The Adventure Continues… S.S. Catalina

One of life’s sadder sights has got to be a once-proud ship lying neglected and rusty, overtaken by the waters it once sailed upon. In this 1998 episode of Visiting, Huell takes a trip to Ensenada, Mexico, to learn about the “Great White Steamer.” From 1924 until 1975, she cruised back and forth between Los Angeles (not Ensenada) and Avalon Harbor on the island of Catalina, and during World War 2 served for a time as a troop transport.

According to the Steamship Historical Society of America, Catalina has carried more passengers than any other vessel anywhere… Among its famous passengers were Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, actor Robert Mitchum, and many of the great musicians of the Big Band era — from Wikipedia

At the time of Huell’s visit, some serious efforts were underway to rescue and restore the steamer to some of its former glory. However, despite being placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the S.S. Catalina was ultimately scrapped in 2009. On the bright side, her memory very definitely lives on, partly through the efforts of David Engholm, former president of the S.S. Catalina Steamship Fund. He appears near the end of this episode; and you can learn a bit more about the final fate of the ship in the last three minutes of the episode of California’s Gold entitled S.S. Catalina Update. He and his family managed to salvage quite a few pieces of the old ship and incorporated them into their home decor to ensure that she will never be completely forgotten!

Huell Howser takes a trip to Ensenada, Mexico to visit the historic steam ship, S.S. Catalina. Often called the Great White Steamship, the S.S. Catalina was a ferry that transported over 24 million passengers from Catalina to Ensenada [sic] in its 50 year lifespan.

(Click on the linked image below to see the video.)

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