We have some exciting news for long-time residents of Grand Island: The Queen of Peace ferryboat has reopened, and is once again shuttling passengers between Tonawanda and Grand Island after an 8-decade hiatus.
According to The Buffalo News, the ferry’s legacy is being carried on by Matthew Scanlon Hamp and his brother, Fred Hamp, whose great-grandfather, Matthew Scanlon, captained a tugboat ferry service along the very same route. The elder Scanlon shepherded people, produce and whatever else needed carrying from Tonawanda to Grand Island and back again as early as the 1880s and 1890s.
Service on this particular line concluded in 1935, when the Grand Island bridges were built. Now, instead of being the primary mode of transport across the Niagara River, the ferry’s operators hope to attract hikers and cyclists who are looking for new routes to explore.
The ferry will run on Sundays through September 10th, and cost $15 per round-trip. It can handle about 45 passengers (and some of their bikes) at a time, and tickets will need to be purchased in advance.
Rick Davis, mayor of Tonawanda, is optimistic that the ferry will bring additional tourist traffic to the city. On either end of the ferry service, tourists and locals will find shops, restaurants and historical sites celebrating the area’s past.
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