The historic space at 616 North Schuster originally was occupied by Sperry Mills from 1890 through 1922, when it was purchased by General Mills. Sperry Ocean Dock was created in 1985, as a space to dock large MARAD (Maritime Administration) vessels.
The two vessels currently docked at Sperry are the Cape Intrepid and Cape Island.
What are these ships used for?
The short answer is Emergency Preparedness. The two vessels are the only First Responders for Oregon, Washington, and Alaska and are ready to deploy when called upon. The ships can be used in any type of natural disaster such as an earthquake or volcano eruption. They generate electricity and fresh drinking water, and have communication systems that can withstand natural disasters.
The facility is also used by the Tacoma Fire Department, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, and Bates Technical College students to host training sessions.