From a simple rowboat called Yates Ferry to the City of Chappaquiddick and the On Time barges that have had more than one iteration through the years, the Chappaquiddick ferry is an Island institution all its own.

The ferry that plies the narrow channel between Edgartown and Chappy has always been Island born, bred and built. Manuel Swartz Roberts, whose boatbuilding shed is today the Old Sculpin Gallery on Dock street, had a hand in designing both the City of Chappaquiddick and the original On Time — a two-car ferry that was single-ended and had to turn around halfway across the channel.

Footage for this film, part of the Vineyard Gazette Historic Movies of Martha’s Vineyard project, began to be assembled in 2011 when shooting began for the Chappy Ferry book and movie written and produced by Tom Dunlop and John Wilson of Edgartown.

“At the time we were limited in the footage we had of the ferries,” Mr. Wilson recalled. “In the intervening years we have gathered much more footage of the ferries and now have film of every motorized barge that has plied the waters from Edgartown to Chappy. Notable is the only footage we have found of the last rowboat ferry, the Yates Ferry.”

The song One Way home was specially written for the film by former Chappy resident, musician and Potter family farmhand Kevin Keady. The song is performed by Mr. Keady with Mike Benjamin and a number of Island musicians. It was recorded and mixed at Jim Parr Audio in West Tisbury.