All About the Ogdensburg – Prescott Ferry


I am researching the international rail-marine service that operated between Ogdensburg NY and Prescott ON from about 1858 to 1970.

The service from Ogdensburg involved at various time the following railroads: Northern, Ogdensburg, Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain, Vermont Central, Central Vermont, and Rutland to about 1908. From 1908 through 1970 the New York Central was the railroad involved.

The vessels involved included Boston 1858-63, St; Lawrence 1873-73, Transit 1874-1910, Armstrong 1875-1910, Southeaster, renamed International 1890-1910, Charles Lyon 1908-1930 and tug Prescotont with car float Ogdensburg 1930-1970. The last pair after 1970 worked on the Detroit Windsor service during the 1970s.

In addition to the vessels, several car floats were used in the era 1876-1908: Annex Jumbo, Caribou (or Cariboo)

Canadian Pacific Car and Passenger Transfer Company

Incorporated March 17, 1888 by Captain David H. Lyon to operate a car ferry between Brockville, Ontario and Morristown, New York where it would connect with new Utica & Black River. The use of Canadian Pacific in the name had no connection to the CPR except for the CPR’s upcoming importance in handling freight across the river to/from the USA. In 1896 Lyon moved his operation to Prescott, Ontario. Increased traffic called for more ferries including a new one built in 1907 which began service in the spring of 1908. This new ferry was named after Lyon’s father, Charles Lyon. Lyon died in 1929 and on September 1, 1929 the CPR bought his company. The CPR then managed to get the New York Central to buy 50% interest in the enterprise since most of the traffic was handled for the NYC. Eventually, it all came to an end when on September 25, 1970 a fire destroyed the slip in Ogdensburg and the decision was made to close down.

 
Car Ferries Index to car ferries operated by various railways including CPR. Added Canadian Pacific Car and Passenger Transfer which operated between Prescott, Ontario and Ogdensburg, New York.
 

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