Deception Pass ferry

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Deception Pass Ferry
Motor ferry Deception Pass.
WaterwayDeception Pass
Ended operation1935
SuccessorDeception Pass Bridge
Travel time5 minutes
Frequencyhourly, 7:30 am to 7:30 pm.

The Deception Pass ferry was a ferry route in Washington State that ran between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island across Deception Pass.


A ferry across Deception Pass was first proposed by Island and Skagit county commissioners in 1912, and was definitely in operation by 1914.[1][2][3] From 1924 to 1935, the route was run by Berte H. Olson (1882-1959), and her husband, O.A. Olson, who held a state highway contract. Berte Olson was the first woman to hold a ferry captain's license in Washington state.[4]

The Olsons had a ferry built specifically for the route. This was the Deception Pass, 68.8 ft (20.97 m) long by 24 ft (7.32 m) beam, constructed by the Ballard Marine Yard in June, 1924. The fee for car and driver was 50 cents, with 10 cents additional for every extra passenger, with "extra large" cars paying 75 cents. Service was hourly, and the transit time was only five minutes. Patrons were cautioned that the schedule was "subject to storms, breakdowns, and conditions beyond our control."[4]


The route was discontinued when the Deception Pass Bridge was completed in 1935.[4] For years, Berte Olson fought a political struggle against the bridge, even persuading Governor Roland Hartley to veto a funding bill that had been unanimously passed by the Washington State legislature in 1929. Eventually she was defeated, but she became known as a strong-willed person.[5]


  1. ^ L.H. Darwin, "Coupeville Rousing Its Opportunity," Seattle Times, 12 May 1912, p. 32.
  2. ^ "New Roads to Add Beauty to Islands," Seattle Times, 17 July 1914, p. 15.
  3. ^ "Camano and Whidbey Islands in a Winton 6," Seattle Times, 25 July 1915, Automobile Section.
  4. ^ a b c Kline and Bayless, Ferryboats – A Legend on Puget Sound, at pages 147-48, 337 and 361.
  5. ^ Long, Priscella, Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges are dedicated on July 31, Essay 5698, May 5, 2004


  • Long, Priscella, Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges are dedicated on July 31, Essay 5698, May 5, 2004
  • Kline, Mary S., and Bayless, G.A., Ferryboats -- A Legend on Puget Sound, Bayless Books, Seattle, WA 1983 ISBN 0-914515-00-4
  • Newell, Gordon R. ed., H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Superior Publishing, Seattle WA 1966 ISBN 0-87564-220-9