North Saskatchewan River 5/6-56-7-4
Local Dominion Land Surveyor Marshall Willard Hopkins surveyed
the St. Paul area of the province about 1903-04, and the post settle-
ment of Hopkins was named after him in 1908 when the post office was
established at the Trading Store. A ferry was installed in 1908 to enable
farmers to cross the river to the railway, and although the post office
was discontinued in 1915, the ferry continued to operate as "Hopkins"
until 1970, when the bridge at Myrnam was opened. It was a busy
crossing in the early years as it was the only ferry on the river in that
area, until the Mooswa (Lindbergh) ferry was installed in 1911. The
Hopkins ferry apparently operated safely and satisfactorily during its
sixty-two years of service as there is no record of any serious mishaps;
although it probably had its share of trouble due to high water periods
and winter ice crossings.
One day in 1916 when the water was running high, a barn was seen
floating down the river with three Jersey cows still inside. The ferry-
man, with a couple of helpers, took the ferry out into midstream,
hoping to block the barn's journey, but they were just a few feet out
and the barn merely glanced off the ferry and went on its way, the
three cows staring ahead calmly.
On another occasion, someone tried to cross a herd of horses on
the ice in winter, well strung out to that their weight would not break
the ice. Unluckily, when they were halfway across, the ice "boomed,"
as it often did when freezing, and the horses took fright and bunched
together, all being drowned when the ice collapsed under their weight.
Leon Kobel, the last ferryman at Hopkins, spent a total of twenty-
five years altogether in this job.
Excerpted from: Haestie, Elizabeth Ferries and Ferrymen in Alberta, Glenbow Museum 1986
Reflections info https://elkpointhistory.ca/elk-point-ferries