Traumas for Colman Dock returned in 1914 when its neighbor, the Grand Trunk Pacific Dock made the biggest fire in Seattle since the great one of 1889.

Share story








COLMAN DOCK and the Mosquito Fleet steamer the H.B. Kennedy were both built in 1908-09: the latter in Portland to join the dock after a maiden voyage across the Columbia Bar, up the Washington coast and through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Here, the 179-foot-long and famously fleet Kennedy is, I think, backing away from the 700-foot dock to resume the back-and-forth Navy-yard route service to Bremerton that it kept at for many years.

This Colman Dock is not quite the same as the one that the Kennedy first made its home in ’09. In 1912 the oceangoing steel steamer Alameda crashed through the dock’s outer end, splashing the first tower and dome-topped waiting room into Elliott Bay. This new tower and welcoming facade were designed by architect Daniel R. Huntington, whose surviving landmark list includes the Lake Union Steam Plant, the Daughters of the American Revolution’s “Mount Vernon” home on Capitol Hill and the Wallingford fire station, now a health clinic.

Traumas for Colman Dock returned in 1914 when its neighbor, the Grand Trunk Pacific Dock, made the biggest fire in Seattle since the great one of 1889. Sparks ignited the top of this Spanish tower, but the fire was hosed before it could reach the clock. The repaired tower and the dock were razed in the mid-1930s for a new Art Deco-style Colman Dock, which complemented the Black Ball line’s newest flagship, the streamlined ferry Kalakala. The H.B. Kennedy’s name changed to Seattle, and in 1924 it was converted to an auto ferry. It kept the same back-and-forth to Bremerton.

Jean Sherrard’s version of what must be one of the most popular photographic subjects in Seattle is offered considerably wider than the “then” shot in order to show off the city.

Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard’s blog at www.pauldorpat.com.