Wahkiakum County commissioners chose the name of a former owner and operater of the Puget Island ferry as the name of the new ferry that will be built this year.
The new ferry's name will be the Oscar B., which was one of four names recommended by a committee that considered names suggested by the public. Other names were the Wahkiakum II, Chief Wahkiakum and James Birnie.
Oscar Bergseng owned and operated the ferry. He worked on it for 26 years and campaigned for Wahkiakum County to take it over around the beginning of 1961. The county commissioned construction of the current ferry, the Wahkiakum, and it went into service in 1962.
Oscar Bergseng worked on the ferry until he was sidelined by failing health; however, he continued as manager for many years. His son, Gary, became a skipper and retired a few years ago.
"I don't think there would be a ferry here if it weren't for my dad," Gary Bergseng told the board of commissioners on Tuesday as they considered their choice of names.
Commissioner Dan Cothren agreed. "I think it should be remembered," he said.
"That makes sense," said Commissioner Mike Backman. He added that he had favored the name Chief Wahkiakum, but he agreed that the Bergseng family history was important.