This Week Marks the 3-Year Anniversary of White’s Ferry’s Closure

On December 28, 2020, White’s Ferry ceased operations due to a dispute with Rockland Farm in Loudon County, VA over the ferry’s landing site.

That day, White’s Ferry released the following statement: “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. As of the date of this press release Loudoun County, Virginia has declined to establish a public landing at that location.”

White’s Ferry was established in 1786 and averaged 600 to 800 vehicles per day at the time of its closure.

In February 2021, the Ferry was purchased by Chuck and Stacy Kuhn, owners of JK Moving Services, with hopes of restoring service to and from Virginia by either purchasing the Virginia landing site or coming to an agreement with Rockland Farm. Rockland Farm has long stated that it would not accept a flat fee for the Virginia landing site and that it was requesting a $.50 fee per-vehicle that used the ferry.

This past October, the Montgomery County Transportation and Environment (TE) Committee held a public hearing to discuss the future of White’s Ferry and there was optimism that an agreement could be made between the two parties. In an October 13 press release, the Khun’s announced that they had increased their initial offer to Rockland Farm.

“To encourage the re-opening of White’s Ferry, ferry owners Chuck and Stacy Kuhn worked closely with Maryland, Virginia, Montgomery, and Loudoun Counties, and previous ferry owner Herb Brown to once again make an offer to purchase the Virginia landing site from Rockland Farm in an effort to get the ferry reopened for its nearly 1,100 daily users. The newest offer is now for $1.25 million for the 1.4 acres, an increase from the last offer in January of $1.1 million. Both offers are well above the land value.

Other options also recently proposed by the Kuhns as ways to get the ferry opened as soon as possible, include:
· Selling the ferry directly to Rockland Farms or to Montgomery County or the state of Maryland.
· Donating the ferry, the ferry business, and the Maryland landing to the county if Rockland Farm would donate the Virginia landing.

It’s unclear whether Rockland Farm owners will accept the new offer, buy the ferry, or consider donating their land as the Kuhns have suggested. Or whether the local jurisdictions will purchase the ferry. The Kuhns remain committed to getting the ferry open to the local community as quickly as possible and await an answer.”

In response, Rockland Farms owner Libby Delvin said, “We continue to believe that a volume-based fee based on the amount and size of vehicles using our land is the fairest way to compensate us for the use of our land. Fifty-cents per car is very reasonable. The operator can increase the fee of the ferry and pay Rockland Farm accordingly. Most people are willing to pay an additional incremental amount in order to re-open the ferry.”

We will provide an update when any additional news regarding White’s Ferry breaks.

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