Historic Marlow Ferry and Farragut’s Basin
16346 Honey Rd, Summerdale, AL
This county historical site was used as a major river crossing location from the early 1800’s to the mid 1900’s. It was intermittently used as a site for pontoon bridges and ferries, but later and more extensively, as a ferry site. These structures were used to span what was known to the first Spanish Colonists as Rio Pescadore or Fish River.
The ferry was used by General Andrew Jackson and his troops during the War of 1812 and by the Union Army during the American Civil War. General Andrew Jackson’s men camped at Marlow Ferry and foraged for food while readying troops to travel to defend New Orleans against British attack.
In 1865, Union troops sailed from Dauphin Island, Alabama to Marlow Ferry and then marched on to link up with other Union troops. The Union 16th division marched north and attacked Confederate troops defending Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely.
Gunboats sailed up Fish River to intercept Confederate forces but had to turn around at the wide part of the river located approximately 1,000 yards north of this site. That site, which can be seen from this location, thus came to be known as Farragut’s Basin, named after Union Admiral David Farragut.
The ferry was replaced in the 1950s with a modern bridge across Fish River. The ferry no longer operates but in 1992, the Baldwin County Commission obtained the site of the original old Marlow Ferry for its preservation as a county historical site. The landing is now part of the Baldwin County Parks System.