June 2019

Celebrating a 97 Year Legacy

97 years ago, Ellen Bringloe, Postmistress of the Campfire Girls’ Camp Sealth location, broke a bottle of springwater (it was prohibition after all) on the bow of the SS VIRGINIA V before she slid into the water for the first time.  I imagine most of those gathered at Anderson’s shipyard could never have guessed this ship would continue to operate for close to another 100 years. In fact, I bet most would have thought she was done for after the ferocious windstorm of 1934, when her cabin was crushed against a dock on West Pass and piles literally pierced the side of the ship.
Indeed, the story of the VIRGINIA V is one of remarkable survival. She has survived ferry strikes, drastic shifts in the economy of Puget Sound, a journey to the Columbia River (can you imagine taking her down the coast?), and more. She has served residents of Vashon and Bainbridge Island, soldiers at the mouth of the Puget Sound, and Campfire Girls on their way to Camp Sealth. Through it all, this vessel has survived.
Now, in her third act, the ship is at one of her most interesting crossroads. Can she continue to thrive in our changing world? Can she survive another 100 years? The answer is a resounding yes. She will thrive as long as she continues to serve as a resource to this community through such programs as our summer internships for youth interested in maritime careers. She will survive because folks like you continue to value her presence as a living, working maritime history museum. The story that began 97 years ago continues to be written today with your support.
Please join us Saturday, June 15 for the VIRGINIA V's Birthday Dinner Cruise & Fundraiser. Together we will celebrate her storied history and ensure that her legacy continues for generations to come. We are just one week away from her big day, so we encourage you to book your ticket today! If you cannot attend, please consider instead making a donation in honor of her birthday. Your support keeps this old ship sailing full steam ahead. 

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From the Archives...

ABOVE: In celebration of Lake Union Drydock Company's 100th year of operation, this photo shows the VIRGINIA V on their small wooden drydock in April of 1968.

Taking place just two months after ownership of Puget Sound Excursion Line was transferred from Cy Devenny to Northwest Steamship Company, this was an eventful haul-out. The tailshaft was drawn for inspection, condemned, and replaced. The forward downcomer of the boiler was also replaced after a crack opened in a cast iron T at 200 psi steam pressure during Coast Guard inspection. The water in the boiler roared out of that crack, flashing into steam with the pressure drop and filling the main deck space with vapor. Inspectors and crew retreated to the dock until the boiler was empty. 

Upcoming Events

June 7th and 21st: DRYFT Dockside Concert Series. Intimate acoustic concert series on the SS VIRGINIA V. Various artists. 
June 8th and 22nd: Steamship Saturdays. Join us for an hour-long narrated cruise to learn about the sights, sounds, and history of Lake Union.
June 15th: Birthday Cruise and FundraiserOur beloved Virginia Vee is turning ninety-seven years young! Come celebrate and keep her steaming into the next century.
June 16th: Father's Day CruiseHosted by MOHAI, cruise around scenic Lake Union aboard the VIRGINIA V while enjoying hands on activities for the whole family.
July 4th: Fireworks Viewing.The best seats in the house for the annual fireworks show are on the upper deck of the SS VIRGINIA V. Limited to 42 guests.
August 3rd & August 4th: Blue Angels Cruises. Join us for a cruise to Lake Washington to see the Blue Angels perform overhead. This event sells out, so get your tickets early!

Upcoming Programs

August 5th - 9th: Drama on Deck Camp. Delve into what it was like to survive and rebuild after the Storm of 1934 while creating a performance piece for friends and family. In partnership with the Seattle Children’s Theatre.
July 1st - September 1st: Summer Internship Program.This internship introduces students to the skills needed to operate and maintain the ship, and a variety of career pathways in the maritime industry. Come say 'hello' to our interns on board this summer!

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Copyright © 2019 The Steamer Virginia V Foundation, All rights reserved.

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