Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry - Oldest Ferry Service

This quiet little river crossing is the ferry on the Connecticut River that links Rocky Hill with Glastonbury in Connecticut. It is the oldest continuously operating ferry service in the United States, some 355 years this year.

If you were on the road hereabouts in 1655, you could cross on the raft, propelled by the crew using long barge poles. They tried using a horse on a treadmill once, and then steam power in the 1870s, but today you’ll cross on the barge called the Hollister III, towed by a diesel-powered flatboat, the Cumberland.

She holds three to four cars or trucks (depending on the size of the vehicle) at a time, and if you’re fifth in line, why you just wait your turn. Plenty of people do, as the ferry makes between 80 and 100 crossings a day, especially at rush hour. “Rush” hour may not be exactly the right word, but if you’ve got ants in your pants, that’s just too bad for you.

It’s $3 per vehicle, and $1 for walkers or bicyclists. The ferry runs from May 1st through October 31st. There is no service in the winter. The river tends to freeze. Tough to get the boat through. You understand.

But, it’s May now, so as with so much in life, enjoy it while you can.

For more on the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry, have a look at this website, and this one, too.

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