Cape Gazette

43 millionth passenger uses Delaware Bay ferry service

By Deny Howeth | Jan 20, 2014
Photo by: Deny Howeth Ruth Macintire, a Lewes native, reminisces about the 1964 maiden voyage of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry registered its 43 millionth passenger at the Lewes Ferry Terminal Jan. 8. An original passenger from the July 1, 1964 inaugural ferry crossing was on hand as well.

Ruth Macintire, a Lewes native, was 33 at the time, and remembered the dress she wore to board. Tickets were hard to come by and she received hers from a friend, Alda Parsons. That June day was one of the hottest of the year and Macintire remembers the boat was so hot and since there was no shade, Halsey Knapp burned his feet the floor of the boat. "It was a disaster," she said of the first voyage. "And when we got to New Jersey and dumped us at what looked like a desert, I was determined to get into Cape May."

When they were ready for the return trip they stood on the shore and watched the ferry struggle to get in the slip, and the story is it was hung up on some gear used to drive the pilings. "It just wasn't ready, but they went anyway," Macintire said.

Bill and Fran Kisby of Millsboro purchased a ticket for the 9:15 a.m. departure bound for Cape May, N.J. They quickly became celebrities as the 43 milllionth passenger. Lewes Terminal Manager Nikki Fisher presented the Kisbys with a gift package of Cape May-Lewes Ferry logo items and a book of six vehicle tickets.


Bill and Fran Kisby, the 43 millionth passengers, join Ruth Macintire, right, who was on the first passage in 1964. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Shwon (l-r) during the celebration are Bill Lowe, Delaware River & Bay Authority vice chairman; Scott Green, executive director; Bill and Fran Kisby; Ruth Macintire; Nikky Fisher; Lewes Terminal manager; and Heath Gehrke, director of ferry operations. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Captain Robert Vance, far left, his crew and passengers on board the MV Cape Henlopen ferry vessel pose with the Kisbys in front of the banner inside the passenger salon. (Photo by: Submitted)
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.