Ferry captain to address the historical society | News, Sports, Jobs


MIFFLINTOWN — Captain Jack Dillman, a former Millersburg ferryman for many years, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Juniata County Historical Society fall dinner, to be held on Wednesday, October 12.

Dillman started his job driving the ferry when he was a young teenager.

His familiarity with the Susquehanna River near Millersburg began when he was just 14 years old and he began exploring the river on his own. During this time coal was being dredged from the river and young Jack with his canoe became a regular visitor to the men who mined coal there. A year later (1945) he also started working as a coal explorer.

While hitchhiking on the Millersburg steamer helmed by Captain Warren Hunter, the youngster began to regard Hunter as his mentor. And, it just so happened that one day, the captain left the wheel and said to Jack, “Here, take over.”

“That’s how I became a smuggler” said Dillman.

After serving in the United States Navy, he returned and rode the steamer again.

Dillman’s program will include “The Last Raft” a film about what started as a 1938 rafting pageant, but became a tragedy along the Susquehanna River in Muncy.

Dinner tickets are $20 each and will include a cooked ham meal. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and is held at Walker Grange in Mexico. Tickets are available at the Society Archives Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by mail at Juniata County Historical Society, 498 Jefferson St., Suite B, Mifflintown, PA 17059. Please include a pre-addressed, stamped envelope to receive your tickets by post.

The deadline to reserve and pay is October 4.

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