This restoration from the original glass negative shows the little Puget Sound passenger steamship VERONA outbound, passing by Colman Dock in Seattle, WA circa 1930.
The VERONA was a ship of the Puget Sound Mosquito fleet, a group of small passenger ships that navigated around the sound before the ferry systems were established.
The 112 foot VERONA was built in 1910 in Dockton, Washington. She had a beam of 22 feet & a depth of just over 7 feet. She was owned by Union Navigation Co. until 1923, when the ship was sold to Kitsap County Transportation Co.
The VERONA was one of two ships engaged in a deadly engagement known as the “Everett Massacre.” The Everett Massacre (also known as Bloody Sunday) was an armed confrontation between local authorities and members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union, commonly called “Wobblies”. It took place in Everett, Washington on Sunday, November 5, 1916.
On that date, about 300 members of the IWW met at the IWW hall in Seattle and then marched down to the docks where they boarded the steamers VERONA and CALISTA which then headed north to Everett.
Verona arrived at Everett before Calista and as they approached the dock in the early afternoon, someone on board threw a line over a bollard on the dock as a Sheriff McRae stepped forward and drew his pistol. Telling them he was the sheriff & that he was enforcing the law, McRae said they couldn’t land there. There was a silence, then a Wobbly came up to the front and yelled out “the hell we can’t.” Just then a single shot rang out, followed by about ten minutes of intense gunfire. Most of it came from the vigilantes on the dock, but some fire came from the Verona, although the majority of the passengers were unarmed.
Whether the first shot came from boat or dock was never determined. Passengers aboard the Verona rushed to the opposite side of the ship, nearly capsizing the vessel. The ship’s rail broke as a result and a number of passengers were ejected into the water, some drowned as a result but how many is not known, or whether persons who’d been shot also went overboard. Over 175 bullets pierced the pilot house alone, and the captain of the Verona, Chance Wiman, was only able to avoid being shot by ducking behind the ship’s safe. Once the ship righted herself somewhat after the near-capsize, some slack came on the bowline, and Engineer Shellgren put the engines hard astern, parting the line, and enabling the steamer to escape. Out in the harbor, Captain Wiman warned off the approaching Calista and then raced back to Seattle.
After repairs, the ship was returned to service & continued to operate in the Sound until 1936. After completing her last night run from Bainbridge Island on January 10, 1936, she caught fire resulting in the ship becoming a total loss.