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The C Street Market Square in Eureka could have its name changed to “Madaket Plaza,” if the City Council approves the measure Tuesday night.
Currently the waterfront location has Jack’s Seafood, Wild Planet and the boardwalk, and is a hub for all sorts of events. But many people associate the area with the vessel Madaket. So the boat’s owner, the Maritime Museum, believes that the new name not only makes sense, but that it would be a positive and meaningful tribute to the historic vessel.
Every May through October for the past 45 years the bright white and blue boat has graced the C Street dock with her nostalgic look, and has offered narrated tours of Humboldt Bay. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you get the chance to see Humboldt from a different perspective and learn about its history. Or you can take the cocktail cruise or a wildlife cruise. People even get married on the boat!
“It’s the community’s boat. The community loves this boat. And the community treasures this boat,” said Madaket Senior Captain Leroy Zerlang.
But the boat’s reputation goes back long before it was giving tours. It served as a lifeline before the Samoa Bridge was built in the early ‘70s.
“The Madaket was built on Humboldt Bay in 1910, and she’s the last of seven ferry boats that used to take mill workers and people to-and-from Eureka, Samoa and Manila,” said Zerlang.
The Madaket was named a state historic site in 1994, and is the oldest passenger ferry in continuous operation in the United States.
In LoCO Video Report we learn more about the boat’s history and the effort to see “Madaket Plaza” become a reality.
Zerlang says the response from the city and community has so far been positive.
“It looks like we’ve got a good chance of giving the Madaket some honor,” he said.
But just to seal the deal, the Maritime wants your support at the council meeting this evening, when the decision will be made. If you show up, they’ll even give you an I Love Madaket button!