The story of the Skansonia begins at the Skansie Brothers Shipyard in Gig Harbor where the keel for a brand new ferryboat was laid on July 9, 1929. This was to be the Skansonia which was built for the run between Point Defiance and Gig Harbor. The Skansonia was built and ready for her engines in only six weeks time. After her fitting out, she began to ply the waterways of Puget Sound. She stayed with her route for ten years until the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was constructed at which time she began the Tahlequah to Tacoma run. But her destiny was not to remain on this run for long. In November of 1940, strong winds caused the collapse of the newly constructed Tacoma Narrows Bridge and a call went out for ferryboats to return to the narrows run. As a result, the Skansonia returned to the narrows run.
In June of 1951, the Skansonia became a part of the Washington State Ferry Fleet. Her route did change, however, becoming the Tahlequah to Point Defiance run. She continued on this route until 1967 at which time she was retired from active service.In 1971 the WSF decided the Skansonia was surplus and she was listed for sale. In May 1971, the Skansonia was sold to Norm Volotin of Seattle who moored her on Lake Washington.
The MV Skansonia was sold and given a new life to become a premier private event facility, specializing in outdoor or indoor weddings and receptions. She sits on the North shore of Lake Union with an unsurpassed view of Seattle and the Space Needle. While her outside look remains the same, she now boasts many improvements such as forced air heat, large bay doors that open up to the patio, fireplace downstairs, oversized furniture from a 16th century castle, and vintage light fixtures from the Seattle Music Theatre.
Beginning in 2009 she had a complete interior redesign from head to toe. The new re-designed bathrooms, carpets, and freshly painted ceilings and walls keep her as a favorite venue for people seeking a truly historic piece of Pacific Northwest history. Perfect for any season, and accommodating to Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and Holiday Parties of all sizes.