Oka fer­ry his­to­ry show­ca­sed in book

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

The Hud­son Oka Fer­ry ser­vice is ce­le­bra­ting its 100th bir­th­day by laun­ching a com­me­mo­ra­tive book. The ce­le­bra­to­ry tome that was writ­ten by Claude Lé­ger, son of foun­der John Lé­ger, will beon­the­mar­ket Fri­day.

The po­pu­lar fer­ry ser­vice was star­ted by John Lé­ger in 1909, when there we­ren’t any cars to­trans­port across the Ottawa Ri­ver.

“He took people and the mail from one side to other,” said cur­rent ow­ner Claude Des­jar­dins, ad­ding, “People in Oka­wan­ted to take the train to Mon­tréal be­cause to go to Mon­treal fromO­ka­by­hor­se­was a long ride.”

Des­jar­dins said by 1925 the ser­vice was trans­por­ting horses and then cars and that the fer­ry was even­tual­ly en­lar­ged.

“It was a flat tow-barge wi­thout any pro­pul­sion on it and there was a lit­tle tug boat that pul­led the barge and­do­cked it in a spe­cial way,” Des­jar­dins no­ted.

The sys­tem was re­ti­red last year and re­pla­ced with two re­fur­bi­shed 36.5 me­ter­long self-pro­pel­led ferries ca­pable of car­rying up­to18­cars at a time.

The old, smal­ler barges could ac­com­mo­date 10cars each.

The Hud­sonO­ka Fer­ry 100th An­ni­ver­sa­ry book will be sold as of Dec. 18 at theHud­son His­to­ri­cal So­cie­ty, theG­reen­wood Centre for Li­ving His­to­ry and at Édi­tions Vau­dreuil books­tore.

PHOTO KRIS­TI­NA ED­SON

Self-pro­pel­led boats now trans­port up to 18cars at a time.

PHOTO KRIS­TI­NA ED­SON

An old tow-barge sys­tem was re­pla­ced last year.

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