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The Wilson Line
"The Wilson Line" at the Market Street Pier, Chester, PA
The Wilson Line "City of
Photo courtesy of Janet Moulder, email@example.com
The Wilson Line "State of
Photo courtesy of Chas Browne, Broome County (NY) Historical Society
Click here to visit a Wilson Line website.
in 1934 were:
From the Chester Times Year Book 1949:
following historical notes were taken from a May 30, 1934 Chester Times
The Wilson Line began in 1882 as the Wilmington Steamboat Company under the direction of Captain Horace Wilson.
By 1888 there were 3 ships: the "Wilmington", the "Brandywine" and the "City of Chester".
In 1910 "City of Wilmington" and "City of Philadelphia" were purchased.
In 1923 the "State of Delaware" and "State of Pennsylvania" were added.
In 1929 the Wilmington Steamboat Company was purchased by a syndicate of Wilmington & Philadelphia interests headed by George B. Junkin and was renamed the "Wilson Line, Inc."
From the Chester Times Year book 1949:
The Wilson Line was very popular for excursion trips to Philadelphia and to Wilmington. Until 1961, The Wilson Line also made daily trips in the summer to Riverview Beach Park in New Jersey, a very large and popular place.
"I am 65 and remember when i was young boy living on the banks of the lower
Delaware river and at night seeing the wilson line go past with all its lights on what a sight that was. Later I moved
to Upper Darby, Pa and had our 1959 senior prom on the wilson line cruse."
"I'm almost 59 now, but I remember going to Riverview Park via the Wilson Line which left Philly at the old ferry terminal below the Ben Franklin Bridge.
"Thanks for the web site on the Wilson Line. I am 65 years old now, but still remember when my Mom would take me on the bus from Camden to Philadelphia to get on the Wilson Line. As someone on your site noted, they were very clean and the crew were always friendly. And yes, half the fun of a day trip to Riverview Beach Park was the ride on the Wilson "liner", as we called it.
"My mother and father (both deceased) met and later married on the Vessel going from Philly to Riverview. My grandmother worked on board and my father was a deckhand around 1959."
"Found your website while searching for info. about the Wilson Line. I am interested in any information available. During the summer of 1951 and 1052 I was employed as a deckhand aboard the
M.V. Delaware Belle. She ran trips out of Philadelphia to Riverview Beach Park and then into the Delaware Bay. In the evening she operated a Moon Light Cruise with live music and dancing. She docked at the foot of Chestnut St. Day
cruises loaded there and proceeded to Allegheny Ave. and picked up passengers before
traveling downriver and picking up passengers at the Chester pier. The evening cruise only loaded at Chestnut St. pier. The officers during the '51 season were, Capt. Edwin Savin, Capt Jack Emery, First Mate Sam Crouch and Second Mate Mr. Church. My memory is faded as to the officers aboard during the "52 season. It was
a very rewarding experience for a young man of seventeen. I would interested and grateful for any further info that is available."
"I was born and raised in Wilmington and every
year the Nuns would take the Parochial school children and their parents to Riverview Beach Park in Pennsville on the Wilson Line. It left from the bottom of Fourth Street. I was always amazed at how the Captain was able to turn that big ship around in the tiny Christina River. I remember several ships being there at one time. They'd load one and then it would leave then another would pull up and load and it would depart. Oh the excitement. Half the fun of the day was riding the Wilson Line. They were clean vessels and the crews were always nice to us. The Sisters enjoyed the ride also
6/14/2003: This recollection from Jean C.:
Paul Crowther adds, "I took the trip many times".
"City of Chester" steamer was new in 1927If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about the Wilson Line, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 05/30/06