Dickerson in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The History of White's Ferry
The original ferry was probably a flat-bottomed-wooden craft guided across the river using poles and ropes. Its design was much like the ferry boat shown below: a long, low structure with a ramp at both ends for loading and unloading cargo. White's Ferry carried passengers, livestock, grain and produce between Maryland and Virginia. In the early 1870s, the crossing was modernized by the installation of an iron tow cable that powered the ferry across the river. Today, the ferry is fully mechanized: an on-board engine guides the boat as it is pulled across the river by the tow cable.
Around 1800, the earliest ferry opened for business at this location, joining several ferries that operated along the Potomac River. In 1871, Elijah V. White, a former Confederate cavalry commander in Montgomery County, purchased the ferry operation. He built two warehouses, one for each side of the river, to support his dry goods shipping business. In the 1890s, the business passed to his son, Elijah B. White.
In 1946, the ferry business was purchased by R.Edwin Brown and a group of local business owners. In the late 1980s, the Brown family
Today, it is the last ferry on the Potomac and one of the last in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Erected by Heritage Montgomery; Maryland Heritage Area Authority; Montgomery County, Maryland.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1800.
Location. 39° 9.275′ N, 77° 31.142′ W. Marker is in Dickerson, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Whites Ferry Road, 0.1 miles west of River Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 24801 Whites Ferry Rd, Dickerson MD 20842, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1862 Antietam Campaign (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); White’s Ferry (about 300 feet away); Gettysburg Campaign (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named White’s Ferry (about 500 feet away); Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (about 600 feet away); Sharpsburg (Antietam) Campaign (approx. 1.2 miles away in Virginia); Ball’s Bluff Overlook (approx. 1.6 miles away in Virginia); Union Artillery (approx. 1.6 miles away in Virginia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dickerson.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2021, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 204 times since then and 139 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 28, 2021, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.