Restoration Phase I Successfully Completed!
November 18, 2019
The Board of Directors of the Astoria Ferry has successfully completed Phase I of the restoration project and is preparing for Phase II.
The ferry Tourist No 2 was built in Astoria at Wilson Shipyard in 1924 and served as a crucial link in West Coast transportation until the Megler Bridge was opened in 1966. After nearly 50 years working the Puget Sound, she was purchased by historic vessel salvor Captain Christian Lint, who maintained her for several years in Bremerton.
The late Robert “Jake” Jacob discovered her for sale in 2015, and struck up a close friendship with Captain Lint. Jacob recruited Astorians Cindy Price and Dulcye Taylor to form a non-profit group and develop a business plan to “Bring Her Home”.
Through Lint and Jacob’s dedication to Astoria’s history and potential, and with the help of dozens of grass-roots donations from the community, the Tourist No 2 crossed Columbia River bar under her own power, with Captain Lint at the helm, on August 1, 2016.
The mission of the Astoria Ferry group has been to preserve, restore, and operate the Tourist No. 2 as a commercial passenger vessel along the Astoria waterfront. The group split the project into three phases.
Phase I: Bring the ferry home to Astoria, form an advisory/work group, create a business plan including full and partial restoration assessments, make immediate repairs, obtain public support, create partnerships with vendors and donors, and find a suitable, long-term home port.
Restore Oregon, a statewide organization committed to preserving Oregon history, soon placed the Tourist No 2 on its prestigious Most Endangered Places list, providing national attention and funds for a Preservation Plan. The Oregon Community Foundation and the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation provided essential grants for immediate repairs. Partnerships with the Tongue Point Job Corps Seamanship Program and Clatsop Community College’s Historic Preservation Program provided skills and labor to make the repairs.
In the summer of 2018, with the help of Pier 39’s Floyd Holcom, the ferry found a welcoming home port at Pier 39.
Now, a year later, the Astoria Ferry group acknowledges it has successfully completed Phase I. The group is moving into a “hold-steady pattern” until such time as Phase II can be initiated with the financial and human capital needed.
Phase II will bring in a highly professional team of fundraisers and a new board to purchase the ferry from Captain Lint, and raise the $2.5 million necessary for full restoration and Coast Guard certification of the Tourist No 2 as a commercial vessel.
In Phase III, the Ferry will be a fully operational floating museum and internationally sought-after North Coast experience for locals and visitors as it provides excursions in the Columbia River along the Astoria waterfront.
Astoria Ferry Board of Directors President Cindy Price said, “This has been a great challenge for all of us personally and a big reward to have a hand in bringing a real part of Astoria history home, making it available to a new generation of Astorians and their friends. We’re excited to see what Phase II looks like as our good friend Captain Lint determines the best way to move forward. We’re very grateful to the individuals, businesses, and organizations who have donated more than $160,000 to keep the ferry maintained in Astoria. We miss Jake Jacob’s enthusiasm and guidance every day. We especially thank Floyd Holcom of Pier 39 for giving the Tourist No 2 a safe berth.”
Further details will be forthcoming and may be found at www.astoriaferry.com.