The Fordham

Written 8/02

This is more of a tribute than anything, to something that I unfortunately never got to know more about.

I don’t know exactly why I’m writing this up. I just feel I have to. This may not be a ‘true’ landmark to most people, but it sure is for me. Living in Toms River and going to elementary school in Bayville, I passed it every day. On the way home, I’d see it again, and just stare at it. It was empty, soulless, yet at the same time seemed very alive. I heard a few tales yet never really knew anything about it. Such was my almost 2 decade fascination with the Fordham.

The Fordham was an old ferry that was docked in Beachwood for longer than anyone could remember. It was just plain ugly; big, rusty, nasty yellow paint….and just creepy-looking – probably because it was surrounded by more modern-looking boats. The thing was archaic; I think I was awestruck simply because it didn’t fit in. It was definitely the ugly duckling of the boatyard, but they put it right up in the front, just yards from Route 166. Simply put, it was odd.

This is what has been told to me about the Fordham. It ferried bodies across the river to a potters field in NY (where they buried unclaimed bodies). Somehow, it ended up down in the marina in Beachwood. My mom’s friend worked at the marina years ago and had to occasionally go on the Fordham. He said some weird stuff happened while he was aboard and that it was indeed haunted.

The ferry was destroyed earlier this year. Apparently it was leaking oil and the owner was being fined for it. I remember seeing it the entire top leveled. It looked like it was just a floating black stage. A few days later it was gone. And it’s never coming back.

This is all I know about the Fordham. I can’t find any information about it: when it was brought down here, why it was never restored, or if it really was a ferry for a potters field. I don’t even have any pictures of it.

If you have any info about the ferry, pics, or know of any articles, please let me know.

Author: Stu