Saturday, October 10, 2009

U.S. Transportation Historical Tid-Bits (2)

Topic: New York City Area 1668-1717

The city had three ships, seven sloops, and eight small boats.

The first bridge over the Harlem River was built under a franchise for 99 years, granted in June, 1693, to Fredryck Flypsen or Philipse, to build and maintain at his own expense a bridge over the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, and to collect certain "easy and reasonable tolls" from such passengers as might cross it. The bridge was to be twenty-four feet wide and provided with a draw of sufficient size to permit the passage of small craft. It was further stipulated that it should be free for the passage of the King's forces, and should be called King's Bridge. This bridge was built during the same year, a little to the east of the site of the present structure which bears the same name. It remained in the hands of Philipse's descendants down to Revolutionary times, when it was forfeited to the State on account of the adherence of the family to the English Crown.

The city had sixty ships, sixty-two sloops, and forty boats.

The South Ferry Stapleton (Staten island) run did not open until 1713, but there is a clear record of a rowboat service to New Jersey, soon to be supplanted by horsepower (using windlass and sweeps), that began in 1661, crossing the Hudson squarely at South Ferry.

In 1717 two ferries were provided to run from the old Long island landing, viz., the Nassau Ferry, carrying cattle, goods and passengers to the above mentioned three New York slips, and the New York Ferry, carrying only goods and passengers to Hanover Square and Coentis Slip.

Source: The History

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