This is the old ferry boat that conveyed
freight cars between the Chesapeake and Ohio railway on the south
side of the Kanawha river and the Kanawha and Michigan (later the
New York Central) on the north side. This picture was taken a century
ago, long before there was a railroad bridge near Florida Street.
The tracks extended down the river bank at Elizabeth street when that
section of the city was partly farming land and partly a marsh. The
tracks extended diagonally westward to connect with the old Kanawha
and Michigan. On the south side they ran across what Is
now the South Ruffner residential section, then occupied in
part by thc Isaac brick yard. This was low lying land east of the
city, and was considered a menace. It was eventually filled-in.
that the Kanawha river in prehistoric times ran next to the hills
on the north side (Piedmont Road) and that a great flood caused it
to change its course to the former location. This is one of
the reasons why so many ponds and streams appeared on the east side
of town back in the day, and when flooding occurred, the entire
back part of town was often under water. At one time,
a stream ran right through Capitol Street from Ruffner Hollow (Greenbrier
St) on it's way to the Elk River, and a walk bridge was erected across
from where the library is today. People would stop on that little
bridge to chat and young men would carve their initials in the handrail.
These streams usually came back to the
Kanawha River near the area of Shoneys on Kanawha Blvd. That
section of town was a huge marsh, and was filled-in over time
with everything from garbage to cars, and of course, soil. It
was said that "back in the day", in the winter time,
kids could ice skate on the streams that ran from near Greenbrier
Street all the way to near Capitol Street without stopping.