The Southwest Ferry Project was established to locate, describe and interpret the historic river ferry crossings that operated either on a commercial basis or that were set up by the military in the Four Corners states and to present that information to academia and to an interested public in a form that will contribute to the collected knowledge of the history of the great Southwest.
Ferries were critical bottlenecks of commerce and travel across the major rivers of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah from the frontier period through the 1960s. Although the Southwest is an arid region, over 50 commercial ferry crossings are known to have existed on rivers such as the Colorado, Rio Grande, Arkansas, and others. Changing economic priorities and the construction of modern highway and railroad bridges eventually eliminated the need for them. Only one ferry remains in use today, operated by the Utah Department of Transportation, at historic Hall’s Crossing on Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
It is our hope this project will stir interest in the people of the Southwest to research and document ferries and ferry operations in their locales. Work with the Southwest Ferry Project or your local historical associations to document and catalog previously unknown ferry crossings. Ultimately, perhaps, you can persuade your state government to erect historic markers at these sites.
Join our group on Facebook and be a bit more interactive with us and the growing group of people that do believe in ferries. Check us out on Facebook here.
In the meantime, enjoy our site, stay in touch and always remember to believe in ferries.
Photo courtesy: ©2009; Geronimo Springs Museum; Truth or Consequences, NM