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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Scottsville in Albemarle County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Ferries In Virginia/TheHatton Ferry/Heritage

 
 
Ferries In Virginia image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
1. Ferries In Virginia
Inscription.
Ferries In Virginia
The James, York, Rappahannock and smaller rivers were the primary means of commercial transportation in Virginia until the advent of railroads in the mid-1800ís. In most locations ferries provided the only way to cross these rivers. As early as 1641, the General Assembly directed county courts to provide a system of ferries and bridges. Authorized ferries increased from 34 in 1702 to 140 in 1786, reflecting the expansion of 18th century commerce. These ferries were very similar in design and operation to the Hatton Ferry.

The first ferry in what is now Albemarle County was authorized in 1744. It was located on the Rivanna River, north of the present “Free Bridge”, just east of Charlottesville. In 1745 a ferry was authorized on the James River near the present town of Scottsville. It remained in use until 1907 when a bridge replaced it. At Warren, a few miles upstream from Hatton, a ferry authorized in 1789 continued service until swept away by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. At least 15 other ferries, including Hatton, were authorized in Albemarle County.

The Hatton Ferry
About 1875, James A. Brown rented a store and ferry rights at this site. Called Brownís Store, in 1881 it became a stop on the new Richmond and Allegheny Railroad built on the bank of the
TheHatton Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
2. TheHatton Ferry
earlier James River and Kanawha Canal. Brown purchased the property the same year. In 1883 a public road was opened to the site, a post office was authorized and it acquired the name of Hatton.

Following the death of Brown and his widow, James B. Tindall purchased the store, ferry and ferry rights in 1914. He operated the ferry until 1940 when it was taken over by the Virginia Department of Highways.

Hurricane Agnes destroyed the ferry in June, 1972 and almost ended service. An interested public persuaded authorities to continue this historic ferry, and a new one was built by Highway Department staff. It was dedicated in September 1973 with the assistance of Richard Thomas, star of the TV series, “The Waltons”.

A record flood in November 1985 sunk the new ferry boat, but the Highway Department replaced it with a metal one launched in June 1986. The operatorís building was renovated by Albemarle County Historical Society to appear as it may have in early days. (Caption on missing picture: Richard Thomas dedicating ferry)

Heritage

The Hatton Ferry, the last established in Albemarle County, is the proud and sole survivor of a class of ferries in Virginia dating to 1641. It is one of only two pole-powered, public ferries operating in the continental United States. In 1989, it was one of only four
Heritage image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
3. Heritage
ferries of any kind in Virginia. At least 140 ferries were in Virginia in 1786.

This ferry represents an integral part of commercial traffic on Virginia rivers up to the mid nineteenth century. Barges and shallow draft boats called bateau plied major rivers from the interior to Tidewater. But the rivers presented barriers to overland transport, which ferries, like Hatton, helped overcome. River traffic diminished with the development of turnpikes, bridge and railroads.

Four modes of early transport are seen at this site:
† † 1. The James River.
† † 2. Remains of the James River and Kanawha Canal, opened in 1840 from Richmond to Lynchburg.
† † 3. The Richmond and Allegheny Railroad on the canal bank, opened in 1881, later part of the C&O.
† † 4. The public road.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 37° 45.508′ N, 78° 30.755′ W. Marker was near Scottsville, Virginia, in Albemarle County. Marker was on Hatton Ferry Road half a mile south of Hatton Ferry Lane, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker with three panels is located on the porch of the replica of the Ferry Operator's residence. Marker was in this post office area: Scottsville VA 24590, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Massie's Map image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
4. Massie's Map
are within 4 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Hatton Ferry (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Hatton Ferry (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wilson Cary Nicholas (approx. 2.6 miles away); Hurricane Camille (approx. 2.9 miles away); Historic Scottsville (approx. 3 miles away); Scottsville (approx. 3 miles away); Barclay House and Scottsville Museum (approx. 3 miles away); Scottsville Confederate Cemetery (approx. 3.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Scottsville.
 
Regarding Ferries In Virginia/TheHatton Ferry/Heritage. The Hatton Ferry operates, river levels permitting, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., April 15 through October 15. It is a free ferry. Contact: (434) 296-1492.
 
Also see . . .  Historic Hatton Ferry. (Submitted on December 19, 2008, by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota.)
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
An earlier photo of the Hatton Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
5. An earlier photo of the Hatton Ferry
Ned Hocker, Ferryman image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
6. Ned Hocker, Ferryman
Replica of Historic Beteaux image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
7. Replica of Historic Beteaux
James River and Kanawha Canal near Scottsville image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
8. James River and Kanawha Canal near Scottsville
Early Railroad Engine image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, August 29, 2008
9. Early Railroad Engine
Replica of the Ferry Operator's House image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer
10. Replica of the Ferry Operator's House
The marker can be seen on the porch of this replica. Today the ferry operator waits here for customers.
The Hatton Ferry today image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer
11. The Hatton Ferry today
Poling the Hatton Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer
12. Poling the Hatton Ferry
The operator by manipulating a cable uses the current to propel the ferry, but at times must resort to using a pole to push it along.
Approach to the Hatton Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer
13. Approach to the Hatton Ferry
This is the approach to the ferry on the south side of the James River.
Sign on board the Hatton Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer
14. Sign on board the Hatton Ferry
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 1,707 times since then and 104 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota.   10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on , by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. This page was last revised on November 16, 2016.
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