Welcoming The Mosquito Fleet
Port Orchard, WA - July 2007


SITU members of Seattle (a historical costuming group) traveled via the contemporary version of the Mosquito Fleet of Puget Sound in order to visit the lush grounds of The Cheethams (fellow members) where a potluck lunch was served to the patter of the afternoon drizzle.

Mr & Mrs Cheetham's residence and grounds were impeccable!  Our group stood in awe and admiration of all the beauty which were the results of hours and hours of dedication to home and gardens.  Gravel walkways meandered past two fish ponds, sun and shade gardens, as well as a croquet lawn which was surrounded by a fragrant and abundant rose garden. Thank you for inviting us to share in the experience!

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND  Puget  Sound's historic "Mosquito Fleet" (the early ferry service) consisted of thousands of steamships that roamed from port to port from the 1850s to the 1930s.  They were so numerous that people said they resembled a "swarm of mosquitoes."  In the absence of roads and bridges, the small vessels moved settlers, farm produce and livestock, machinery, timber, the mail, workers and passengers, and everything else needed to build and serve the settlements that sprang up along the coastline.  Every group of buildings, no matter how small, had a pier or float.  These "whistle stops" were their link to the greater community.  As the    larger towns, such as Seattle and Tacoma developed, the "Mosquito Fleet" provided city dwellers a means to escape to the peace and beauty of the countryside.  Puget Sound is now navigated by Washington State Ferries.  Additionally, there is a website with photos and info of many ferry systems around the Puget Sound area.


Photos of ship are of the famed Virginia V, now docked at Lake Union.
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