1817 - First motorized ferry on Staten Island

Posted by Tom Crimmins Realty, Ltd. on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 at 11:32am.

In 1817, a year after his election, Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins developed the first motorized ferry for the Richmond Turnpike Company, as a part of his created Tompkinsville. He financed the Turnpike Company himself. Tompkins first intensions was to create a highway across Staten Island. Before the motorized ferry, there were originally "two-masted sailingboats."

John De Forest was the first captain of this new motorized ferry, name the Nautilus, named after the Nautilus Hall. De Forest was the brother-in-law of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt bought the company in 1838 but sold it to his brother Jacob in the early 1860's when the American Civil War began.

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