Henry Ford, born on July 30, 1863, famous as the man who “put America on wheels.” Did you know that Henry Ford was no stranger to the North Country? This photograph shows the man himself (foreground) in 1919 aboard “Sweet’s Auto Ferry” at Chazy Landing.
In the summertime, Ford was known for organizing elaborate road trips for himself and his friends, a group dubbed “the Vagabonds,” that included such luminaries as Thomas Edison and John Burroughs. The photo shown here was taken during the group’s 1919 foray through the Adirondacks. Just to Ford’s left is E.G. Kingsford (yes, the charcoal guy), and to his left, wearing the overcoat, is Harvey Firestone, owner of Firestone Tires.
The group’s caravan consisted of 50 vehicles that year, two of them personally designed by Ford, and included a mobile kitchen and full camp with tents, cots, chairs and electric lights. William Sweet’s auto ferry, known as the “Twin Boys,” allowed the famous vacationers to conveniently cross Lake Champlain from Chazy Landing, New York, to Isle La Motte, Vermont, where the party continued on into New England.