Historic White's Ferry closes operations indefinitely

Vehicles file onto the White’s Ferry vessel to cross the Potomac River.

In Lewis Carroll's dream classic "Alice in Wonderland," Alice often uses the term "curiouser and curiouser " to describe the fantasies encountered from falling down a rabbit hole. This set of words is a perfect metaphor for the "rat" hole of fantasies concocted by the owners of Rockland for setting the dialogue in favor of their successful attempt to shut down the operation of White's Ferry over illogical demands, intimidation and endless lawsuits leading to suspect judgements in Rockland's favor. This intimidation of the previous small family ferry operators drove them in to selling the ferry to a new owner.

Rockland's largest fantasy and the biggest rat hole it creates for the rest of us is their demand for a per vehicle fee for using a well-established public access road to the ferry landing for crossing the Potomac River. This route has been in operation since 1786 and is provided for and maintained by taxpayers.

Rockland's stated purpose for the fee is that it will sustain their apparently failing agricultural business. Never mind that there is no logical connection between using the ferry and their personal business.

By their rationale, any operator of a roadside garden stand should be able to seek fees per vehicle for using an established public access road that happens to pass their location.

Worse is that Rockland wants government involved in counting vehicles and arranging for payments.


Curiouser and curiouser is that no government officials in Loudoun nor the state delegates and senators that "represent" our local constituents have raised one question about this long running problem

Because a vital public transportation route is at issue, there should have been calls for investigation of the harassment and lawsuits that occurred.

And repeated calls for declaring eminent domain as a permanent and oft used solution to such cases have been ignored by the political leaders.

This rat hole of silence is emitting a seriously fetid odor.

The new ferry owners are reported to also be unable to arrange with Rockland for a permanently sustainable and reliable solution for uninterruptible ferry service.

They are now seeking a declaration of eminent domain for the very few feet of public access road to the ferry landing. Apparently, these new owners understand the difference between fantasy, delay, dithering, silence, endless harassment and the reality of what it takes to avoid another rabbit or rat hole standing in the way of restoring the White's Ferry operation.

It would certainly be helpful if the political leaders, the business community and the public joined in supporting their effort.

Robert Ehinger


(1) comment


Eminent domain for 600 to 800 is pure lunacy!

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