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Rocky Hill – Glastonbury Ferry

Rocky Hill – Glastonbury Ferry
The Hollister III (barge) and the Cumberland (tow boat)
Waterway Connecticut River
Transit type towboat and barge
Route Route 160
Carries pedestrians, bicycles, automobiles
Terminals Rocky Hill ()
Glastonbury ()
Operator Connecticut State Ferry Service
Authority Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT)
Began operation 1655
Frequency as needed
No. of vessels Cumberland tows Hollister III
Daily ridership 400

The Rocky Hill – Glastonbury Ferry is a seasonal ferry crossing the Connecticut River between the towns of Glastonbury and Rocky Hill, Connecticut and is part of Route 160. It is believed to be the oldest continuously operated ferry service in the United States.[1] The river crossing has an annual average daily traffic of 400.[2]


  • History 1
  • Use 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The ferry is the oldest continuously running ferry service in the United States.[1] Started in 1655, it actually began before the foundation of the towns of Glastonbury and Rocky Hill, both towns being part of Wethersfield at that time.[3]

Originally a raft that was poled across the Connecticut River, it was then powered by a horse on a treadmill before being upgraded to a steamship in 1876. Today's ferry is a 3-car barge named the Hollister III towed by a diesel towboat named the Cumberland.[1]

The ferry landings and the ferry itself are included in the Glastonbury-Rocky Hill Ferry Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. The National Register listing was proposed in 2005 to help preserve the historic ferry.[4] The historic district also encompasses farmscapes of the Great Meadows in South Glastonbury that preserve 17th-century land use patterns and Colonial and Greek Revival farmhouses, as well as the homes of shipbuilders and merchant traders near the two landings, including several examples of Colonial and Italianate architecture.[5]

The ferry was to be closed by the state on August 25, 2011 because of budget cuts.[6] Though service was not cancelled when savings were found elsewhere in the state budget, the State Department of Transportation has been meeting with residents who wish to find a way to have the ferry be self-financing to at least a small extent.[7]


The ferry is the only river crossing accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists between Hartford and Middletown, preventing what would otherwise be a thirteen mile (19 km) detour for them.[8]

Operating between April 1 and November 30 (except Thanksgiving Day), the toll for cars is $5 on weekdays, and $6 on weekends. For cyclists & pedestrians it is $2.[1]

Hours, fees, and instructions as of August 12, 2007

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Rocky Hill - Glastonbury Ferry".  
  2. ^ "2005 Traffic Volumes State Maintained Highway Network (Traffic Log)" (PDF). State of Connecticut Department of Transportation. p. 134. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  3. ^ "The Rocky Hill - Glastonbury Ferry". Places of Interest in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Rocky Hill Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  4. ^ Peter Marteka, Effort Could Earn Ferry, Neighborhoods Historic Designation; What May Be The Oldest Continuous Service In U.S. Was Once At Risk From Budget Cuts, Hartford Courant, April 1, 2005
  5. ^ New Listings on the National Register, Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation
  6. ^ Cho, Jenna (July 15, 2011). "Governor drydocks state ferries, eliminates all eight ferry-worker jobs". The Day.  
  7. ^ Burton, Jonathan (August 30, 2011). "Residents, officials discuss how to make ferries more efficient (video)". The Middletown Press.  
  8. ^ Sokolowski, Kenneth E. (2005). "Rocky Hill Glastonbury Ferry Now 350 Years". Wethersfield.NET. Kenneth E. Sokolowski. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  9. ^

External links

  • The Ferry's page on the Conn-DOT's website
  • The Ferry has an entry as a Historic District
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