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Saugatuck Chain Ferry

While chain ferries were popular in the past helping people and horses cross easy-flowing rivers, most of them were eventually upgraded to motor-driven cable ferries. Only in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan do visitors have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be ferried by a hand-cranked chain ferry. This is the last of its kind in the United States. 

Saugatuck’s Chain Ferry has been operational since 1857, although the present ferry “Diane” was constructed in the 1960s. Surprisingly beautiful with a pure white Victorian gingerbread trim, it’s also an inexpensive ride. A trip costs only two dollars per person each way. The jovial ferry attendants share the vessel’s history and often allow passengers a turn at the chain hand crank.


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