This recording has been made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Jeanann Gray Dunlap Foundation.

Henry L. Ferguson Museum – Fishers Island Ferries Over Time (2021)

Directed by Marisela La Grave and Pierce Rafferty

This recorded illustrated talk is a 50-minute documentary that traces the history of ferry transportation to Fishers Island. The story begins with rare outlier visits to the island by excursion steamboats in the 1820s and 1830s and picks up when regularly scheduled trips first started in the late 1870s. The production chronicles the array of passenger and auto ferries that have connected Fishers to the outside world ever since. The ferries are the stars of this show!

Over the years, passengers making the crossing to Fishers Island have relied upon a kaleidoscopic cast of marine vessels of all shapes and sizes, some more sea-worthy than others, but each adding its own colorful contribution to the Island’s history.

Today many of us take the routine crossings aboard the MV Race Point and MV Munnatawket for granted, even in adverse conditions. But ferry passages to and from the mainland were not always so routine. There was a time when you could travel to Fishers aboard the party barge Frolic (dancing encouraged), or on the Steam Yacht Julia, originally owned by the infamous Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall, or on a pair of converted military subchasers, the MV Islander and the MV Ranger.