The Great White Steamship SS Catalina is finally going to be demolished. This wonderful steamship used to ferry passengers between San Pedro and Avalon on Catalina for many years, from its maiden voyage on May 30, 1924 until it stopped its daily trips in 1974 when faster ships made the slow 2 hour crossing a nostalgic thing of the past.
I remember diving for change thrown by arriving passengers in Avalon when I was a kid visiting friends on Catalina. This old ship offered amenities not seen on the fast ships of today including a dance floor.
SS Catalina in Avalon
After being retired, it was sold to a buyer who was going to fix it up for his wife. A subsequent owner moved it to Mexico in 1985 where it was supposed to undergo a multi-million dollar renovation, but started to sink. It was moved and finally was moved to another location and again began to sink and deteriorate. Several efforts were made to orgainize a historical renovation of the ship to convert it to a floating museum, but ultimately it was deemed too expensive.
Postcard picture of SS Catalina provided courtesy of James McGillis
The Mexican government has now begun to demolish what is left of the old white steamship to make room to develop a new marina. For those of us who enjoyed those trips to Avalon across the channel to Catalina, she will live in our hearts forever.
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