Historic White’s Ferry, The Last Potomac Ferry Boat, Has Closed

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

Historic White’s Ferry, The Last Potomac Ferry Boat, Has Closed

The last ferry boat to shuttle traffic across the Potomac, White’s Ferry announced it would be closing down permanently due to a centuries-old dispute.

After more than 200 years of shuttling vehicles across the Potomac from Montgomery County, MD, and Loudoun County, VA, the Historic White’s Ferry has permanently closed. The ferry service recently took to its Facebook page to announce it would be ceasing operations immediately after a  Loudoun County judge ruled the ferry’s landing in Virginia is on private property.

“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,” reads the post.”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.”

The dispute with Rockland Farm first began back in 1871 Loudoun County gave land to the ferry for the landing but did not mark it appropriately on a map, leading Rockland Farm to claim the land as private property. The actual legal battle, however, began back in 2004, when the ferry’s owner rebuilt a retaining wall without the farm’s consent.

The ferry, which was located about 30 miles northwest of Washington, DC, had been in operation since 1782 and shuttled over 500 vehicles a day from Maryland and Virginia, making it an essential service for commuters in the area.


It is yet unknown whether White’s Ferry will appeal the case, but for the time being, it would seem like the era of ferry boats on the Potomac River has come to an end.

See also: 10 Wholesome Things That Happened In Washington DC In 2020

[Featured image: Twitter / Susan Petro]

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