McClelland Ferry launched for possible 100th season


May 26, 2021

A Cat D7 dozer is used to push the McClelland Ferry back into the Missouri River. A backhoe was on the opposite side using its scoop bucket to guide the ferry in to the water. Pulling the ferry out in the fall requires the dozer plus a road grader to slide the craft up on to the river bank to keep it protected during the winter.

In early May Blaine County Road and Bridge Supervisor Mark Burkhartsmeyer invited me to ride with him down to the Missouri River to watch the spring launch that would begin what might be the 100th season of ferry service from Blaine County to Fergus County to the south. I say "might be the 100th season" because there are varying historical accounts of when and how the ferry actually got started. Here's some of what I learned about the history, current operation and future of the ferry.

The when, how and who regarding the start of ferry service

It's pretty much agreed that John (Jack) McClel...

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