BREAKING: White’s Ferry Ceasing Operations Immediately

by MCS Staff
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BREAKING: White’s Ferry Ceasing Operations Immediately

In a post on Historic White’s Ferry Facebook page, an announcement was made informing the public that White’s Ferry will be ceasing operations immediately after the Circuit Court of Loudon County ruled that no public landing exists on the Virginia Shoreline at White’s Ferry Road, prohibiting the ferry from landing at that location in Virginia.

White’s Ferry is the last remaining ferry in Montgomery County.

The full statement can be seen below:

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.

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38 comments

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Jim December 28, 2020 - 11:46 am

Well that just sucks

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Peter December 28, 2020 - 12:11 pm

That sucks! You would think after all these years in operation it would be somehow grand-fathered in. Having in operation since 1786 should have set some kind of precedent.

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Chad P December 29, 2020 - 1:56 am

What a shame. Rockland Farms LLC is another greedy business. County officials are also to blame for destroying 200 years of history.

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William Hollin December 28, 2020 - 12:26 pm

All of a sudden its a problem? Rather selfish IMO. If enough citizens protest, maybe LoCo would claim eminent domain and make that landing public. Equivalent to knocking an ice cream cone out of a child’s hands just bc you can. So much enjoyment for area Sunday travellers taken away…

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Colleen Long December 28, 2020 - 1:22 pm

This is very disappointing. I work in Leesburg several times a year and always take the ferry for an enjoyable commute. A historic landmark being cast aside

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K. Kraus December 28, 2020 - 12:32 pm

Rockland Farm, LLC has been around for 10 years. Why did they file suit against White’s Ferry to begin with?

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Cathy Coffin December 28, 2020 - 12:58 pm

Smh. Won’t be supporting Rockland Farm & we live going to wineries

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digital_bill December 28, 2020 - 1:02 pm

I feel like these are two different entities. Why would the winery sue in Loudon County. I can;t find any more info about the LLC

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Catherine December 28, 2020 - 1:11 pm

A Statement regarding the Historic White’s Ferry closure:

We were alerted of a court ruling on a case in Loudoun County involving a business by the name of “Rockland Farm LLC” that has resulted in the closure of White’s Ferry. This business, “ROCKLAND FARM LLC,” HAS NO ASSOCIATION WITH OR RELATION TO ROCKLANDS FARM WINERY. We are not familiar with this business and had no knowledge or dealings with the aforementioned court case or ruling. We are just learning about this like the general public and are very sad to hear about the Ferry having to cease operations.

Please spread the word!

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Rapaport December 29, 2020 - 11:08 pm

We spend billions on adding lanes, rail-lines and other alternatives, yet VA won’t take modest step to retain this super-low cost option?

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Tara Geller December 28, 2020 - 1:21 pm

Its not Rockland Farm Winery – its an LLC in Loudoun Cuunty that owns the land.

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Tara Geller December 28, 2020 - 1:22 pm

County…sorry!! 🙁

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Alisha December 28, 2020 - 3:32 pm

Rocklands Farm had nothing to do with this case. They are an amazing family owned winery and fully supports all other businesses.

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digital)bill December 28, 2020 - 1:00 pm

I find nothing about Rockland Farms LLC. A Rockland Farms Winery in MD is what is returned. Who is Rockland Farms LLC?

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Judith December 28, 2020 - 2:16 pm

Well no more buying rockland wine. The ruling is ridiculous! In operation since 1700s. That should count fir something. The world has gone mad!

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Tuscarora Bob December 28, 2020 - 2:32 pm

It’s not the winery, it’s a historic event venue. https://www.facebook.com/libby.devlin.52

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Beth December 28, 2020 - 3:13 pm

Rocklands Farm Winery (MD) is not related to Rockland Farm LLC (VA). The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by Rockland Farm LLC, a Virginia limited liability company whose principal place of business is located at 16306 Rockland Lane, Leesburg, VA – nowhere close to the ferry’s VA endpoint on the Potomac. The VA landing is abutted by Whites Ferry Manor LLC (which does weddings and events), a Virginia LLC organized in 2017 (42476 Whites Ferry Road, Leesburg). Rockland Farm LLC and a “Betsey J.S. Brown, Trustee for the Rockland Farm Land Trust” were the original plaintiffs. Does anyone know the relationship between Rockland Farm LLC and the Rockland Farm Land Trust? Trying to understand who’s got skin in the game and how preventing the ferry from operating impedes on their business (if at all).

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Someone December 28, 2020 - 4:35 pm

Rockland Farm LLC is the commercial operations of the Land Trust. The Land Trust is controlled by the Rust-Brown family, which has owned Rockland for 200+ years. Old, old money.

Betsey J.S. Brown died last year: https://loudounnow.com/2019/07/30/betsey-jean-smith-brown-1929-2019/

The farm has been in her husband’s family for 200+ year. He invented the mutual fund:
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/business/15brown.html

Betsey’s son is the CEO of Renaissance Technologies, one of the most profitable and secretive hedge funds in the world:
https://www.forbes.com/profile/peter-brown/

My guess is that Peter Brown and his siblings now control the land trust. They have MASSIVE wealth. My guess is that they buy the ferry and shut it down. It ain’t coming back. And they can afford to donate to every local politician in Leesburg and Richmond. The ferry is not coming back.

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digital_bill December 28, 2020 - 1:11 pm

The case number seems to be CL00056672-01 in Loudon County Circuit Court. There is no decision updated yet.

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Doug Hill December 28, 2020 - 2:02 pm

WTF? Surely an appeal could be made. The ferry has been there since 1700s!

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Lance. Romance December 28, 2020 - 2:31 pm

Wow. No more outlet shopping..

Done. 21miles north..
Detour..

Fxxzxk that..

. virgina done…..

Done peace to that sweet 220 year old road.. there goes home vaule…down….

Virginal

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Mel December 28, 2020 - 2:32 pm

Looks like Rockland Farm LLC is a VA entity, not related to Rockland Farm in MD. Below is entity source; no correlation between Devlin and the winery that I can find.
https://cis.scc.virginia.gov/EntitySearch/BusinessInformation?businessId=455126&source=FromEntityResult&isSeries=False

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Dexter December 28, 2020 - 2:36 pm

Guess the Ferry wanted a free ride on private property in Virginia

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-hh December 28, 2020 - 4:23 pm

Considering that they’ve been using that land for 200+ years, don’t really think that the property owner should have much of a claim that they were unaware of it.

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Jena December 28, 2020 - 2:55 pm

Rockland Farms just lost a customer. Will stick with Windridge Vineyards on 28!!! They are fantastic!

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Keith December 29, 2020 - 1:09 am

Rockland Farms is not Rockland Famrs Winery. After mistakenly complaining to Rockland Farms Winery, I received this very kind email from them:

We were alerted of a court ruling on a case in Loudoun County involving a business by the name of “Rockland Farm LLC” that has resulted in the closure of White’s Ferry. This business, “ROCKLAND FARM LLC,” HAS NO ASSOCIATION WITH OR RELATION TO ROCKLANDS FARM WINERY. We are not familiar with this business and had no knowledge or dealings with the aforementioned court case or ruling. We are just learning about this like the general public and are very sad to hear about the Ferry having to cease operations.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could spread the word that we had nothing to do with this.

Kindly,
Shawn

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GDR December 28, 2020 - 3:08 pm

More bad news in 2020. I certainly hope this can be corrected quickly.

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Evan December 28, 2020 - 4:22 pm

I’m sure it will be opened again in a few months with an increased price, the majority of which going to “Rockland Farm, LLC”.

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Barbara Boland December 28, 2020 - 5:06 pm

This is terrible and the end of a tradition that as long as I can remember. Wish there was something the county would or could or would alctually want to
do to save this for our county.

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Bern Stapleton December 28, 2020 - 5:16 pm

Betsy Brown was an activist in Loudon County who lived at Rocklands Farm in Leesburg, VA. She died last year July 2019.

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Kim Mummert December 28, 2020 - 5:28 pm

If Rockland Winery has no part they should be able to sue the LLC for loss of business etc… It would be in the best interest of them or someone on their behalf to find out who this entity is and where they are from. The next move is the residents etc.. bombard the county for Whites Ferry who assist the county in traffic emissions and road repair. Get er done!!!

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Patrick J. Malone December 28, 2020 - 6:01 pm

This ‘immediate shutdown’ is a dog-and-pony show put on by White’s Ferry, who make millions of dollars a year from the operation of the ferry, who balked at paying an annual fee of $200,000, so, they could have worked with Rockland Farm, LLC, to come to some kind of financial arrangement that both entities could agree to keep everything running, but chose not to do so. White’s Ferry’s owner chose not to deal with Rockland Farm, LLC, so, it is apparent that the idea for him was just to shut everything down, permanently, and walk away from the business, for whatever reason. So, it is through no fault of Rockland Farms, LLC. that White’s Ferry is no longer in operation.

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Vince K December 29, 2020 - 4:09 pm

GREEDY – I will be sure not to purchase any farm product that marked from Farms at local Farmers Markes or any Grocery Store. White Ferry Rd is clearly not suitable farmland and “fenced off” from the current farming operations (if they are still operational) so the Ferry doesn’t interfere with that. My guess is that the LLC wants more $$$ from the Ferry Operations OR they are trying to sell the land for waterfront property development along the river. This property was SOLD to an LLC – my guess it was done specifically to charge the Ferry Operations $$$ on what should be public access since the ROUTE 655 is a STATE NUMBERED ROUTE, it has been in operation for 200 years and it wasn’t until the LLC purchased the land did this become an issue BY THE LLC

Rockland Farm LLC Brown, Henry B

PARID: 143365724000
ROCKLAND FARM LLC 16306 ROCKLAND LN
Sales / Transfers
Date Sale Price Buyer
01/05/2005 $0 ROCKLAND FARM LLC

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Mar December 28, 2020 - 8:08 pm

This is very unfortunate.

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Heather James December 28, 2020 - 11:36 pm

So who actually owns the Ferry. DId it change hands in the last few years, or get passed down when the owner died?
Seems like there is more to the Ferry side of the story somehow. Why didn’t they ever settle with the Farm folks over the last 20 years, or even discuss it before it got to this point. And if they fixed the retaining wall at the landing – surely that didn’t happen in an hour or two – what’s up with that?

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Gary Thompson December 28, 2020 - 11:49 pm

So sorry to read this news. I took this ferry a lot this pandemic year (by bike) to cheer up, such a tradition, the last of the old Potomac ferries. I wonder what we normal citizens can do to persuade whoever to reopen it. I can’t tell who to blame. Seems like the two opposite counties should assert their respective governmental powers and make it happen. I wonder if there’s anyone in these governmental positions who would please help. Both sides benefit, such as businesses in Leesburg that many of us will no longer be able to frequent.

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Rocklands Farm Winery December 29, 2020 - 9:48 am

Hello Readers,

Just to try our best to clear the air, here’s our statement on this situation:

We were alerted of a court ruling on a case in Loudoun County involving a business by the name of “Rockland Farm LLC” that has resulted in the closure of White’s Ferry. This business, “ROCKLAND FARM LLC,” HAS NO ASSOCIATION WITH OR RELATION TO ROCKLANDS FARM WINERY. We are not familiar with this business and had no knowledge or dealings with the aforementioned court case or ruling. We are just learning about this like the general public and are very sad to hear about the Ferry having to cease operations.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could spread the word that we had nothing to do with this. If you’d like to contact Rockland Farm LLC, we sifted around a bit on Facebook, and it looks like this is the business that was involved in the court case: https://www.facebook.com/Historic-Rockland-1580811552157030/

Feel free to reach out to info@rocklandsfarmmd.com if you have any additional questions. Thanks for all of your support of Rocklands Farm WINERY.

Shawn

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Rich December 29, 2020 - 12:53 pm

What the h*ll Virginia? Where’s all that ‘LOVE’ for which Virginia is suppose to be noted? Guess the ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ part has disappeared!

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