Sunday, May 29, 2011

River Ferries

One of the thrills I experienced while living on a farm in Saskatchewan was getting a ride across the Saskatchewan River on a ferry. At the time the roads were gravel so one had to drive carefully when descending to the river's edge to wait for the ferry. The river was narrow enough that one could see where the ferry was. If the ferry was on the other side and the operator saw you coming he would immediately start the ferry towards the other side to load you. The operator and his family lived in a house near the ferry as he had to be available during daylight hours to operate the ferry. I've included a photo I took of the ferry near Wingard, Saskatchewan a few years back. I still enjoy going on these ferries whenever I get a chance. If you click on the heading you'll be directed to some history of river ferries in Saskatchewan. I believe that the stats indicating the number of horses pulling vehicles indicates horse-drawn wagons, many of which I'm sure were hauling grain to the local elevators. Prairie elevators provided the "stations" to which many a farmer went and the river ferries provided access to the other side of the river for many a farmer who lived near the mighty Saskatchewan Rivers.

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