Ferndale

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Vessel-STEAMER FERNDALE.jpg
Steamer Ferndale and sailboat Ruby, Santa Catalina Island, c. 1888
Sailboat Ruby (center) and steamer Ferndale off
Sugar Loaf, Santa Catalina Island, c. 1888

Ferndale (#120434) (1880-?), San Francisco-built, 140.5-foot long, 160-horse-power coastal steamer, purchased by Santa Catalina Island owner, George Shatto, after the announcement of his $200,000 purchase of the island in 1887 from the Lick Syndicate. Shatto built a resort hotel on Avalon Bay, the Metropole, and laid out the town of Shatto City. Ferndale is the vessel with which Shatto began Avalon’s summer camping season in 1888. It was the first vessel that had regularly scheduled steamship passenger service to the island. Passengers were carried from San Pedro to the island every day, and the crossing took about four hours. Initially Ferndale competed with the Bannings’ Wilmington Transportation Company until they bought the vessel from Shatto. Ferndale served Santa Catalina Island for only a few years beginning in 1888. She sailed Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, returning to the mainland on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with a round-trip fare of $3.