05 September 2013

Those Places: Millersburg


Millersburg is home to the Millersburg Ferries, which have been called the oldest public transportation in the US. The ferries have run from Millersburg, across the Susquehanna River to the ferry campsite since 1817.

When the ferry service first began, the ferries were poled across. As technologies advanced, the ferry system began using the steam powered side wheeler system in 1873. Today the ferries use gasoline engines.

The ferry transports vehicles, bikes, horse and buggies, and foot traffic. The photo above is from the Association's website.

The ferry business changed hands numerous times, according to the Millersburg Ferry Boat Association. In fact the Association dates the ferry back to 1807 when Danny Miller reserved the ferry and the fishery rights for himself. After several owners, the Community Banks, N.A. of Millersburg purchased the ferry from Robert Wallis in 1990. The Banks in turn gave it to the Millersburg Area Chamber of Commerce which formed the Millersburg Ferry Boat Association. The Association runs the seasonal operation of the boats while, at the same time,  preserves the historical value of the ferry.

The town of Millersburg is located in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It is a small borough. In fact, the 2010 census shows it is home to just over 2,500 people. The town itself dates back to 1790.

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