The historic White’s Ferry, in service for more than 230 years, has ceased operations following a court ruling that no public landing exists on the Loudoun County side of the Potomac River.
The ferry has been in operation since roughly 1786, moving travelers from just north of Leesburg to Poolesville, Maryland.
In a statement on Monday morning, White's Ferry announced the closure, 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," the statement said. "As of the date of this press release Loudoun County, Virginia has declined to establish a public landing at that location.”
The owners of the land where the ferry docked in Virginia, known as Rockland, have complained that White’s Ferry was unlawfully occupying its land, WTOP.com reports. White’s Ferry argued for its right to use the landing due to having customers and business operations on that side of the river for over two centuries.
The case had been postponed and delayed and dismissed throughout the years before the most recent decision, written by Judge Steven E. Sincavage on Nov. 28.
"The judge found that the ferry operators have been trespassing on the Virginia land since a licensing agreement ended in 2004. The judge considered a number of arguments about the right to public use of the land in Virginia, going back to a case in 1871," WTOP.com wrote.
The judge issued an injunction to stop the ferry from docking and awarded Rockland financial damages of just over $100,000 plus interest due to damage to, and the unauthorized use of, the Virginia property, the radio station reported.