1920s Getting to Philadelphia Meant Taking the Ferry


Undated, unused color post card of the Ferry Boat Baltic, Camden, N.J.

Scott Barnes found details on the Baltic. The ferryboat Baltic was launched by the West Jersey Ferry Co. in 1881. Shortly thereafter, in 1883, the Pennsylvania Railroad took control of the company to block the Reading from doing the same. This is laid out in a 1921 book "Old Ferries of Camden, NJ" that has been scanned into text form and is in the list below this page.

Wenonah was built around the railroad station and an easy commute to Philadelphia.

Sometimes people forget that you could not step onto a train in Wenonah and ride right into the Philadelphia. There was a major obstacle that prevented such an easy trip. That obstacle was the Delaware River. The train would carry you to Camden and then you would have to step off and board a ferry across the river.

I don't know if the railroad ever used the Ferry Boat Baltic but the post card was offered on eBay and I bought it. Zooming in I can see a truck with the word DREER on it. DREER was a seed company located in Riverton, NJ. Here's a link to a photo of a fleet of DREER trucks on the Riverton Historical Society web site.


If you would like to learn more about DREER you can skim through notes to a powerpoint about the company that a Riverton Historical Society member prepared at this link.


Train tickets sold for passage from Wenonah to Philadelphia included the ferry ride. If you would like to see what a monthly commuters ticket looked like follow the link below. If you read the ticket you can see it is good for travel from Wenonah to the Market St Wharf in Philadelphia. George Wakefield lived on North West Ave. "kitty corner" from the foot bridge over the railroad.


The building where the ferry docked is shown at the link below.


The first bridge joining Camden and Philadelphia was completed in 1926 and is now called the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.