The historic White’s Ferry, the last remaining ferry service across the Potomac River between Virginia and Maryland, announced Monday that it will cease operations.
DCist Reported The ferry service that had been operating since the late 1700s was shut down due to hundreds of years of legal disputes over the landing point of the river in Virginia. The website reported that the cause of the conflict was the location of the landing site of Rockland Farm, which was provided to the ferry in 1871, although the location was never properly marked on the map.
The ferry service wrote on its Facebook page: “White Ferry regrets to inform the public that it will immediately stop Potomac River ferry operations between White Ferry Road in Montgomery County, Maryland and White Ferry Road in Loudoun County, Virginia. “The Loudoun County Circuit Court in Virginia has ruled that in Rockland Farm, LLC et al. v. White̵
Herb Brown’s father restarted the ferry service in 1946 after a ten-year interruption. He said his family decided to terminate the ferry service because a court order would force the service to terminate next week.
“We know that the upcoming ban will prevent us from landing in Virginia, so we made the decision. It doesn’t make any sense to open it for a week,” he told DCist.
Last month, Judge Stephen Sincavage ruled in favor of Rockland Farm and wrote that it is not yet certain whether the landing was actually on public land.
“The ferry landing has been living in the’same place’ for a long time, even dating back to 1871. These evidences are convincing on broader issues of location, but they do not provide a reasonable basis for more specific issues at that location. Certainty, wrote ironically.
Lily Devlin, one of the owners of Rockland Farm, told DCist that her family had no intention of shutting down the service and tried to reach multiple agreements in advance.
She said: “The owners decided to leave the company. We did not close the ferry. We did everything we could to keep the ferry running.”
Brown said the deal offered was too expensive for the ferry to continue operations. He did not say whether he would open the ferry service again.
DCist noted that many local politicians have evaluated the closure of the ferry.
Danica Roem of Virginia wrote on Twitter: “This needs to be resolved immediately. White’s ferry shuts out 15,495 and 270 vehicles every day. This is our transportation basis. An important part of the facility.”
This needs to be resolved immediately. White’s ferry parks 15, 495 and 270 cars every day. This is an important part of our transportation infrastructure.
Also: if you have taken it (excluding backup), it is usually a peaceful, tranquil experience floating on the Potomac River. https://t.co/PzGSTliioI
-Del Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) December 28, 2020
The Commissioner of the Township of Poolsville, Maryland, said in a statement on Facebook: “The Commissioner of Poolsville is actively cooperating with Montgomery County and Maryland officials to keep the ferry running normally.”