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Howe Island Ferry History

A cable ferry has been in operation at the current site, in some capacity, from at least 1898 with variation on ferries, owners and operators. Some include the O’Brien’s, Foley’s and Pickett’s Ferry, with the Pickett’s being the last privately owned ferry operation.

In 1949 Pickett’s ferry came into existence with a three-car, steel hulled ferry at the foot of Howe Island Ferry Road which is also known as Joyceville Side Road. This ferry was known to some as Pitt’s ferry which was derived from the ferry operated in the old Township of Pittsburgh.

In 1976 the Pickett’s ferry was replaced by a nine-car steel hulled ferry, owned by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications and operated by Frontenac Management Board, and the three-car ferry was delegated to the Township of Frontenac Islands to be operated at the eastern end of Howe Island.

In 2004 the nine-car ferry was replaced by The Frontenac-Howe Islander, the current fifteen-car ferry owned by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and operated by The County of Frontenac.