National Register Documentation

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National Register plackIn 2007, Westward was accepted to the National Parks Services National Register of Historic Places. The application for this honor consisted of extensive documentation on the history and current status of the vessel, much of which is reproduced in the pages below.


Statement of Significance

The M.V. Westward was designed by renowned naval architect Leslie Edward “Ted” Geary of Seattle in 1923, and was built at the John A. Martinolich Shipbuilding Company in Dockton, Washington in 1924. The vessel is documented by the United States Coast Guard, and has the Official Number 223931.

The Westward is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C as a transitional design by a master naval architect in which the conventional cannery tender working vessel design was modified to create a lighter and more graceful motor yacht intended for commercial cruising rather than for heavy industrial work. This design innovation represents a significant advance in Geary’s career, and in the maritime architectural history of the Pacific Northwest, and it was a forerunner of the late 1920s fantail yacht designs for which Geary is best known.

The Westward is also significant under Criterion A in the maritime history of the Pacific Northwest as a representative vessel built to serve the Seattle-Alaska recreational tourism industry, a regional commercial enterprise based on maritime transportation which dates back to the late 19th century and continues to have an impact on the region’s economy and environment to the present day. The period of significance (1924 – 1943) begins when the vessel was constructed for Campbell Church Sr. of the Alaska Coast Hunting & Cruising Company and ends when the vessel left the company’s ownership to serve as a military vessel during World War II.

The Westward continues to function as a working commercial vessel, and she is home ported in Seattle.

Summary

The M.V. Westward is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as an intact historic vessel significant in the areas of Maritime History, Architecture and Entertainment/Recreation. The Westward retains her original appearance, and her original function as a charter vessel traveling seasonally in the waters of the Pacific Northwest between Washington State and Alaska, and is a well-preserved and illustrative example of the evolution of Pacific Northwest boatbuilding in the 1920s.

 


Submitted January, 2007
to the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation

Prepared for:
Hugh & Teresa Reilly, Owners

Prepared by:
Holly Taylor, Past Forward – Northwest Cultural Services


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