Monday, May 28, 2012

PHILADELPHIA -Ferry Boat that worked on the Chesapeake

"Philadelphia Ferry Boat" oil on board (18" x 24") 2012
Who does not get excited at the sight of a ferry boat? The sounds of the cars and buses being loaded has the percussive, clattering rhythm of an island song for me.  The deliberate energy of the crew while hurrying the drivers to maneuver precisely into the compact space on board is exhilarating and nerve wracking. Like all public transportation, they run on deadlines. During the crossings there is always something to do. Perhaps you like to ogle the other passengers while enjoying the spume of the sea.  And then there is the anticipation of the destination at the end of the ferry boat ride.

 You  already know that I sure wish we had ferries back on the Chesapeake Bay. The double-ended ferry in my painting here is named "Philadelphia," but she has an important Baltimore connection. She was built at Chester, PA in 1899 for the Pennsylvania Railroad. They needed this beautiful  ferry boat for their crossings on the Hudson River at New York City. After a while, the Philadelphia served the Pennsy in Baltimore for the crossings to Love Point on Maryland's eastern shore. She was  called "Smoky Joe" as she made her three, daily, 24-mile trips across the bay from Light Street in two hours and 20 minutes. The upper deck had a restaurant which served fresh seafood from Kent Island. "Philadelphia's" last service was in 1948 for the Delaware-New Jersey Ferry Company. She is shown here with a final paint job before being scrapped.


  1. Cool....I like the history behind it. Rode one similar in Quebec.

  2. Thanks Clara. I never tire of seeing ferry boats, especially the double ended ones like this in my painting.