leschi on Lake Washington, Seattle, in 1913.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Selections from the collection can be viewed on the Libraries' Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.

The cover has separated from the album.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The ferry Leschi , operated by the Port of Seattle Commission, ran on Lake Washington between Leschi Park, Bellevue, and Medina from 1913 to 1950. The Leschi was part of the port commission's attempt to improve municipal ferry service on Lake Washington, which was in danger of being undercut by private entrepreneurs. Originally, the Leschi was constructed as a side-wheel steam ferry at the East Waterway shipyard of J.F. Duthie & Co., Seattle. After being completed, the sidewheeler's hull was knocked down and transported to Lake Washington's Rainier Beach, where it was reassembled and launched on December 6, 1913. The Leschi was christened by Miss Eleanor Chittenden, daughter of General Hiram Chittenden, who was president of the port commission and one of the speakers at the launch (the Ballard Locks were later named after General Chittenden).

An ingenious system of feathering paddle-buckets gave the Leschi a speed of 14-15 knots, with 750 horsepower engines. She was later rebuilt with a diesel engine, a propeller, and a streamlined look in 1931. The Leschi continued service on Lake Washington for ten years after the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge was built in 1940. After retirement from Lake Washington in 1950, the Leschi continued to serve on the Vashon-Faunteroy and Mukilteo ferry runs, finally retiring from state service in 1967. She was then sold to the Cape St. Elias Ocean Products Company, which refitted her as a cannery at Ballard Marine Center in Seattle in 1969. The Leschi sailed to Alaska and operated as a floating salmon and crab cannery until 1986, when her wooden hull finally gave way and she capsized near Valdez.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The photographs in this collection document pre-event advertising and the day of the launching of the ferry Leschi from Rainier Beach on Lake Washington in Seattle, December 6, 1913. Photos show crowds gathered at the dock and in the surrounding area on the day of the event and the launching of the ferry.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 cover Program, "Launching of the ferry Leschi" Dec. 6, 1913
1 1a Two moored ferry boats advertising the launch of the Leschi
1 2a  Crowd gathered at the dock and on surrounding streets. and including a camera man on a raised platform
1 3a The Leschi propped up on poles at the dock before the launch
1 4a Crowd at the launch
1 4b  The Leschi entering the water from the dock, after the poles have been removed
1 5a  Crowd and cameraman at the launching ceremony
1 6a  Ferry Leschi propped up on poles before the launch
1 7a  The Leschi entering the water from the dock. (Same as #6a)
1 8a Small boats moored at a log boom near ferry launch site
1 9a-10a The Leschi moving away from the dock

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Ferries--Washington (State)--King County--Photographs
  • Launches--Washington (State)--King County--Photographs
  • Paddle steamers--Washington (State)--King County--Photographs