Past-Present: The Carteret Ferry & Trackless Trolley – Travis, Staten Island

1st Day of service for the Trackless Trolley connecting with the Carteret Ferry in Linoleumville (now Travis), May 29, 1922.

Carteret Ferry, Foot of Victory Blvd, Travis (the “Present” photo in the inset was taken 4/26/12…) AND Opening Day of Trackless Trolley Service…

The Carteret Ferry was a critical means of transportation when Travis was once upon a time known as Linoleumville, named such for the first Linoleum factory to operate in the United States that began operations here in the 1870’s. Previous names of the town were “Long Neck” and “New Blazing Star Ferry”. The American Linoleum Manufacturing Company employed the majority of the residents of the town, and many more commuted from New Jersey to get to work (yes, people actually commuted TO Staten Island!); people even “boat-pooled” to the docks to the factory.

From 1916 to 1929 the Carteret Ferry Company operated a line between Linoleumville and Carteret, NJ, at the foot of the Richmond Turnpike – renamed Victory Blvd after the Allied Victory in World War I. To complement this service the City extended its short-lived “Trackless Trolley” line from Sea View Hospital to the foot of Victory. The photograph you see here is from the First Day of the Service: May 29, 1922. The Islanders on the side of the road are curiosity-seekers, no doubt marveling at the latest piece of transportation technology. You can see the overhead power wires in an arc, allowing for the trolley to make its turn-around.

Trackless Trolleys were an interesting experiment (SecretSI.com has covered this topic in another article) in that it gave the people of Staten Island much more freedom to travel the Island, not bound to a railroad line or a fixed-track trolley. It only lasted for a few years, but this led to full-fledged Bus routes, and MANY of these routes on Staten Island follow the original courses set by the Trackless Trolleys nearly 100 years ago.

By 1928, the Linoleum Factory closed and suddenly there was little need for a ferry anymore, especially with the simultaneous openings of the “twin-bridges” Goethals & Outerbridge Crossing that same year.

The Ferry is gone, the slips are now fenced-off, but the busses still run, and like its Trolley predecessor, the S62 (the old R112) turns around in the same spot to start its run again…