Ferries plied the Hudson River and Rondout Creek from the earliest days. The first rowboats were replaced by horse-powered boats on the river and by chain ferries on the creek. They, in turn, were replaced by steam- and diesel-powered vessels.
The most beloved of the Rondout ferries was the Riverside (nicknamed the Skill pot), a chain ferry powered by a 12-horsepower engine. It began service in 1870 and was a fixture for more than fifty years. In addition to the Sleights burgh, Hamilton, and South Rondout ferries, steam yachts carried passengers and goods between points along the creek.
The first regular ferry service across the Hudson between Kingston and Rhinecliff (as it was called after 1861) began in the early 1700s, when Jacob Kip and Moses Cantina operated under a patent from King George II. Between that time and 1942, when the Rhinebeck and Kingston Ferry Company ceased operations due to World War II gas rationing, the crossing saw ferryboats with names like Knickerbocker, Astoria, Walkabout, Lark, Rhine, Oriole, Transport, and Kingston.
Following the war, the New York State Bridge Authority operated the ferryboat George Clinton until the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge opened in 1957, and ferryboats joined trolley cars as symbols of transportation in a bygone era.
Purple Mountain Press, softcover, 127 pages, 6 x 9 x .25 in., illustrated, timeline, timetables, technical data.