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Monkey Island Ferry


Site of ferry landing, looking from Cameron toward Monkey Island

Photo taken by Patrick Feller

License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #284580



This was the original Cameron Ferry, established in 1930 following the completion of a state highway (now LA 27) looping west and north from Calcasieu Pass, connecting Cameron with Lake Charles.

Monkey Island was created in the late 1930s when the Calcasieu Ship Channel (completed in 1941) was dredged across the sharp bend in Calcasieu Pass. Two ferries were thus required to carry the highway west of Cameron until the state highway department re-routed LA 27 around the north side of the island in the early 1950s. The newer ferry was moved upstream with the road to become the main Cameron Ferry, while the older ferry now only connected to Monkey Island.

By the last quarter of the 20th century, the Monkey Island Ferry (along with several of the state's other small ferries) became a source of controversy due its high cost of operation and low customer base. A December 1996 report quoted the yearly cost at over $265,000 for only seven families living on the island - a figure which ballooned to $682,000 by 2003. Plans for a bridge were discussed as being much more economical in the long run, but this never came to fruition.

State leaders threatened to eliminate the ferry service several times over the years, but it continued to operate until Hurricane Rita devastated the area in 2005.


Lost ferry carrying LA 1141 across Calcasieu Pass
Cameron, Cameron Parish, Louisiana
No longer exists
Established in 1930; destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005
Ferry crossing
Also called
Cameron Ferry No. 1
Approximate latitude, longitude
+29.79664, -93.32998   (decimal degrees)
29°47'48" N, 93°19'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/468109/3296297 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 61140 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 1, 2021: Updated by Roger Collins: Added historical info to description.
  • June 2, 2014: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Destroyed by storm"
  • May 31, 2014: Added by Patrick Feller



Monkey Island Ferry
Posted September 1, 2021, by Roger Collins

The following was originally posted as the description by another user but is more at home in the comments section:

"In 1993, I took the ferry from Cameron over to Monkey Island. After passing a few buildings on Louisiana Highway 1141 on the island, at the Calcasieu River, I photographed dolphins swimming to stay in place while the tidal current brought food to them.

I didn't photograph the little ferry, later destroyed, with all structures on the island, by Hurricane Rita, in 2005."