West Seattle Memories Part 5: West Seattle Ferry

  • By Southwest Seattle Historical Society
  • Posted 8/16/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3497
See Additional Media

This file contains recollections of the West Seattle Ferry by West Seattle residents Carroll Mage and George Shephard. They recall the days before the West Seattle Bridge existed -- when the quickest way to get to downtown Seattle was by ferry. They are taken from oral history interviews conducted in 1999 by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Carroll Mage was interviewed by Lois Watkins and George Shephard was interviewed by JonLee Joseph.

Ferry Catching Recalled by Carroll Mage

"My mother belonged to the Seattle Theosophical Society and attended their meetings regularly. I can remember that she would have to go down California Avenue to Atlantic Street, down Atlantic to California and run down California Avenue to catch the ferry.

"She knew how to dress, in beautiful clothes. But I can remember at the last minute, she'd get all four of us kids, 'I gotta have my gloves. I gotta have my gloves.' And all four of us would look for her gloves. She had to wear her gloves or at least carry them. And then she would trot off in a dead run in her high-heeled shoes down California Way to catch the ferry."

Ferry Catching Recalled by Lawrence Pierce

"When I first came out here, there was a story that Lawrence Coleman came out of his house waving his hand to get the ferry to wait for him. Having owned the Coleman Dock, he could do that. Yes, I can see him now, coming down the incline, running, running as fast as a man of 70 years of age could. To get the ferry to wait for him."

To go to Part 6, click "Next Feature"


Lois Watkins Interview of Carroll Mage, 1999; JonLee Joseph Interview of George Shephard, 1999. Oral History project conducted by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Transcript excerpts of these interviews were used in two Memory Book projects: West Seattle Memories: Alki (Seattle: Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 1999) and Memories of Southwest Seattle Businesses (Seattle: Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 1999); Excerpts are also available on a video produced by Valerie Vazza, BJ Bullert, and Sadis and Vaughn. All can be seen at the Log House Museum, 3003 61st Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98116.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You