SS Virginia V
The steamship Virginia V is the last operational example of a Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet steamer. She was once part of a large fleet of small passenger and freight carrying ships that linked the islands and ports of Puget Sound in Washington State in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Her original route was between the cities of Tacoma and Seattle, along the West Pass (also known as Colvos Passage) between Vashon Island and the Kitsap Peninsula.
Today the ship operates from Heritage Wharf at Lake Union Park in Seattle.
In 1968 a group of steamboat enthusiasts formed the Northwest Steamship Company, and raised the funds to buy Virginia V from Puget Sound Excursion Company. The ship was placed on the National Registry of Historic Sites in 1973, but despite her recognition as historically significant, it was increasingly difficult for her owners to maintain her as a commercial venture.
In 1976 the non-profit Steamer Virginia V Foundation was formed to preserve Virginia V. The Foundation acquired her on 30 September 1980, for $127,000.
In 2002, the Foundation was able to put Virginia V back in service after a six-year, $6.5 million stem-to-stern restoration project. It included a rebuild of the steam engine, construction of a new boiler and rebuild of the superstructure using traditional tongue and groove fir planking. The Foundation was honored in 2001 with the Washington State Historical Society's "David Douglas Award" for the restoration work completed to-date.
Since 2002 the Virginia V has been providing public excursions, private charters, and visits to local maritime festivals throughout Puget Sound.