October 14, 2010

A little paint and a helping hand preserves history

By Michael Johnson, Editor

It’s hard to imagine such a large vessel like the Sioux Ferry navigating the Missouri River once again. The idea of the engine roaring and the old wooden paddles churning the waters makes a guy like Tom Neary laugh. But that doesn’t stop him or other members of the Washburn Beautification Committee and members of the Lions Club from working to restore the great riverboat to a condition where it can be enjoyed by residents and tourists for years to come. The ferry sits in Washburn’s Riverside Park and hasn’t plied the water since it retired in 1962. The Sioux crossed the river daily as many times as was needed for 10 years. It was the last of its kind in the area and its importance was lost once the new bridge was installed. Before the bridge it was the one way across unless you wanted to take the trip to Bismarck. Now the ferry has become a historical reminder for the community. The Lions Club in Washburn, Bismarck and surrounding areas found out that restoring the ferry perhaps even beyond its original glory would be a worthy cause for the community.


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