The early ferries on the St. Lawrence between Ogdensburg and Prescott, Canada, were row- and sail-boats, and these continued in use until perhaps about the year 1830, when Eli Lusher operated a steam ferry. Isaac Plumb and his nephews succeeded Lusher and continued the business until 1874, when Charles Lyon bought the equipment. Isaac and Ward Plumb were captains on the two boats, one of which plied directly between the two cities and the other being employed by the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railway Co. in conveying freight cars and passengers between the railway depots. The boats made the trip every 40 minutes, at 25 cents per passenger.

"Word had been passed about the village that the first through train with the officers and distinguished guests aboard would come through to Ogdensburg on Sept. 20, 1850. An immense crowd both from Ogdensburg and the surrounding towns gathered at the station, which was covered with bunting and flags. As the train pulled into the depot yard, flags were waved, shouts of joy went out from thousands of mouths, ringing of city bells was heard, bands played, and cannon were fired. A procession was formed and walked through the principal streets, with music and waving banners. A supper was served free to all who desired it. This was truly a gala day."

"The work (for the Ogdensburg Street Railway Co.) was pushed with vigor (in 1887) and a portion of the road, from the ferry dock to the two cemeteries on the Heuvelton Road, was finished that fall and the remainder, from the upper end of New York Ave. to the railroad bridge on Ford Street in the early part of 1888."

Blacksmith Shops - 1884

John C. Boyer, 103 N.Y. Ave.

Arthur Callaghan, 29 Isabella

Peter Callaghan, 7 Main

John Callaghan, 69 Isabella

Gates Curtis, 36-40 Lake

Israel Denny, 4 King

Joseph Faulkner, 30 S. Water

John Glass, West Side Basin

Levi Gedbar, 27 Division

Jeremian Golden, 181 State

Joseph Graveline, 65 Lake

James Lytle, 13 Washington

Alex Marceau, 30 Main

Sylvester Welch, 49 Lake

Disheau & Wolf, 49 Isabella

Transportation: 1

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Ogdensburg Railroad freight office from 1863 letterhead (located on west side of river near fort site.)

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The first transportation method was, of course, by birch bark canoe, as in this Scene from the St. Lawrence River, at left.

Miss Clayton?

Passengers at city docks. (courtesy David Martin)

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McGillis Furniture

Notice the patch on the left front tire of this old car, a rolling advertisement for McGillis Furniture Store located in the first block of lower Ford Street.

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First Trolley Run?

This photo may depict the inauguration of trolley service, which began in 1887. The site is State Street at its intersection with Ford Street. Notice the uniform on the policeman at right.

Ferry to Canada

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Until the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge was built, the only local access to Canada was the ferry, which departed with passengers and cars from a dock near Morrissette Park.

International Bridge

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Ship Repair?

This vessel appears in drydock for repairs. Several vessels were constructed at Ogdensburg at the site of the fort - the fort's cornerstone was found when a foundation was laid for the keel of a new ship.

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Shipyard office crew of 1916 at left. The shipyard was located near the former Diamond International plant.At right, crew of The Brandon.

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Cooper Boat Co.

There were several boat builders in Ogdensburg - this view shows several canoes underway at Cooper Boat Co. Another builder was Eddie St. Germaine, mentioned in the autobiography of Earl C. Como.

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Loading Passengers

The steamer 'Rochester' loads passengers at Ogdensburg's city dock at Morrissette Park. Excursions all along the river, including to Terrace Park at Morristown, were once a popular pasttime.

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NY Central Depot

NY Central Railroad Depot; train arrives right.

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Rutland Depot

Formerly the Lake Champlain and Ogdensburg and located on the city's east side near the port. From this depot, built in 1850, city men left for the Civil War.

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Fighting the Rapids

'Side-wheelers' plow against rapids just east of the city in the St. Lawrence River, prior to construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Canoes on St. Lawrence

Canoeing somewhere along the St. Lawrence River.

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Rapid Queen

Steamer Rapid Queen fights against Long Sault rapids. (courtesy Laurine Amo)


Vessels locked in ice with a ferry on the west bank of the Oswegatchie harbor. At right can be seen part of the Kelly & Leonard coal warehouse at 22 N. Water St. (courtesy Allan P. Newell)

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Miss Vandenberg

The Miss Vandenberg, possibly docked at Prescott, Ontario, left and under steam at right.. (courtesy Allan P. Newell)

The Hammond

The L.S. Hammond was a schooner registered at Ogdensburg in 1869.

Steamer Romona

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- The Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railway Co. was the first tu use a railroad steamer to ferry freight cars between their depot and Prescott, Ontario, Canada.
- The first railroad refrigerator car, invented by J. Wilder of Woodstock, Vt., made its inaugural run from Ogdensburg to Boston in June, 1851, with a load of North Country butter.