Ironton Ferry

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Ironton Ferry from the eastern shore of the south arm of Lake Charlevoix in May 1990.

Ironton Ferry is a four-car cable ferry that crosses a narrow point on the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix in the U.S. State of Michigan in the town Ironton. The Ferry connects Ironton, a small village about 5 miles from Charlevoix, Michigan, to Boyne City, Michigan.[1] In the early days, the ferry was powered by horses. Ironton was a Pig Iron Factory town. The ferry runs between April and November. Captain Sam Alexander of the ferry is listed in Ripley's Believe it or Not! for travelling 15,000 miles while never being more than 1/4 mile from his home over a period of years. The automobile fare has risen to $3.25 each way.

Ironton is directly across from a parcel of land once owned by George R. Hemingway, uncle of renowned author Ernest Hemingway. "Uncle George" ran a tree farm on this property that includes a landmark on Lake Charlevoix, Hemingway Point. In Hemingway's, The Nick Adams Stories, the point is where "Nick" was camping when he became frightened and fired rifle shots to signal his father and uncle who were out on the lake. This was confirmed by the author's first cousin, Margaret Hemingway Bundy, prior to her death.

There is a more recent collection of short stories about life in the area during the 1970s. My Summers On Hemingway Road, by Alicia Hein Cook, features original artwork of the Ironton Ferry on the cover.[2]

The Ironton Ferry has been captured by many artists, both amateur and professional. Among these are Leland Beaman, an accomplished Michigan artist, who painted the Ironton Ferry in watercolor prior to the landing and onboard gates being electrified in the late 1970s.