Ferry Kalakala readies for her maiden voyage on July 2, 1935.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 11/10/1998
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 320
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On July 2, 1935, the ferry Kalakala readies for her maiden voyage with a trial run near Bremerton. On board are more than 500 guests, including prominent shipbuilders, George Lent, J. T. Heffernan, and J. H. Fox. Also onboard is railroad magnate L. C. Gilman.

At 12:45 p.m., she starts her run under the command of Captain Wallace Mangan. As she pulls away from the Bremerton ferry dock, children run along the shore trying to keep up. Finally out on open waters, the vessel makes a speed of 17.3 knots. Although the Kalakala is faster than most ferries built up to this time, the boat has a propensity to shake a lot.

As she returns to Bremerton, 8,000 people have showed up to witness the unique ferryboat. She is open to the public until 6:00 p.m., at which point she travels to Seattle for her maiden voyage the next day.


M[ary] S. Kline and G. A. Bayless, Ferryboats: A Legend on Puget Sound (Seattle: Bayless Books, 1983), 229-247. Also see: "Multitudes Hail Famous Streamliner," The Marine Digest, July 6, 1935, 3,5; Marie Rosen, "Thousands Thrilled by New Streamlined Ferry Boat" Bremerton Daily News Searchlight, July 3, 1935, 1.

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