All aboard the SS Catalina

Also known as the Great White Steamer, SS Catalina was a steamship built in 1924 by William Wrigley to serve Catalina Island as a passenger ferry. According to Catalina Island Museum, the ferry carried more than 22 million passengers on the 26-mile passage across the San Pedro Channel to Catalina Island for 50 years, including these passengers in this 1920s photograph. During World War II, she was requisitioned for use as a troop carrier, but resumed her voyages to Avalon in 1946. Catalina made her final voyage in 1975, retiring after several years of labor disputes and financial difficulties, according Catalina Island Museum. California Historical Landmarks reported that in 1997 she ran aground in Ensenada, Mexico, where she remained until she was scrapped in 2009.

Photo courtesy of the Catalina Island Museum

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