The closure is a result of a long-running legal dispute over the landing point in Virginia.
The last river ferry crossing the Potomac River is ceasing operations after more than 230 years. White’s Ferry located in Montgomery County, Maryland, has been moving cars and people across the Potomac to Virginia since the late 1700s. Unfortunately, the ferry does not have a legal place to dock on the Virginia side in Loudon County due to a decision expected to be handed down in a court case next week. The owners of the ferry had been working to find a solution and state officials are still hopeful the ferry will be allowed to operate in the future.
The owners of the popular Rockland Farm in Poolesville gifted land to the ferry operators in 1871, but the formal location of the land was never listed in public records. The owners of the ferry announced their decision on the ferry’s Facebook page.
“White’s Ferry regrets to inform the public that it will cease its Potomac River ferry operation between White’s Ferry Road in Montgomery County, Maryland and White’s Ferry Road in Loudoun County, Virginia effective immediately. The Circuit Court of Loudoun County, Virginia has ruled, in the case of Rockland Farm, LLC, et al. v. White’s Ferry, Inc., that no public landing exists on the Virginia shoreline at White’s Ferry Road and the ferry is prohibited from landing at that location in Virginia.”
Historic photo of White's Ferry, Courtesy of Facebook
White’s Ferry tried to find a new place for the ferry to dock but offers were just too expensive for the business to absorb. The ferry transports cars, bicycles, and pedestrians and is one of few ways for commuters to cross the Potomac River. Officials from the Poolesville Town Commission said they are working with officials in Montgomery County and the State of Maryland to get the ferry operating again. Commission President Kerri Cook said the ferry is both an important transportation link and symbol of history in Western Montgomery County.