Before nestling in the New York harbor as a cozy residence, the Yankee Ferry had a very exciting career spanning over 100 years. Built in 1907, the Yankee was first designed to carry passengers between Portland, Maine and the Calendar Islands in Casco Bay. Then after a brief career in Boston, she was enlisted in World War I, armed with two one-pounder guns and used to transport men and supplies along the East Coast.
After the war, the Yankee moved to New York where she was used to ferry immigrants from their incoming ships to Ellis Island. As many passengers traveled below deck, their first sights of the new world were very likely from the deck of the Yankee.
After extensive restorations, Victoria and Richard purchased the boat and settled into their New York time capsule of a home. In keeping with the spirit of recycling and preservation, the couple have integrated the ship’s most characteristic features into their everyday lives. The passenger deck serves as a beautiful dining room and the helm makes a cozy office space.
Victoria has also built a “Polka Dot Garden,” of various vegetables growing out of 104 old truck tires on the adjacent dock. The garden includes a complete irrigation system running along the pavement, and Victoria reported corn growing over 9 feet tall last year. The couple also raise their own chicken aboard the ferry.
Registered as an historical vessel with the National Register of Historical Places, the Yankee is a truly special piece of New York history that we are incredibly grateful to still have, and to see in good hands.
All images © Navid Baraty