Every Monday we share a vintage image on the Essex on Lake Champlain Facebook page and invite our viewers to play some Vintage Essex Trivia. Last week we shared this old ad that appeared in a 1925 Automobile Blue Book.
The ad entitled “Essex-Charlotte Steam Ferry” reads:
“A Large, Fast boat, crossing the lake in 20 minutes, plying between Essex, N.Y., and Charlotte, V.T., (12 miles from Burlington). Easy state road connections direct from both docks. This is the best crossing between the Adirondacks, all New York points and Burlington, all points in Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The docks at both landings are the best on lake and the safety part appeals to all. Season begins about May 20th. Address all communications to George Bird, Glens Falls, N.Y.”
The note about the season beginning about May suggests that the ferry was not operational year-round.
Perhaps more interesting than the text is the photo of the old steam ferry and the map.
As the title of the ad told you our lake’s ferries were running on steam power at that time. I’m wondering if the name of the ferry in the photo was the “Charlotte Essex” since that is painted on the side, although it seems possible that was just to designate the crossing location where the ferry operated. Does anyone know if there was a ferry with that name? Or perhaps you’ve heard of some retired steam ferries that the one pictured might have been?
We told the community to take a look at this vintage ad about the Essex-Charlotte ferry crossing, and to tell us if they noticed anything of interest? Here’s what was shared with us:
Dianne Lansing: 20 minutes to cross?? Takes a bit longer now, especially in the wind. What…no road between Essex & Willsboro…or maybe that dotted line indicates a dirt road.
Rich Warner: “Wadham’s Mills”…
I didn’t notice Wadhams Mills on the map until it was pointed out, so that must have been an old name for Wadhams? I’d never heard it referred to as that before. Anyone know more?
Do you have any other observations about the map , the ferry, or the ad in general? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Essex Ferry Ad: The Full Page
We have the full page (front & back) from the 1925 Automobile Blue Book that the ad appeared in. See it below. Maybe you’ll see more things of interest there?
Here is one relevant snippet of information that appears on the page above the ferry ad describing our neighbor Willsboro:
“Willsboro, N.Y. (pop. 1,578, alt. 231 ft.), named for William Gilliland, a New York City merchant, who with his family and a few other secured from colony of New York soldiers’ claims to large tract of land on west side of Lake Champlain between Boquet River and Split Rock, and attempted in 1765-66 to found a baronial estate. The Gilliland homestead, a log house, was first dwelling erected by civilized men between Crown Point and the Canadian line; travelers thru the Champlain valley between Albany and Montreal were often entertained here. On approach of Burgoyne’s army, 1777, the Gilliland family fled to Albany.”
Click image for full size to read.
Share Your Essex Artifacts
If you want to share your old photos of Essex (or brochures; postcards; menus; tickets; any artifact) on the blog please email us at editor [at] essexonlakechamplain [dot] com.
- Essex-Charlotte Steam Ferry Brochure (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Lake Champlain from Crater Club (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Essex Waterfront (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Inside the Old Dock Tavern (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Gem of the Lake (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Canada Goose Migration (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)