This Place in History: Sweet’s Ferry in Isle La Motte

Morning Show
At This Place in History with the Vermont Historical Society. Steve Perkins takes us to Sweet’s Ferry landing in Isle La Motte, VT.
“100 years ago you couldn’t get from Upstate New York to Vermont really easily because there was no way to do it.” said Perkins. “You had to take ferries. Lots of little ferries popped up to cross the islands. And we’re at a point where one of the last ferries to run this route was located before that Rouses Point Bridge was put in.”
Perkins invited two members of the Sweet family to meet us at the historical marker.
“Well, our grandfather built this ferry.” said Margaret Sweet Dodds, granddaughter of Sweet’s Ferry owner and operator Will Sweet. “This is the Vermont side where the ferry boat landed. It began at Chazy landing and came across here to Isle La Motte.”
The ferry was nicknamed ‘The Twins.’
“In 1904, he bought the ferry. In 1905, he built The Twins which was named after my father and her father which were twins that were born right there in Chazy Landing.” said David Sweet, grandson of Will Sweet.
The ferry was actually named Chazy Landing Ferry but everyone called it Sweet’s Ferry.
“It was called the Chazy Landing Ferry but the sign up there says Sweet’s Ferry,” David Sweet said. “Because a lot of the people know it as Sweet’s and Will Sweet was very well liked and famous in those days so they all called it Sweet’s Ferry on this side of the lake.”
Margaret and David ran off a long list of dignitaries that regularly used the ferry. From Henry Ford to fighter Gene Tunney to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
“They would travel from the Adirondacks.” said David Sweet. “They would be on camping trips with whole caravans of tents and everything. And they would be traveling to Maine to the Bar Harbor area and they would cross the ferry almost every year.”
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