Onboard the ferry is a collection of photos taken of Tacoma in the early 1900s. The Octagon Pavilion pictured below stood on the site of the present day Boathouse complex in Point Defiance Park.
The Washington State Ferry system is the largest ferry fleet in the United States and the third largest in the world. The ferry system began as the Mosquito Fleet around the 1880s. Currently, there are 20 ferries on Puget Sound operated by the state. Many of the ferries showcase historical photos and artifacts on the passenger decks
On the MV Cathlamet, which runs between Mukilteo and Clinton, there are older pieces of ferry equipment on display, such as this nautical speed control to the right.
The MV Cathlamet provides an illustrated history of the early ferries of Puget Sound, such as the photo of the crew of the Hyak.
There’s also a photo of the MV Kalakala, the first aerodynamically designed ferry that was build in 1934.
In addition to historical displays, the Washington State Ferry system showcases the work of local artists, such as Rainbow Rainbow by Eileen Klatt.
The next time you step aboard a ferry, look around — you’re also stepping into history and art.