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Legendary Catalina ship can't be saved

December 28, 2008 |  9:22 am

SS Catalina

Back in the day, the SS Catalina was a storied ship where the likes of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller entertained passengers going from the mainland to Avalon. But the 1920s-era ship stopped its shuttling in the 1970s — and things have gone downhill since. The Daily Breeze's Donna Littlejohn reports that an effort to save the ship from the scrapyard has failed:

Many said it was an impossible dream. And in the end, they were right. Preservationists who launched an all-out effort in the late 1990s to save the SS Catalina have officially given up the battle, surrendering to the ravages of time and the inevitable march of progress. On Dec. 8, demolition crews began hacking away at the Great White Steamer — stuck in the bottom of Ensenada Harbor for more than a decade now. It ended the dream of refurbishing the 1920s-era vessel that so many still remember. "I would have wished for a different outcome," said David Engholm of Coos Bay, Ore., who spearheaded the movement to return the ship to San Pedro and turn it into a floating museum.

--Shelby Grad

Photo: LAT file