Tug of the Month: Danni K
The Tug of the Month
Olympia Harbor Day Tug Races and Festival
By Les Eldridge
DANNI K was built in Seattle in 1916 by Alex Callerm for the Snohomish River Boom Company of Everett, WA. Originally named the George S., she boomed and towed logs out of the Swinomish Slough (now the Swinomish Channel) for several years.
From 1959 to 1971, she changed ownership four times. In 1971, she was renamed the Millard T. Fillmore after the thirteenth president of the United States. The author is pursuing more information of the choice of President Fillmore as a name, as it appears to be a surprising selection. Fillmore is not regarded as a highly respected national leader, although his term of office was memorable and contributed to several important federal decisions and laws, and indeed is thought by many to be a major factor in the eventual advent of the American Civil War.
Fillmore was a strong advocate and shaper of the Compromise of 1850, which codified slavery among new states as they entered the Union, and the same holds true for the Fugitive Slave Law which required federal action to return runaway slaves to their owners. Even though Fillmore was an anti-slavery New Yorker, he believed his slavery support actions were central to holding the Union together, his primary priority. His actions, however, marked the demise of the Whig Party, and the inception of the largely pro-abolition Republican Party.
The Tug Fillmore was purchased by Albert Freeman in 1973. He stored her, unused for 40 years, in covered moorage on the shores of West Lake Union, Seattle WA, and sold her in 2013. In 2016, the present owner, Dan Cadman, bought her and renamed her DANNI K, after his granddaughter.
DANNI K is 36 feet in length, with a beam of eleven feet and draws five feet. Her hull and decks are steel-clad. Her original 32 horsepower gasoline engine was replaced in 1957 by a war surplus Grey Marine 671 General Motors Diesel airshift, also known as a “Screamin’ Jimmy”, originally designed for US Military water craft and tanks in WWII. This two cycle engine generates 165 horsepower, with redundant fuel filtering and bilge pumping capacity.
DANNI K raced in the Small Tug category in the 2017 and 2018 Olympia Harbor Days vintage tug races. As she was the oldest tug in the 2018 event, that had not previously been selected as a logo tug, she was bestowed the honor of Logo Tug for the 2019 Olympia Harbor Days Tugboat Races and Festival where dock side tours of the tug are offered. Skipper Dan Cadman now uses the tug as a pleasure craft and offers harbor tours and light towing work. Tug DANNI K is moored at the Quartermaster Harbor, Vashon Island, WA. Contact IslandBoats@hotmail.com for tour information.
Sources: Interview with Dan Cadman, 2017, 2018. West Coast Workboats, Archie Satterfield, Sasquatch Books. Ships of the Inland Sea, Gordon Newell, Binford and Mort.
About Les Eldridge: Les is president of the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association and author of a number of maritime histories, a series of novels on the American Civil War at sea, and a book of humorous verse. The Tugs at the Capital City, Volume 1, a collection of Tug of the Month stories was published in 2018. He lectures frequently ashore and afloat, and narrates the OHD races each year. In 1989, as a Washington State Centennial Commissioner, he chaired the Commission’s Maritime Committee. For more, see EldridgeSeaSaga.com.
Tug of the Month is sponsored by Olympia Harbor Days Tug Boat Races and Festival, an Olympia Kiwanis Club event free to the community. It takes place every Labor Day weekend on the Olympia waterfront since 1974. All Tug of the Month stories can be found at www.harbordays.com/blog. For festival information, see www.HarborDays.com, or on Facebook @OlympiaHarborDays. Questions to Executive Director Carol Riley at email@example.com.