The vessel was originally named Peralta constructed by the Moore Dry Dock in Oakland California in 1926 for the Key Transit Company operating out of San Francisco. On May 6, 1933 the Peralta fell victim to arson and was cut loose from her moorings. The result is devastating the entire superstructure is ruined and the vessel is put up for sale.
The Peralta's Charred hull is purchased by Seattle's Black Ball Line and in November of 1934 construction of a new superstructure begins at Lake Washington Shipyards in Kirkland Washington. The new superstructure was designed by Boeing designer Louis Proctor and the blueprints for the design were finalized by James Murphy and Naval architect Helmuth W. Smith.
July 3, 1935 Kalakla enters service for the Black Ball Line the amidst much fanfare and celebration, nearly 100,000 citizens turned out to bid her farewell on her maiden voyage across Puget sound. In 1951 the vessel becomes a Washington State Ferry after the state takes control of all of the ferry services on Puget Sound. The ferry continues to serve the region throughout the worlds fair and until 1967 when she is retired from service and sold to American Freezerships Company to be used as a crab processing vessel in Dutch harbor. The Kalakala was used in crab, shrimp and fish processing all over the state of Alaska, in 1970 she was placed on shore to be used as a shore based processing plant, the vessel would sit here on the beach of Kodiak island until a massive recovery and restoration act commenced in 1998.