The Rise and Fall of River and Rail transportation in Madison, Indiana.

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The ferry Trimble

In 1894 a visitor to the Madison Marine Railways wrote this article to the editor of The Democrat newspaper. It was published December 24, 1894…

“Having a little leisure time on my hands, and strolling around your beautiful city, I happened in on the shipyard and was much interested in the working of the Marine Railway, with its powerful machinery for pulling out great steamboats.

I saw on the ways the elegant new ferryboat that is now nearly finished for Capt. Joseph C. Abbott. Capt. Barmore kindly pointed out to me some of the features in the new boat that will make it the most convenient and safe and comfortable ferryboat that has ever run between Madison and Milton.

In the first place, her capacity for carrying wagons and passengers is nearly double that of the old ferry.

Then she will have an elegant cabin with fine toilet rooms and every convenience for ladies use. This will add greatly to the comfort of the passengers; for though the trip across the river is a short one, yet ladies coming in from a long dusty ride to visit the city will often enjoy and appreciate the convenience afforded for brushing up a little before going shopping and coming in competition with the Madison belles.

Then she will be a very safe boat, having a good stout hull, well ironed to battle with waves and ice on the raging river; with powerful machinery and plenty of boiler capacity, so that it will not take all day to cross the fish pond.

The boat will be painted in the finest style and the cabin ornamented with beautiful brackets and gilded drops. A strong railing gives a feeling of security on the main deck, while a lighter and more fanciful rail adorns the skylight roof, and a very pretty and graceful roof covers the head of the gentlemen who presides at the wheel.

I am inclined to think that Capt. Barmore has not confined himself to the letter of the specifications in the construction of this ferryboat (and) has taken a commendable pride in giving to the citizens of Madison and their Kentucky patrons a ferryboat, that will be something to be proud of and enjoy, not only in the ordinary line of business but in many a moonlight excursion when music and pleasure shall rule the hour. – Visitor

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