The Ferries of North Carolina: Traveling the State’s Nautical Highways Paperback
by Barbara Brannon
Barbara Brannon, of Wilmington, N.C., presents an overview of the passenger ferries operating in North Carolina which is both practical and magical. She has carried out careful research in the state archives, and delineates the history of the state’s ferries before they were, in part, eclipsed by the development of bridges and good roads.
Her illustrations greatly enrich the book. For example, she includes an early magazine illustration of a nineteenth-century ferry crossing the Cape Fear River at Wilmington, as well as one of the Tyrrell and Dare on the Outer Banks.
Ferry lovers will be delighted by such anecdotes as the nervous woman driver of the first car loaded on one ferry who inquired whether she would have to back all the way off when the crossing was completed. . . .
One of the epigraphs is from Walt Whitman’s noted poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”: “Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious you are to me! On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose, And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.”
Today there are fewer ferries, but Brannon’s book reminds us that the passengers they convey, and the opportunities for conversation during crossings, are no less riveting now than they were in Whitman’s time. Moreover, she has captured the tranquility and joy passengers will experience as they, like Whitman, see the “flood-tide below . . . face to face.” –Sarah Bird Wright, Author of Ferries of America: A Guide to Adventurous Travel
About the Author
Barbara Brannon has contributed articles on travel, architecture, and regional history to numerous magazines and newspapers throughout the South. She teaches in the Creative Writing Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Winoca Press (April 16, 2007)