General Ship & Engine Works Shipyard during Construction
of the Electric Ferry "Hudson"

The Hudson Electric Ferry is shown under construction at the shipyard of General Ship & Engineering Works, in East Boston Mass.
(Enlarge Photo)

The Hudson was financed by General Motors Corp and the engines were supplied by General Motors. It was completed in 1941 and put into service between Brooklyn's 69th Pier and St. George, Staten Island. The operator Electric Ferries Inc. of New York City painted the ferries a dark green, with the words "Electric Ferries" across nearly the full length of each side.

The Hudson was borrowed during the navy during WWII and designated YFB-31 with the name Gould Island. She was used during the Second World War as a ferry boat at Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I.. She was returned to her former owners 25 May 1946 and stricken from the Navy List 28 January 1947. She continued in service as a ferry in New York until 1964. In 1965 she became the "Chester" and was scrapped in 1979.

When the Hudson was complete, launchways had to be excavated, and a series of pilings were discovered. "We had a suspicion that these might have been from Donald McKay's shipyard [Where the famous Clipper Ships had been built], since it was supposed to have been in the area," Hedblom recalled. "We had Pat Ford, our young attorney got to the City Hall and investigate to see if he could find records in the 1800s of Donald McKay's ownership. He did find sufficient records to establish that this plot of land had been Donald McKay's shipyard. When the newspapers got wind of this fact, they gave a great deal of publicity about the rejuvenation of the Donald McKay shipyard."