The First Ferry


No bridge had as yet been erected across the Contoocook, and the only means of communication with Penacook and Canterbury was by boat. Both the Merrimack and Contoocook were too deep to be forded. It is probable that up to this period the settlers had relied on their small skiffs, their horses and oxen swimming the rivers. But the time had come for the establishing of a public ferry. At the proprietors’ meeting, it was voted, ”that Stephen Gerrish shall have six pounds paid him by the proprietors, his building a ferry boat and keeping said boat in good repair, and giving due & constant attendance to ye proprietors to ferry themselves and their creatures over Merrimack as followeth : (viz.) a man at two pence, a man and horse at four pence, a man and one yoke of oxen at six pence, a man and one cow at four pence and young creatures according to bigness; and at years end his returning said boat to the proprietors or to whom they appoint to receive the afore said boat, or six pounds in bills of credit of ye old tenor,”.

The ferry was located in the bend of the Merrimack, above its junction with the Contoocook River.

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Last Modified on July 28, 2018
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