Throwback: A busy Delta ferry

Let’s do a throwback and go back to 1914.

In the Thursday, April 6 edition of The Delta Times that year, a front page news item noted the busy numbers for the ferry service that took residents from Ladner to Richmond.

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The article “FERRY TRAFFIC IS VERY HEAVY” reported that 3,000 passengers were carried in the first 12 days of April from the Ladner-Woodward’s ferry.

“On Friday, there were 300 passengers, 35 autos, six rigs, six wagons and two heads of stock. On Saturday there were 159 passengers, 15 autos, four rigs, 11 wagons and five head of stock. Easter day the ferry carried 284 passengers, 18 autos, five rigs, six wagons and four head of stock,” the article stated.

“If more trips were made daily, local residents assert, the traffic, already large, would double in a short time. Considerable uncertainty prevails as to what is to be done regarding a permanent ferry. The Scanlon is now off the run, and the rumor has it that she is to be made into a real ferry boat.”

The article also noted that a tugboat was also being used but wasn’t especially liked “as a longer time is taken making the trip and the accommodations, especially for ladies, are hardly passable.”

delta throwbacks

An ad from 1914


The article added, “The tug, which draws considerably more water than the Scanlon, has scarped the bars several times, and the need for dredging becomes more and more emphasized.”

In early 1927, a bill was passed by the provincial government establishing the Fraser River Bridge Co. to build a bridge from Ladner to Richmond, but that project was killed.

It wasn’t until 1959 that the Deas Island Tunnel opened, later called the George Massey Tunnel, which resulted in the long-running ferry service being immediately terminated.

delta throwbacks

A photo from around 1910 showing the Sonoma, operating between Ladner and Steveston on the Fraser River.



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