SAL passenger ferry "ISLAND GIRL"1940's-50's Savannah Ga : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Growing up in Sav. back in the 40's & 50's I had the great fortune of riding this ferry many times. My Grandfather was Freight Agent in Sav. for many years (52 yrs. of service), and in fact, opened the freight depot on Louisville Rd. in 1929. It, thank God, has been restored. The steel ferry was double decked with inside and outside passenger space. It was approx. 110 ft in length and was painted in SAL wooden structure colors (beige and dark brown.) The ferry ran from the foot of Bull St. (below City Hall) to The SAL ocean terminals on Hutchinson Island. The ferry transported workers at the top of each hour to the island. The ferry service ceased with the opening of the high span Thalmage Bridge to the island and on into SC US HWY #17.) The Captain-name forgotten- was a great guy with many years of sevice on this vessel. I have been unable to find any info/pictures in the SAL books even though this was in the time slot of The Old Bay Line in VA.-MD. also owned by SAL....ANY Information on this ferry and crew will certainly be appreciated. Many thanks, Bob

-- Robert Lockhart (, March 12, 1999


In "Seaboard Air line Railway-Steam Boats Locomotives and History" by Richard E. Prince (1969) is a photo of an older SAL Savannah ferry, the "City of Bluffton," fighting a fire at Hutchinson Island 2/14/1919 (page 59). Prince also states (page 55) "Savannah, Ga., was another important seaport of the SEABOARD AIR LINE, which owned vast deep sea terminals on hutchinson Island in the Savannah River, opposite the city. this project was begun by John skelton Williams through the Georgia & Alabama terminal Company, a subsidiary of the G&A Ry. A disastrous fire struck that terminal on February 14, 1919 doing extensive damage. A passenger ferry was operated by the company between Savannah and Hutchinson Island until discontinued in September of 1954. The steamboat "City of Bluffton" was used on that run for a number of years. A motor-powered ferry boat of 58 tons named "Island girl" was built for the SAL Ry in 1931 at Charleston, S.C., for that Savannah River run." Prince rosters the STEAMboats owned by SAL (noting that the City of Bluffton was abandoned in 1929), but not the late MOTORboats.

-- Jim Hecht (JimHecht @, February 09, 2000.

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