Near Scottsville in Albemarle County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Ferries In Virginia/TheHatton Ferry/Heritage
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-1800’s. 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 Brown’s Store, in 1881 it became a stop on the new Richmond and Allegheny Railroad built on the bank of the
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 operator’s 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)
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
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. Touch 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 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). Touch for a list and map 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 & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2008, by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 1,784 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on December 19, 2008, by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on October 23, 2008, by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota.