The Ferry at Curry's Landing
My grand-father, George "Will" Curry operated the ferry for crossing the Choctawhatchee River in northwestern Holmes County, Florida in the early 1900's. He was paid by the county $25.00 a month for its operation.
The ferry was constructed of cypress lumber with the deck and bottom floored to insure buoyancy. It measured 12 feet wide by 20 feet long and it pulled along a cable which was stretched across the river. A black-gum pole with a notch cut in it was used to maneuver the ferry along the cable. After making a crossing to unload passengers and cargo the ferry could be free-wheeled almost the entire distance back across the river.
There have been many interesting stories told about incidents of the ferry and its river crossings. Tales of dogs which swam behind the ferry would suddenly disappear into the jaws of the Florida alligators.
One tragic accident claimed the lives of a father and son. The brakes failed on the Model A Ford which was being hauled across the river on the ferry. The car with its two passengers aboard plunged into the water drowning them.
Another story i remember my grandfather telling was about a man who supported his family by making and selling "moonshine" whiskey. On this certain day a state revenue officer was waiting on the west bank to arrest this man who was being ferried across by the west bank to arrest this man who was being ferried across by my grandfather. Upon docking the ferry the revenue officer approached the ferry and attempted to make his arrest. My grandfather stepped between the officer and the man and showed his pistol. My grand-father said to the revenue officer "You best be on you way and leave this gentleman alone." The shaking officer ran back to his vehicle and left. The man thanked my grandfather and proceeded on his way.
The ferry was shut down due to lack of funds to pay for its operation during World War II. But the ferryboat years served a vital link in the promotion of commerce and transportation for the advancement of a better way of life.