Fredericksburg Ferry

One last post about our trip last weekend to Hermann Missouri. Not too far from our B & B, there was ferry service across the Gasconade river. Harland had only been on a ferry once, and me never. Located in Fredericksburg, Missouri, there has been ferry service here since 1886.  Fredericksburg itself is a tiny town with a current population of only 14, not counting cats and dogs. It consists of a group of homes scattered along a gravel road. Near the river’s edge is an old mill that has been converted into a restaurant. We ate there our first night at our B & B since it was only a couple miles down the road and we loved it. Harland said it was the best steak he had ever had. I could find little information about Fredericksburg, except that in July 1864, a civil war battle was fought near here.

Anyhow, the last day of our stay we crossed the river on the ferry. We approached the town from the opposite bank of the river. We stopped and waited. While we waited I noticed this old building in the middle of a soybean field near the road.

It was a limestone structure, and appeared to have been a hotel, probably in the 1800s. Anyway, the ferry operator saw us waiting for her, and came out of a nearby bait shop. She hopped aboard with her little bulldog, and started the ferry’s engine.

We waited patiently while the ferry chugged its way across the river towards us. During the crossing, the bulldog frisked about as if crossing the river was the highlight of his day.

When they reached our side, the ferry thudded to a stop against the riverbank.

The operator removed a chain blocking our access to the ferry, and we drove aboard. We then started back across the river. We gave her our $4 fee, and chatted for a while. She said her dog only got to ride along in the late afternoon because then the metal deck was not so hot as to hurt his feet. There were a few signs of interest posted on the side of the ferry pilot house.

Our crossing only took about a minute, but it was a fun experience.

We thudded to a stop on the riverbank, the ferry operator removed the chain, and we drove off the ferry and back on dry land. If we return to this area, we’ll have to take the ferry again.

Up next: Homemade Peach Pie with piecrust made from scratch.

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