Otto Loggers looked out over a field of pumpkins during a recent visit to Remlinger Farms with his two daughters.
That’s when the idea sparked – a tugboat pumpkin patch.
He thought about “bringing pumpkins from a rural area to the city during the time of harvest,” said Loggers, who is the executive director of Northwest Seaport, a maritime heritage organization that shares the history of National Historic Landmark vessels docked at the Historic Ships Wharf in Seattle’s Lake Union Park.
He spoke with Will Hart, who owns the Carnation farm with his wife Diane.
“He said, how many pumpkins do you want – one, two, three, 400?” Loggers recalled.
They settled for more than 300.
And on Friday morning, Loggers and some volunteers loaded the donated pumpkins onto a tugboat in Kirkland before it went underway to Seattle, where they will serve as a pumpkin patch for families on Friday and Saturday.
Kirkland company Jordan River Moving & Storage picked up the pumpkins at Remlinger Farms and transported them on Friday at no cost to the pier behind Anthony’s Homeport on Lake Street. Loggers and Northwest Seaport volunteers John Tibbs and and George Strausser unloaded six pallets full of pumpkins.
“The tugboat pumpkin patch is an event to celebrate the harvest season in a very unique way,” Loggers said. “This new event at its root celebrates the connection between land and sea.”
But the idea has also bridged local connections.
Northwest Seaport used to moor three vessels in Kirkland before it moved to Seattle in 1980: the Wawona, the Lightship Relief and the Arthur Foss tugboat.
Loggers said the organization will host its first tugboat pumpkin patch on Oct. 25-26 aboard the historic Arthur Foss, which is now permanently moored at Lake Union Park.
Before the wooden tugboat was moored in Kirkland, it towed lumber and grain laden square-rigged ships across the Columbia River Bar, according to the National Park Service.
Loggers said the Foss also served as the set for the filming of the 1933 MGM classic motion picture “Tugboat Annie.”
“We had many children in Kirkland schools who would board our vessels,” Loggers said.
The Wawona was used as a haunted ship during Halloween, when kids acting as “haunting ghosts” would grab people’s ankles as they climbed the ship’s ladder, according to the Kirkland Heritage Society.
The activity on Friday also connected agricultural life to the Kirkland community.
While volunteers loaded pumpkins onto the tugboat, Alaska Structures employees, whose office overlooks the pier, gathered at the window and watched the activity. A group of 10 or so employees eventually wandered down to the pier.
“Are you pumpkin pirates?” Said Carolyn Bishop, an Alaska Structures employee.
Loggers explained to the group why the volunteers were loading pumpkins. Soon, the employees lent a hand to help load the pumpkins on the tugboat.
“Pumpkins are contagious,” Loggers laughed.