Ferry Island Bermuda
Located in St. George, Ferry Island is a one and half acres of land having a thumb shape and located at the western tip of Ferry Reach Park
. There is a small narrow wooden bridge that connects the Ferry Reach Park with the Ferry Island. In fact this is one of the three oldest wooden bridges that you will find in Bermuda. The other two are in Somerset and the one that connects Coney Island with main island. The name Ferry Island comes from a ferry dock that once existed here.
For over 250 years starting from 1600s, ferry was the only way one could cross the water area between St. George and the main island of Bermuda. The other side is Coney Island
which is connected to Bermuda's main island by a bridge. You can still see an old sloping ramp that stretches out into the water from the western side of the Ferry Island. This is an indication that there used to be a ferry dock here.
A ferryman used to transport people from one side to the other in exchange of one pound of tobacco per person a year. Tobacco was one of the main sources of income during those days. Henry Wilkinson wrote that women and children could not pay such hefty amount to the ferryman and soon he was known as an extortionist. The ferryman had to be subsidized and given a cottage for living which is today known as the Ferryman's Cottage.
View from Ferry Island Bermuda
It is also known that the ferry also started carrying horse carriages and later became known as Horse Ferry. However, it is still unknown whether the horses helped pull the ferry. By 1840s the ferry became quite busy and was regularly used. It became an important vehicle to transport mails other than human beings and horses.
In the book The Islands of Bermuda, the author Terry Tucker says that those days the normal load of the ferry was about 700 to 800 persons, 58 horses and 20 carriages.
There used to be a waiting room near the ramp at Ferry Island that was complete with a fireplace. In 1871, a new Causeway
was built that connected the main island with St. George and finally eliminated the need for the ferry.
The Ferry Island became a quiet place for nature lovers until 1931 when a railway track was constructed over the water channel. This provided a second means of crossing the water area and Ferry Island at St. George's had a railway stop, so did Coney Island at the other end.
However, Bermuda Railways soon became uneconomical and nonviable, and was abolished in 1946. You can still see the structures on the water that supported the railway tracks for years - see the picture above. And Ferry Island returned to its original serenity.
There is a fort called Ferry Island Fort
that was built by the British in 1790s above the ferry ramp on a hilly ground. This was done to protect the water channel which was considered to be of strategic importance during those days.
Ferry Reach Park and the island is open daily during the day time. There is no admission fee.
How to Reach
Located at St. George Bermuda. Bus routes #1, 3, 10, 11. You will need to get down at the junction of Mullet Bay Road and Ferry Road. The Ferry Reach Park is at the end of Ferry Road. You need to walk for about 30 minutes to reach the park. The Ferry Island is at the western tip of the park.
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