THE CHESAPEAKE BAY FERRIES (1919-1952)

easternshorebrent

In the winter of 1971, BAY TIMES writer Ralph Hoyt wrote a series of articles about the ferry systems that operated across the mid-Chesapeake Bay in the first half of the 20th century.

Ferries for foot and horseback travelers had been part of the Chesapeake region’s commercial environment since the earliest days of the colonial era, but with a growing increase in car ownership and an expanding national highway system, a need for vehicular bay transport  was a sure sign that the passenger and cargo vessels of the 1800’s steamboat era were destined to soon be part of that past.

According to Hoyt, the first ferry built for the “purpose of transporting motor vehicles,” was the Governor Emerson C. Harrington. (“$4.50 for a model T”, said B. Frank Sherman, the general manager of the Chesapeake Bay Ferry System from 1928-1952, and the first president of the Historical Society of Talbot County). The Gov. Harrington‘s ran between Annapolis and…

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