Now that Port Townsend/Jefferson County has named one of the new
64-car ferries, it’s Whidbey Island’s turn.
The state Transportation Commission approved the name
“Chetzemoka” for the first ferry for the first new ferry. It’s
being built at Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle and will join the
Port Townsend-Keystone route next summer.
Chetzemoka was a Klallam chief and was recommended by the
Jefferson County Historical Society. Now the Island County
Historical Society and Swinomish Tribe are touting Squi qui, says
Jeff Chew of the Peninsula Daily News. Squi qui was a key figure in
the Lower Skagit Tribe that occupied central Whidbey Island in the
I love these names. Even if they weren’t historically
significant, they’re fun to say. Try is. Cet-ze-mo-ka. Swin-o-mish.
Squi-qui. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for the third
boat. That one will run between Point Defiance and southern Vashon,
so it’ll probably be some historic Indian from down there.
Chew says the Keystone Ferry Advisory Committee gathered some
other possible names for the second boat. One is “Mary Margaret
Haugen” the state senator from Camano Island who was so influential
in getting the ferries built. Here are some others:
Snakelum, after Coupeville’s Chief Snakelum
Calista, after a steamer once operated by Coupeville sea captain
Skookumchuck, the Chinook jargon word for rough, fast-moving
Leschi, after a ferry that served Kirkland and Seattle in the
Defiance, after Point Defiance
Haida, for the Haida Tribe
The Salish Sea
The state is also looking for a name of the class of 64-car
boats. They’re based on the Island Home ferry that operates in
Massachusetts, but they don’t want to keep that name. Other classes
in Washingtoin State Ferries are Issaquah, Super, Jumbo and Jumbo
Mark II, for example.
At the governor’s suggestion, WSF is having a
contest with fourth-grade students from Chimacum, Port Townsend and
Whidbey Island to name the new ferry class. Fourth-graders were
chosen because they’re studying Washington state history.
Submissions are due in mid-December. A panel from the governor’s
office, Department of Transportation and the communities will
select a winner by mid-January.