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Chesapeake Ferries

, 144 pages
May 2009



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Chesapeake Ferries

A Waterborne Tradition, 1636–2000

Clara Ann Simmons moved to Maryland’s Eastern Shore more than fifty years ago and marveled at the abundance of rivers and creeks and bays. A writer by profession, Simmons became fascinated with water travel in the Chesapeake region and the intricate network of connections "that set the traveler on his way so that he might continue his journey."

In this engaging and gracefully written narrative, Simmons takes the reader from the earliest days of colonial settlement, when all who journeyed through the region crossed the waterways, to the age of bridge building that forever changed the way people traveled. The reader meets the lone ferry men and women of the eighteenth century as they loaded packs, animals, and travelers on small craft of every type; learns about the steam ferry of later years that connected with networks of rail lines; and is introduced to the present-day ferry operators who maintain the rich tradition of water travel.

Beautifully illustrated with dozens of photographs and maps, Chesapeake Ferries is a tribute to the region’s storied maritime past.

Clara Ann Simmons, a resident of Maryland's Eastern Shore for most of her adult life, published four children's books, including Sauncey and Mr. King's Gallery. Ms. Simmons passed away in 2008.

"With oral histories, photographs and written records... Simmons re-creates a bygone era."

" Chesapeake Ferries would be an excellent addition to a public, academic, or special library that collects materials on transportation or Virginia and Maryland histories. With such an interesting mix of social, political, and military history, the reader will get a fascinating account of how Chesapeake Bay shaped the lives of Virginians and Marylanders and how they navigated those waters by ferry travel for nearly four hundred years."