Name the new Water Taxis, round two: Vote on your favorites from 11 finalists – 6 for West Seattle, 5 for Vashon

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Four weeks after the King County Ferry District invited you to suggest names for the new Water Taxi vessels that are under construction, here comes Round 2 – your chance to choose between 11 finalists. Just out of the WSB inbox:

The process to name the King County Ferry District’s new vessels continues with public voting starting (today) and running through August 15, 2014. To vote, see or call 206-477-3840.

“The public’s participation in this process has been incredible – we have received 326 different name nominations. People in this region really value this service,” said King County Ferry District Chair Joe McDermott.

The King County Ferry District’s Executive Committee has narrowed the names down to 11.

Now, the public has one final opportunity to name the vessels. This is the last step of the process. This final public vote will determine the names of the two new water taxis that will serve both the West Seattle and Vashon Island routes. The top names for each route will serve as the names of the two new vessels currently being built by All American Marine in Bellingham, WA.

The Vashon options include Sally Fox, Betty MacDonald, Lisabeula, Barbara Durham, and Lucy Gerand.

Sally Fox fought tirelessly as a passionate advocate for passenger-only ferry service to Vashon. She organized the community and fought at the forefront of the movement to protect and expand this valuable service. Fox passed away in 2007 from esophageal cancer, but her spirit lives on through the results of her activism.

Betty MacDonald was a prominent author, who notably wrote books such as Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and The Egg and I. Her humorous, autobiographical tales are still cherished today. The farm where McDonald wrote still exists on Vashon Island. Even after her tragic death by cancer at age 49, MacDonald still has a large, adoring fanbase to carry out her legacy.

Lisabeula is a park on the island that has a unique story behind the origin of its name. When trying to determine the name for a new post office on Vashon, the officer at the Post Office Department looked to two employees in the office, named Eliza and Beulah. He decided to combine the two names, resulting in Lisabeula, the name of the new post office and later, a waterfront beach park.

Barbara Durham was the first female chief justice of the Washington Supreme Court. She was highly respected by her colleagues. She served as a judge in Washington state courts at the district, superior, appellate, and supreme levels. She grew up on Vashon and graduated from Vashon High School in 1960.

Lucy Gerand was a Native American, longtime Islander who was one of the first to provide stories about her life on the island. She dug clams with her husband in Quartermaster Harbor and took the ferry to Tacoma where she sold them at the farmer’s market. She died of tuberculosis in 1929.

For the West Seattle vessel, the public can choose from Doc Maynard, Princess Angeline, Cobain Watertrain, Lushootseed, Lynn Campbell, or Dixy Lee Ray.

Doc Maynard was a Seattle pioneer and doctor. As one of the primary founders of Seattle, Maynard’s friendship with Chief Sealth inspired him to propose the name of the city be named after his Duwamish friend.

Princess Angeline was the eldest daughter of Chief Sealth and was a well-known and highly-respected figure in Seattle. She was the last living descendent of Chief Sealth, and did laundry and sold baskets, while living in a waterfront cabin near what is today known as Pike Place Market.

Cobain Watertrain is a name that might not require as much of an explanation. This name is a tribute to the legendary Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the grunge band Nirvana.

Lushootseed refers to the language spoken by many Salish tribes, including the Duwamish.

Lynn Campbell started the Spring Street Water Taxi in 1949, which ran crew and supplies to ships in Elliott Bay. He then started tours a couple years later and added Seattle Harbor Tours, which was eventually renamed to Argosy Cruises. Campbell offered deckhand and bartending positions for women and welcomed gay charter cruises at a time when venues were harder to come by for the community. This includes the Queen City Cruise (Tacky Tourist Cruise) which has its 24th annual sailing in August.

Dixy Lee Ray was not only the first woman to be elected governor of Washington, but she was also a marine biologist, associate professor at the University of Washington, and director of Seattle’s Pacific Science Center.

The voting opportunity will begin (today), and will close on August 15. To vote, go to, or call 206-477-3840.

We don’t know how many of the 326 potential names mentioned by Councilmember McDermott came from WSB’ers but we do note that five of them were mentioned in comments on our original story announcing your chance to suggest a name.

14 Replies to "Name the new Water Taxis, round two: Vote on your favorites from 11 finalists - 6 for West Seattle, 5 for Vashon"

  • Aaron B July 25, 2014 (11:24 am)

    Cobain Watertrain? Seriously?

  • Kat in Highpoint July 25, 2014 (12:09 pm)

    I wish that they had included a brief description of the people attributed to the nominations. I took the time to go look up the many names listed (excluding Cobain Watertrain) and what I read greatly influenced my vote.

  • blockedpunt July 25, 2014 (12:11 pm)

    Oh, I get it now! We were only supposed to submit names of actual persons so to create more taxpayer funded memorials!

  • WSB July 25, 2014 (12:16 pm)

    Kat, the names are all explained in the news release we published above. I agree it would have been great if they had linked that in the actual survey but if you read this first, you don’t have to do any looking up … TR

  • Kevin July 25, 2014 (2:20 pm)

    I wonder if they are aware that “Dixy Lee Ray” is misspelled—it should be “Dixie”…

  • Elisaid July 25, 2014 (3:28 pm)

    Sally Fox was a long time friend to my parents. My mother spent much time driving Sally back and forth to her treatments during her cancer battle. In fact I wear a ring Sally gave to my mother.

  • Penny Lightfoot July 25, 2014 (5:00 pm)

    I would have suggested the name of Magnolia for the Vashon vessel as my family had a beach home there for 90 years. Wish I had known about this name submission earlier.

  • HappyOnAlki July 25, 2014 (7:38 pm)

    For Vashon: I reread Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I recently; when I read it LONG ago I didn’t realize how insulting it was to Native Americans. Different times. . . .

  • JayDee July 25, 2014 (7:43 pm)

    I vote for Doc Maynard. He gets short-shrift in the Seattle history but he was among the first European settlers and logged some of the original Alki area. He seemed to have more common sense than many of the founding families.

    Too bad Charlie Chong wasn’t one of the names.

  • Margaret July 25, 2014 (8:54 pm)

    Sure wish I knew about this earlier so I could make a suggestion. Charlie Chong should be acknowledged for all he has done for West Seattle. This would of been a good way to honor him. He is missed greatly.

  • Kat in Highpoint July 26, 2014 (1:16 pm)

    WSB, thank you. You are absolutely correct. I did not click through the jump. I just clicked on the link provided in the blurb that showed up on the WSB homepage feed. I’m glad to see that the info is easily accessible.

  • Thomas M. August 1, 2014 (6:42 pm)

    Dixy Lee Ray… anybody else remember the front page of the Times showing a picture of our then Governor with a shovel full of chicken poo from her henhouse? She said it was better than the stuff coming out of the legislature.

Sorry, comment time is over.