The Disasters of the Ferry Dawn

The other night we watched Dawn on the Island, a video about the history of Mercer Island. Mostly it had interviews of people who had grown up on the Island. My favorite story was of the kids who took the Ferry Dawn across Lake Washington to Leschi every morning to go to school. The ferry sank twice, and a seaplane collided with it once, according to Wikipedia.

The former students seemed to take the sinkings in stride. Sometime after those mishaps, when the ferry was considered too unsafe- and it would be fascinating to know what impending disaster they expected, that had not already happened- the ferry was sunk off the southern coast of Mercer Island. If you know exactly where it is, please leave a comment, I want to know.

I couldn’t find much about the video online except this ad from the Mercer Island Historical Society.

Mercer Island Video

I picked up Dawn on the Island at Island Books. I like this bookstore, which despite its location in a strip mall is a great bookstore that reminded me of Bailey Coy on Broadway in Capitol Hill and Elliott Bay Books in Pioneer Square.

Amidst the reminisces of former Mercer Island Youth, there was some overview of the history of the Island. Luther Burbank Park was featured prominently. But the video assumed a good knowledge of what happened when on Mercer Island: when the bridge was built, when development got serious, when the ferries stopped running. There was a sketch of that, but I needed more grounding in the history.

Watch it, if you get a chance. And let me know where the Dawn is.

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12 responses to “The Disasters of the Ferry Dawn

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  3. Hello
    A buddy and I just went and dived on it this last Sunday. It is approx. 2,500 feet from the Atlantic City Park down at the South end of the lake.

  4. mercerislandblogger

    Dan, that’s really badass, thanks for the update!

  5. Does the video give some history of the Dawn? Video shots, etc?

  6. mercerislandblogger

    No videos, but some old photos. Did you get any shots while you were out? If you’ve got any up on youtube or flickr or your own site, I’d love to post some here.

  7. only video, but like I said the visibility was terrible, but I’ll try and pull some images.

  8. mercerislandblogger

    Very cool. Let me know, I’d love to see it.

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  10. Got the history up on my website for the Dawn:

    http://dcsfilms.com/Site_4/DCS_Website_37.html

    And video of the sunken wreck (although it was a TERRIBLE visibility day, so not much to see.) More video later:

    http://dcsfilms.com/Site_4/DCS_Website_77.html

  11. Pingback: “Folks could be seen running down to the dock in various stages of undress, scrambling to not miss their transport.” « Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog

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