The Fall River Line was popularized by this famous song. A romantic and engaging way to travel between New York and Boston.
It all began fittingly enough with Robert Fulton, who planned to vanquish Long Island Sound as he had the Hudson, even though he died, at an untimely fifty, just before the attempt was to be made. And the slow funeral cannonade from the Battery had barely died on the wind when his steamboat, unblushingly named the Fulton, paddled up the East River into the dreaded waters of Hell Gate, the narrow passage where the tides rush in and out of the Sound. “
The Fall River Line’s PRISCILLA.
The Fall River Line’s first boat was the steamer Bay State, 300 feet long and forty wide, lit by oil lamps at night. Her cuisine attained considerable renown, at fifty cents for the grand table d’hôte dinner, served at long candlelit tables: ceremoniously the Captain and his guests were seated first, for these were no ferry boats and they affected the grand manner of the transatlantic trade. Very soon the Bay State encountered Law’s cocky Oregon, with her proud owner aboard, and not only bested her in a race up the Sound but even triumphantly crossed the loser’s bow, so that there should be no misunderstanding about who had won. The line was so profitable that two new boats, the Empire State and the Metropolis, could be bought out of profits in a few years. This seemed too good to betrue, and Wall Street men listened and moved in to begin a series of major financial mergers and shufflings which lasted over many years. [Read more...]