1912 - The steam tug "Fisher" was replaced by gasoline tug "Vivian"
The old tug sure needed replacing, according to an old crewman, "she had a habit of sinking during the night, and a good many mornings we had to pump her out. A couple of times she went down to her gunnels and when we got her up we had to get the crabs and the hardheads out of her."
1886 - Sails and oars were replaced by a small coal-fired steam tug called the William H. Fisher
A small steam tug, with power generated by a coal fire, towed a wooden scow across the river. A signal system was devised, as only the tug was needed to transport passengers. The scow was towed when wagons, horses or later automobiles needed to get across the river.
1750's - Elizabeth Skinner was the ferry keeper. Her original ferry was a scow propelled by sculling
The old method of sculling entailed the scow being propelled by a fourteen-foot sweep oar operated at the stern. It required strength and skill few men possessed. It is reported that two Oxford residents, Al Haddaway and Wid Tull were the last two men who could do it, so that the tug was an enormous improvement when it finally came into use in 1886.
Early 1700's – Most remarkable proprietor of this era was Judith Bennett
Judith Bennett had three husbands (Thomas Bennett, John Valliant, and Edward Elliott) each of whom kept the ferry during the marriage and she ran it herself for more than ten years "when between spouses".
1690's - Early history is vague - other ferry keepers included Amy Jensen, Will Alderne and Isaac Sassaerson.
Isaac Sassaerson ran the ferry for five years. It appears that there may have been a brief break in service late in the decade when the county cut off its financial backing and told Sassaerson to continue the service and charge whatever he could get. The predictable result was that the ferry operations stopped.
On November 20, 1683 Talbot County authorized the establishment of a ferry service for "Horses and Men". Richard Royston, was paid 2,500 pounds of tobacco per year (about $25) to operate the ferry
Richard Royston was a kinsman of Seth and Elizabeth Foster, who owned Tilghman and Poplar Islands. He came to Talbot County from London as a merchant, and settled in what is now called Ferry Neck, across the river from Oxford, with his wife Mary. The records reveal some fascinating facts about Richard Royston. He was one of Oxford's founding fathers, and when the town of Oxford was laid out he took up Lot No. 1. It turns out that Royston was also one of the town's earliest and most grievous sinners. Royston was convicted of forgery in 1686, after he had given up the Tred Avon ferry. Just what was involved does not appear in the record, but the punishment included a public whipping. Royston died at sea in 1694. After his death, the Maryland Assembly formally condemned him as a man whose "life & actions (were) notoriously scandalous in this province".
1931 - Captain Buck Richardson had the first self-propelled ferry, later named the Tred Avon, built in Oxford.
Buck Richardson, one of Oxford's most famous sailors, financed the building of a new boat to keep the ferry line alive. The gasoline powered, self-propelled ferry was in service until 1974. It was a wooden structure, 50 feet long, and was constructed at the Oxford yard of Captain Al Sparklin. Captain Richardson's two sons then ran the ferry for six more years.
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