Wahkiakum County Ferry
Ferry Oscar B
– Ride the last Ferry
on the Lower Columbia River
Wahkiakum County operates the Oscar B, and has operated a ferry here since 1962. The ferry operates 365 days a year with a minimum of 18 runs per day. Please contact Wahkiakum Public Works for more specifics here: http://www.co.wahkiakum.wa.us/depts/pw/
The ferry departs every day from Puget Island, WA on the hour, every hour, between 5 am – 10 pm, and every day from Westport, OR fifteen minutes past the hour, every hour, between 5:15 am – 10:15 pm. For more information Monday through Friday (8 am – 5 pm), call (360) 795-3301. In regard to whether or not the ferry is running, call (877) 795-3910 for an automated recording. If the ferry is running, there will be no message.
Puget Island ferry dock
Westport ferry dock
The last remaining Ferry operating on the lower Columbia River connects the island to Westport, Oregon. The island has many historic sites and provides facilities for jogging, bicycling, and other outdoor activities including picnicking, swimming, beach-combing, fishing and boating.
Black and white photo of ‘Gen’l. Washington’ leaving Deep River. The town of Deep River is on the left of the photo, and on the far left and bottom of photo are railroad tracks.
HistoryLink.org – Essay 8029
In June 1925, Walter Coates begins regular service across the lower Columbia River using twin eight-car diesel ferries. He operates one ferry between the town of Cathlamet and Puget Island, both in Wahkiakum County, and a second ferry between the other side of the island and Westport, Oregon. The two-ferry river crossing is made possible by the opening of a road across the two-and-a-half-mile-wide island. Coates uses an old Buick to shuttle foot passengers from one ferry to the other.
Coates sold the ferry service in 1932, fearing that as the highway on the Washington side extended downriver he would lose business to the Astoria ferry. But the two-ferry river crossing at Puget Island continued under other owners until 1939, when the opening of the Puget Island-Cathlamet Bridge (now the Julia Butler Hansen Bridge) eliminated that ferry crossing.
By then Elmer Danielsen and his wife owned and operated the Puget Island to Westport ferry. In 1948, the Danielsens built for the run the Alamar, a 14-car ferry that cost $43,700. After the Danielsens ended operations in 1959, Wahkiakum County took over the ferry service, using leased equipment for several years.
In 1962, the County commissioned construction of a new ferry, the Wahkiakum. It cost $46,000, featured a navigation system and twin diesel engines providing 300 horsepower, and accommodated 12 cars on its 36-by-75-foot deck.
Walter Coates began ferry service across the Columbia River via Puget Island in June 1925.
The Wahkiakum has made the one-and-a-half mile run between Puget Island and Westport ever since. Operated by the Wahkiakum County Public Works Department, it operates 365 days a year, making at least 18 runs a day.
The Wahkiakum is the last ferry on the lower Columbia