Ferries in Marshfield.
"In 1638," says Briggs, "a ferry was established at North River by Jona. Brewster of Duxbury. This ferry was a place called New Harbor Marsh, and it is now called 'White's Ferry.' Jona. Brewster was the first ferryman. In 1641 Mr. Brewster sold his ferry privilege to Messrs. Barker, Howell & Co., for £60. In 1645 it was kept by Ralph Chapman, who in 1656 implored the Court to excuse him, as it would bring him to extreme poverty, etc. He was excused except on special occasions, as bringing the magistrates over who dwell there."
There was shipbuilding going on at this place in early days, and a wharf for the landing of goods, a part of which is seen at the present day. A long bridge near this wharf and the old ferry was built about a couple of decades ago for the purpose of accommodating the proprietors of Hotel Humarock and other householders on the Humarock beach on the opposite side of the river. The Country Commissioners, at the time of writing this history, have required the towns of Scituate and Marshfield to support the bridge, Scituate keeping their side up to the channel of the river, about two-thirds across, in good repair, and Marshfield their side up to the channel.
Briggs, in his book, says: "At Union Bridge (between Norwell and Marshfield) there was a public ferry boat as early as 1644. Union Bridge was built soon after 1801 as a toll bridge. Hatch Tilden was toll collector for more than forty years. He lived in the house near the bridge on the easterly side of the road in Marshfield. It was made a free bridge in 1850."
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