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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cassville in Grant County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Historic Cassville Ferry

 

—Wisconsin's Maritime Trails —

 
Historic Cassville Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
1. Historic Cassville Ferry Marker
Inscription. Cassville's first ferry, a 40-foot rowboat, crossed the Mississippi River in 1833. In 1836, the ferry carried a 23-year-old New Yorker named Nelson Dewey across the river. Dewey was lured to Cassville by its promise as the potential capital of the Wisconsin Territory. Twelve years later, in 1848, the territory became the new state of Wisconsin, and Dewey became its first governor. By 1858, ex-governor Dewey had moved back to Cassville and purchased a new ferry, which was powered by two horses walking on tread mills.

In the 1890s, the horse-powered ferry carried sweet corn, peas, and cabbage from Iowa's fertile farmlands to the cannery of the Klindt Geiger Canning Company in Cassville. The ferry was modernized with a gasoline engine in 1913. In 1918, the original, wooden ferry was replaced by a 25-ton, steel-hulled vessel that carried six automobiles. Records show that in 1924, the ferry carried 2,238 automobiles and 17,456 passengers across the Mississippi during its eight-month operational season.

Ferry service in Cassville was interrupted in 1940, when an extensive system of locks and dams were built on the Mississippi. However, memories of Cassville's ferry endured among the town's citizens.

In the 1970s, an unsuccessful effort to build a bridge at Cassville rekindled interest in a ferry line. In
Historic Cassville Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
2. Historic Cassville Ferry Marker
The ferry landing is here, just beyond the marker.
1988, the Cassville Harbor Commission restored a regular ferry route from Cassville to Turkey River, Iowa.

Wisconsin Historical Society
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Sea Grant · University of Wisconsin
www.wisconsinshipwrecks.org
www.maritimetrails.org

 
Erected 2009 by Wisconsin Historical Society; Wisconsin Department of Transportation; Sea Grant · University of Wisconsin.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails marker series.
 
Location. 42° 42.806′ N, 90° 59.529′ W. Marker is in Cassville, Wisconsin, in Grant County. Marker is on Prime Street 0.2 miles west of Wall Street. Touch for map. Marker is in upper Riverside Park. Marker is in this post office area: Cassville WI 53806, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Cassville Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Denniston House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Village of Cassville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pleasant Ridge (approx. 12.2 miles away); a different marker also named Pleasant Ridge (approx. 12.7 miles away).
 
More about this marker.
Historic Cassville Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
3. Historic Cassville Ferry Marker
Iowa is in the distance.
This is a Wisconsin's Maritime Trails marker.
[photo captions counterclockwise]
• The Cassville Ferry with three cars and passengers, about 1918. Photograph by Frank W. Feiker, Wisconsin Historical Society
• Farmer Martin Anderson poses with a cabbage, 1895. Wisconsin Historical Society
• A label from the Klindt-Geiger Canning Company. The company was incorporated in 1893 to can pickles and sauerkraut and was known locally as "The Pickle Factory." It later added tomatoes, corn, and peas. Courtesy of Cassville Tourism
• Background image: View of Cassville and the Mississippi River from the bluffs, about 1910. Photograph by Frank W. Feiker, Wisconsin Historical Society
 
Also see . . .
1. Cassville Car Ferry Website. (Submitted on June 23, 2011.)
2. Cassville Car Ferry. (Submitted on June 23, 2011.)
3. Wisconsin Maritime Trails. (Submitted on June 23, 2011.)
4. Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks. (Submitted on June 23, 2011.)
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Cassville Ferry and Nearby Veterans Memorial image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
4. Cassville Ferry and Nearby Veterans Memorial
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 23, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 522 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 23, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
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