Drayton Island Ferry

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Drayton Island Ferry
Waterway St. Johns River
Transit type Barge
Carries Automobiles
Began operation 1943
System length 0.2 miles (0.32 km)
Route ID 764040 / 764041[1]

The Drayton Island Ferry is an auto ferry that crosses the St. Johns River in Putnam County, Florida, connecting Georgetown on the eastern bank with Drayton Island, located in the middle of the river at the north end of Lake George. It provides the only public access to the island.


The Drayton Island Ferry provides the only access for vehicles to Drayton Island.[2] Residents of the island petitioned for the establishment of a ferry service in 1939;[3] operations began in 1943.[4] The original ferry barge sank at its moorings on January 12, 1956;[5] although it was salvaged and returned to service, a replacement, measuring 48 feet (15 m) by 18 feet (5.5 m), was acquired from J.H. Coppedge and Co. in Jacksonville for $6,793.[6] A safety inspection of the ferry was carried out in 1963 after reports were received that 40 people had been carried on some trips; the ferry's passenger limit was set at six.[7]

In 1968 the ferry received a $1800 subsidy from Putnam County for its operations; overall the ferry had cost $4129 to the county to operate over the previous year, while in 1965 it had produced $2,267 in toll revenue.[8] Repairs to the ferry landing were proposed in the early 1980s, with a proposal for the establishment of a special taxing district to provide funding,[9] but were rejected as unneeded; questions were raised about the financial management of the operation at the time.[10]


The ferry is currently operated by Putnam County, Florida; capable of transporting two vehicles per trip,[11] there is a $9 toll for passage to the privately owned island.[12] The ferry, which consists of a tugboat and barge combination,[13] is located near daymarker No. 70 on the river.[14] It nominally runs three times daily;[12] however, the schedule is considered flexible.[15]


  1. ^ "Florida Bridge Information" (PDF). Office of Maintenance Bridge Information. Florida Department of Transportation. June 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  2. ^ Bull, Roger (October 9, 2001). "Our River comes home". The Florida Times-Union. Jacksonville, FL. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  3. ^ West, Maureen (December 10, 1978). "On Drayton Island Life Is Much More Simple". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. p. 9F. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  4. ^ Klinkenberg, Jeff (August 23, 2009). "Fort Gates Ferry still crossing the St. Johns River". Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, FL. Accessed 2012-08-24.
  5. ^ "River Barge Sinks at St. Johns Dock". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. Putnam County Edition. January 14, 1956. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Accepts Bid For Barge". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. Putnam County Edition. March 22, 1956. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  7. ^ "Putnam Okays Insurance Plan". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. Azalea Edition. November 13, 1963. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  8. ^ "Drayton Island Funds Asked". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. Azalea Edition. June 26, 1968. p. 13. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  9. ^ Prevatt, Butch (December 31, 1983). "Tax District May Help Residents". The Bass Capital News. Daytona Beach, FL. p. 4. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  10. ^ "Putnam Names Committee To Study Repair Project". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. December 14, 1983. p. 2B. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  11. ^ Belleville 2000, p.115.
  12. ^ a b McGee, Penny. "Ferry fever: Scenic St. Johns a nice place for a barge crossing". Star-Banner. Ocala, FL. p. 6. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  13. ^ Griffes 2004, p.144.
  14. ^ Young 2005, p.146
  15. ^ McCarthy 2008, p.65.
  • Belleville, Bill (2000). River of Lakes: A Journey on Florida's St. Johns River. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0-8203-2344-6. 
  • Griffes, Peter L., ed. (2004). Atlantic Boating Almanac, Vol. 4: St. Johns River, FL to Key West & The Bahamas (2004 ed.). Annapolis, MD: Atlantic Boating Almanac. ISBN 1-57785-504-3. 
  • McCarthy, Kevin M. (2008). St. Johns River Guidebook (2nd ed.). Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press. ISBN 978-1-56164-435-3. 
  • Young, Claiborne S. (2005). Cruising Guide to Eastern Florida (5th ed.). Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-58980-255-1. 

Coordinates: 29°23′09″N 81°38′17″W / 29.38583°N 81.63806°W / 29.38583; -81.63806