From: "Ronald" rdukarm AT roadrunner DOT com
Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 14:47:31 -0400
Subject: Re: (erielack) Buffalo in the Early Twentieth Century
"Lake_Erie_Car_Ferries.jpg" - image/jpeg, 1897x1194 (256c)
> This is interesting on two counts. First, there has been discussion here
> about several RR's establishing steamship subsidiaries to forward their
> coal traffic west from Buffalo by water, but this is the first I've heard
> of such an entity being used to bypass Buffalo. I didn't realize
> congestion at Buffalo was that extreme. Ron, this is right up your alley,
> would you like to comment?
> Paul B
Paul & List:
This is a hugh topic. First off, about 1900, Buffalo was the 7th (I believe)
busiest port in the WORLD! There was the International Railway Bridge
between Buffalo and Fort Erie (Canada) and two railroad bridges at Niagara
Falls. There was talk of a railroad tunnel to Canada.
At various times there were 9 river car ferry lines and 5 Lake Erie car
ferry lines operating between Buffalo and Detroit to Canada. And about a
dozen RR-owned lake fleets operating out of Buffalo shipping coal plus
various independents. (Plus Lake Ontario had car ferries!)
The best book on the topic is "The Great Lakes Car Ferries" by George W.
Hilton published 1962. The attached map is from the book.
My RR research shows it was the DL&W who was behind the first open water car
ferries in the world (Ann Arbor 1892). But that's another story for a future
article (book). (and Erie had car ferries in Chicago)