Dec 222010
 

Ed & Karen Scott at the Lummi Island Ferry Dock Floats 1953

Ed Scott writes: “Back in the early 1950’s, the ferry crew installed and maintained two long “floats” beside the Lummi Island ferry dock.  They had a long ramp, going down from the dock, with wheels on the ends, so the ramp could raise and fall with the tides. They weren’t for long-term moorage, and were mostly used by fishing boats to load and unload. There weren’t many  “pleasure boaters” back then, like there are now, but some would tie up, and run up the dock to the Beach Store, to buy supplies. Seldom would boats remain overnight. As you can see, it was a perfect spot for island kids to catch “Bullheads”, and I spent many summer days sitting on the floats. Behind us are the old ferries “Acorn” (still in WWII gray) and the Chief Kwina.

Eventually, the floats were removed, and someone told me the reason was due to liability concerns the County had about someone being injured and suing.  I suspect there has always been a concern by some islanders, about making the island too accessible to outsiders. It seems like the time may be coming when more access may become appropriate.”

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  2 Responses to “From The History File”

  1. While researching for used ‘fast ferry’ boats for sale, I came across a number of Mississippi style stearnwheelers for sale – and cheap.
    How about the county buys one, leases some tideland to the Lummi’s in exchange for Gooseberry, and have another casino – right behind Ed’s house.
    Now that’s a real “Transition Lummi Is.”
    (all in jest, of course)

  2. Too accessible? I can’t imagine a small dock for a few boating visitors begins to compare with a ferry delivering 20 cars every 20 minutes.

    I wish this age of liability would come to an end. Few things annoy me more than public land which is fenced off because some hikers don’t realize that hiking on cliffs is dangerous. With that line of thinking, BBQs will become illegal and pedestrians will require helmets on sidewalks.

    My objections to excess energy consumption would certainly be mitigated by a classic stearnwheeler. Even a modern steam-plant ferry wih a vintage boiler might be a forward looking choice. Automobile fare – bundle of wood; pedestrian fare, two cow pies.

    I’m no fisherman myself, but certainly fishing has to factor in to sustainable island life. More cause for a dock.

    Minus the casino, a land share trade actually makes good sense. In another 50 years, like 200 years ago, Lummi Islanders may be sporting pitched-bark and dug-out canoes anyhow.

    I’ve been reading that, for concern with technical extinction, tribes are taking up just what I’ve been recommending to chiefs, elders, and shamans on the west coast and in Fairbanks, to ditch blood-line tribal membership and base it on nature/communal lifestyle vows instead. I can’t see a good reason to be barred from becoming an Irish-German Lummi native, if that’s what one wants to do. I trust the Lummis to preserve the Xth amendment before I trust Time-Warner, Walmart, GE, Montsanto, and Squibb-Meyers to do so.

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