Woodland Ferry

The Woodland Ferry is a cable ferry located in western Sussex County, Delaware, spanning the Nanticoke River, west of the city of Seaford. The Ferry is currently operated by the Delaware Department of Transportation [http://deldot.net] , and operates year-round. The ferry is closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Day, and also as required by weather.

The ferry is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, ferries in continuous operation in the United States. In addition to its longevity, the ferry is also of historical importance, being one of the locations where slave runner Patty Cannon embarked with kidnapped runaway slaves and free blacks, selling them back into servitude in Georgia.

The Ferry was established in the 1740s by James Cannon, and operated by his son Jacob after his death. After Jacob's death in 1793, his widow petitioned the Delaware General Assembly for exclusive rights to operate a ferry service across the river. The Ferry was privately operated by the Cannon family until the mid-19th century, when the General Assembly authorized the county to operate a free ferry at the location of "Cannon's Ferry".

In 1935 the Delaware Department of Transportation assumed responsibility for the operation of the Ferry and has continued to operate it into the 21st century.

The 65-foot long Virigina C can transport up to three vehicles at a time from one side of the river to the other. It was [http://www.deldot.gov/public.ejs?command=PublicNewsDisplay&id=2076&month=3&year=2005 slated to be replaced] in the spring of 2006, but [http://www.deldot.gov/public.ejs?command=PublicNewsDisplay&id=2311&month=1&year=2006 funding delays] prevented the change at that time. It is currently scheduled to be replaced in [http://www.deldot.gov/information/projects/woodland_ferry/index.shtml August of 2008] with a six-car ferry, along with renovations to the landings at both sides of the ferry. The new ferry will be constructed by [http://chesapeakeshipbuilding.com/ Chesapeake Shipbuilding] of Salisbury, Maryland at a cost of $931,000. Site work will be completed by [http://www.geolyn.com/ George and Lynch] of New Castle, Delaware. The total cost for the update project will be approximately 3.1 million dollars. The new Ferry will be named the Tina Fallon, in honor of the long-time state government representative from the area.

A [http://www.seafordchamber.com/woodland.html festival] is held every September to celebrate the Ferry and its contribution to local culture.

External links

* [http://www.state.de.us/sos/dpa/markers/sc/WOODLAND%20FERRY%20SC-173.shtml Historical Marker info at Delaware State Archives Homepage]
* [http://www.americanprofile.com/issues/20030831/20030831_3314.asp Article in American Profile]

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