Saving Seattle's Maritime Heritage
Seattle has celebrated its maritime heritage ever since 1948 with the founding of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. Since then, thousands of volunteers in dozens of organizations have devoted tens of thousands of hours and millions of dollars to restoring and maintaining historic vessels, including the schooner Wawona, the tug Arthur Foss, the lightship Swiftsure, the salmon troller Twilight, the fireboat Duwamish, and the schooner Zodiac. Many of the vessels are moored at South Lake Union Park in Seattle.
Nearly two dozen not-for-profit organizations contribute to maritime historic preservation and heritage work; many are focused solely on maritime history. Some of the key organizations include the Center for Wooden Boats, Northwest Seaport, the Puget Sound Fireboat Foundation, the Vessel Zodiac Corporation, and the Museum of History & Industry. All are in need of volunteers to restore, maintain and interpret Seattle’s maritime history for current and future generations.
Many organizations sponsor frequent maritime heritage activities, including the annual Wooden Boat Festival in July, concerts by folk musicians specializing in music of the sea, and monthly sea shanty sing-a-longs at South Lake Union Park. Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, cooperative marketing project among more than 70 regional maritime heritage organizations, features a complete, updated calendar of maritime heritage activities.