“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rochester in Monroe County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Crossing the River by Ferry

Crossing the River by Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, October 31, 2015
1. Crossing the River by Ferry Marker
Inscription. Native Americans and early French explorers traveled by canoe and used Irondequoit Bay as the entrance to Genesee Country. Since the river was the easiest way of shipping goods to the lake, Canandaigua merchants commissioned Oliver Culver (in 1803) to cut a road from "Tryon" (now Ellison Park) through Irondequoit and down to the mouth of the Genesee.
To cross the river, they built a simple rope ferry to get their goods to the west bank ships anchored at Charlotte. Murphy's ferry operated in the 1850's and 1860's.
The Yosemite started operation in 1876 and Commander Murry would recite passages from Shakespeare to his passengers.

The Windsor ferry started in 1894. The trip took seven minutes and cost 5˘. It traveled along a heavy chain anchored on each shore that dropped down to the river bottom when boats navigated the channel. Captain Andrews ran the ferry for thirty years without ever having an accident.
When the first automobile wanted to cross the river, it was difficult for the ferry captain to determine a fare to charge; he was more used to carrying cattle!
The Windsor at her dock at Ontario Beach Park. She was 75 feet long and 40 feet wide.

President Thomas Jefferson established the "Customs District of the Genesee" in 1805. Ideally situated on Ontario's south shore, Charlotte became a bustling commercial
Marker on Rail at Overlook image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, October 31, 2015
2. Marker on Rail at Overlook
Genesee River and Memorial Bridge to the south.
port where goods would come in and leave by boat. When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, it took over as the primary means of east-west travel.
But Lake Ontario remained the preferred way to ship goods to Canada and Europe. The port continued to do a substantial business throughout the 1800's and ferryboats played an important role in getting both freight and passengers from one side of the river to the other.
Location. 43° 14.962′ N, 77° 36.716′ W. Marker is in Rochester, New York, in Monroe County. Marker is at the intersection of Stutson Street and River Street, on the right when traveling east on Stutson Street. Click for map. Charlotte is a neighborhood of the City of Rochester. Marker is in this post office area: Rochester NY 14612, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Boat Building (here, next to this marker); The Village of Charlotte (here, next to this marker); Champion of the Genesee River / A Beacon of Knowledge (here, next to this marker); Stutson Street Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Port of the Genesee, New York (a few steps from this marker); Irondequoit and its Waterfront
Eastward - Foot of Stutson Street image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, October 31, 2015
3. Eastward - Foot of Stutson Street
Many markers here.
(a few steps from this marker); Lighthouses (a few steps from this marker); Resort Area (a few steps from this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Rochester.
Also see . . .  A Ferry Operated by the New York State Railways Across the Genesee River has Been Operating.... Reprint of an August, 1927 Transportation News article on the Windsor Ferry, as it appeared in Headend (Spring 2004). (Submitted on November 18, 2015.) 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
<i>The Ferry, Charlotte, N.Y.</i> - The Windsor image. Click for full size.
circa 1905
4. The Ferry, Charlotte, N.Y. - The Windsor
Just when the ferry first began operation we have been unable to ascertain accurately but a copy of a pass reproduced with this article indicated that the ferry was in operation previous to 1877. This was before either the Charlotte or Summerville lines was constructed. The name of the very first company to operate this ferry was the "Charlotte and Irondequoit Ferry." This was later re-organized and as early as 1877 was known as the "Charlotte and Summerville Ferry Company." The ferry boat in use at that time was named the "Windsor," the same name as the present day boat. However, it was only one quarter the size of the present boat. It was operated by winches. This first ferry had a propensity of breaking from its moorings and taking a trip up the river or down toward the lake. The end of the first boat came when it was partially dismantled and the hull floated out into the lake. The hull disappeared and nobody knows what became of it....The present ferry was built by Doyle, in 1894, and has been in constant operation since, during the summer months. It is 75 feet long and 40 feet wide with a vehicular way of 22 feet....In 1906 the ferry was equipped with a boiler and steam engine for motor power.... -- Leon R. Brown, Editor of New York State Railways’ employee magazine "Transportation News", August, 1927 issue, Vol. 5, No. 1, page 24.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 105 times since then and 54 times this year. Last updated on , by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.   4. submitted on . • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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