53 Years Of Fond Ferry Memories

On July 1, 1964, Lee and Marietta Howard were on vacation with 13 family members. The family was planning to go to the Wildwood boardwalk for the evening, but Lee’s grandmother Ruby saw an advertisement in the newspaper for a ferry which they could ride for $1 per person. Instead of going to the boardwalk, the group of 15 decided to go for a ride on the Cape May – Lewes Ferry on what turned out to be its very first day in service.

Lee and Marietta Howard

Lee and Marietta now live in Verona, New Jersey and have a vacation home in Wildwood Crest. Being so close, they still like to visit the ferry and see everything that’s changed over the years – and in 53 years, a lot has changed, both for the Howards and at the ferry. The then-newlywed couple has now been married for 54 years, and their eldest daughter (with whom Marietta was pregnant when they first rode the ferry) now has a son in college. The ferry has also grown tremendously: there’s a new terminal building, activities outside, and a restaurant on either side. The ferries themselves have also been remodeled and updated countless times over the years.

Visiting the ferry is especially nostalgic for the family who rode on one of the very first voyages. It’s like stepping back in time to the very first time they rode across the Delaware Bay, and it also allows them to remember the family members with whom they traveled. Lee and Marietta stopped by the terminal in August to take a walk down memory lane and to get a souvenir for their cousin Walter’s 70th birthday. Walter was also among the 15 family members on the first ferry, and while he’s since moved to Florida, he still carries fond memories of the ferry and spending time in Cape May with his family.