Constructed: 1910, Moran Shipbuilders Length: 160.3 Feet Beam: 32 feet Draft:20.7 feet 926 tons Propulsion:
One triple expansion steam engine, developing 1,100 Hp 16 knots
FINAL DISPOSITION: Scrapped 1938
Above: the steamer Kulshan, tied up at Bellingham. Author's collection.
'The Moran Co. at Seattle completed a first-class steel screw steamer, the
Kulshan for the Seattle - Bellingham service of the Puget Sound Navigation
Co., replacing the Whatcom Of 926 tons, with dimensions of 160.3 x 32 x
20.7, the Kulshan was equipped with triple-expansion engine (17, 28, 47V
2x36) with steam at 225 pounds working pressure from two oil-fired water tube
boilers. The engine developed 1,100 horsepower. Her contract speed of 13
knots was easily exceeded on her four-hour continuous steaming trials, during
which she averaged 14.32 knots.
Later in the month of August she carried a grand excursion and basket picnic
party from Seattle to Port Ludlow to celebrate the 58th anniversary of the
establishment of the Puget Mill Co. there, then entering the Bellingham route,
which she maintained dependably for almost twenty years. Her performance
was a source of pride to Puget Sound residents, for she was practically a
100% local product, much of the steel for her construction having been rolled
at the Irondale mill near Port Townsend.
Her first master was Capt. John ("Red Jack") Ellsmore, one of the pioneer
Sound captains, who had commanded the old stern-wheeler State of
Washingtorn both under Pacific Navigation Co. and Puget Sound Navigation
Co. ownership. A second steel passenger steamer, Sioux, was launched at
Moran's on December 31, going into service early in 1911."-- Gordon Newell,
"Maritime Events of 1910," H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific
Northwest., p. 172.
The Kulshan held down the Seattle-Bellingham for route for nearly her entire
career, remaining on the route until 1929. At that point truck traffic was
already becoming the main form of transport of freight around Puget Sound,
and the Kulshan spent most of her time in lay-up, never working full time again.
With the arrival of the new diesel ferries from California, the Kulshan was not
considered for conversion into an auto ferry. The trim steamer was broken up
for scrap in 1938, alongside the Indianapolis.