May 13, 2004
SPONSOR: Ray Neilson and Family
THE MISSISSIPPI, LAST OF THE FERRIES
"The Connection of East and West at Vicksburg"
to the construction of a bridge in 1930 across the Mississippi River
at Vicksburg, train cars crossed to Louisiana on "ferries for
trains" called transfer boats.
inclines at Kleinstown in Vicksburg and Delta Point in Louisiana were
constructed from June to October 1885, with the first training
crossing the Mississippi by transfer steamer on October 27,
1885. These inclines were constructed with a "cradle"
that could be raised or lowered with the rise and fall of the river.
first two transfer boats, used until the turn of the century, were the
"Northern Pacific" and the "Delta." The
Louisiana and Mississippi Valley Transfer Company later operated two vessels
at Vicksburg, the "Pelican" and the
Pelican was built in 1902 by the Iowa Iron Works at a cost of
$230,000. It was followed by the Albatross which was built in
1907, also by the Iowa Iron Works, and was 308 feet long by 53.8 feet
wide with a draft of 7 feet 6 inches and powered by six boilers.
were ferried across the river night and day with these boats until the
highway rail bridge was completed in 1930, making it faster and safer
to cross the Mighty Mississippi.
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