Colman Dock Addendum #2 – From Capt. Eddie

May I be the first to offer some mild corrective details on your fascinating waterfront then/now of this weekend. I happen to be working on that area already.

You caused a few hours of pleasant book searching on my shelves.

I suspect the Art Deco Colman Dock photo is 1938, based on the fashion wear esp of the hot fox in the fur and slit to the thigh sheath silk dress coming off the morning boat from Bremerton. She’s a story in herself. The white straw fedoras indicate spring wear for gents as well.

I note you rightly did hedge on the names of the boats. You could have asked me, I got all the books and besides I checked with Captains Bob and Oscar, my fathers who art in heaven but still standing watch,  who were there so I got the straight poop on the deck here.

There were two others that kept their names:

The second batch of boats that Peabody bought in the Bay and brought north were those he didn’t completely rename, something about war priorities trumping Public relations, etc, Those without name changes included the San Mateo’s sister ship, the steamer Shasta which later joined the WSF fleet until 1959 retirement to the Portland waterfront; also in 1943/44 the single ended fast steamer City of Sacramento, nee the steamer Asbury Park, another high speed veteran of the Golden Gate fleet, which retained that name until going North with Peabody to BC where it became the Kahloke, later Langdale Queen.  The other single ender converted boat, the Napa Valley, became the Malahat once arrived, and after a mysterious arson fire was rebuilt in Winslow in mere weeks. See my WW2 espionage novel for more details on all this jazz.

The Deco Terminal photo was published in Kline & Bayless Ferryboats a legend on Puget Sound, but no credit to source. Looks like a candid, or Times shot. Not sure when the passenger ramp  was built, even the pre-deco terminal had that upper level deck and access.  An earlier shot of the same over the rails viaduct is in Steamer’s Wake, but earlier 1930s (notwithstanding Faber’s caption alleging post-mosquito fleet).   I’d love to get to an original.

Did I ever tell you the nutty idea that was proposed to remove the pedestrian overpass to “enhance the streetscape experience?” Seriously, at a WSF design meeting I crashed several years ago (they had a nice spread of free salmon and oysters, at Ivars, when WASHDOT had money to waste and I was on the Viaduct Consultancy Version I). Myself and a Bremerton councilwoman told them how utterly stupid that idea was. It got dropped (as did the entire Colman Dock rebuild project).

See attached (above) for Miss Thelma Murphy, the hootchy kootchy gal in the red silk dress. Nice figger! 9:35 in the morning?

No I don’t think that’s her mother walking next to her. Her madame, perhaps.

Unless she’s an admiral’s daughter. Now there’s a plot idea – pillow talk to my spy straight from Daddy’s top deck.

Regards, Capt Eddie

Not your Colman Dock open skirt and not even your Colman Dock - but nearby. The Flyer Dock near the foot of Madison Street. "Jude the Dude" Hatchecker poses with his cousins Hootchy and Kootchy while waiting to catch the Flyer to Tacoma.

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