|The interior of the Evergreen, before and after. Note the lack of a false ceiling in the post-1988 shot. Below, the
very 1950's galley as built, and after refurbishment in 1988. Interior photos courtesy of Matt Masuoka/MOHAI.
Colorized by the author.
Official Number: D268732 Call Sign: WTQ6960 Length: 310' Beam: 73' Horsepower: 2,500 Draft: 15' 10'' Auto Deck Clearance: 13' 3''
Speed in Knots: 13 Max Passengers: 875 Max Vehicles: 87 City Built: Seattle Year Built/Re-built: 1954 / 1988
Name Translation: Washington State nickname.
The Evergreen State on her "last day" in June 2014. The ferry was back in service mere weeks later--though she never returned to the San Juan Islands.
Photo by Matt Masuoka.
|Ushering out Black Ball...
Very early on, the fledging Washington State Ferries worked hard to distance itself from its predecessor.
Recent strikes, a perceived lack of care with the vessels (real or imagined) and a general distaste for how
the final years the Puget Sound Navigation Company ran the ferries made the state anxious to show that
they could do things better. Vessels were overhauled and painted in the now familiar green (as some tell
it, on that very first day, with the Chippewa still in service with a stack painted half red and half green as
crews worked to remove the Black Ball livery) and general improvements made to the fleet.
The Kalakala was still considered the flagship, but in most of the brochures and guides printed in the early
1950's, the WSF green stripe was grafted in to existing photographs. The message was clear: the
Evergreen Fleet was here to stay.
In further attempts to distance itself from Black Ball, and starting a trend that would continue well into the
60's, as soon as a new ferry was finished, it became the darling of all the publicity photographs and
brochures. With the arrival of the Evergreen State in 1954, the Kalakala rapidly disappeared from interior
photos and cover art while photographs or glossy representations of the Evergreen State appeared on
nearly all printed material.
The Evergreen State and her sisters reign as queen of publicity lasted until 1967, when the Super Class
appeared and bumped the Evergreens to second tier status. So anxious was WSF to get the Supers on
all materials that many schedules and brochures appeared with early photos of the Hyak and her
incorrectly high paint line on the hull were used.