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Jamestown - Scotland Ferry

The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, which carries VA 31 traffic across the James River, is Virginia's largest inland ferry operation.  Running seven days a week, 24 hours a day, the four ferry boats (The Virginia, Surry, Pocahontas and Williamsburg - shown at left) that cross the James River run throughout the year.  Service began over 80 years ago on February 26, 1925 when the Captain John Smith made the initial crossing.  (1)
 
Not long after the initial voyage of the Captain John Smith, the first suggestion of building a bridge to replace the ferry was made in 1928.  Since then, there have been numerous discussions and proposals to build a bridge over the river, but none have gathered any steam.  The Virginia Department of Transportation took over the ferry operation in 1945 and continue to oversee ferry operations to this day.
 
Directions & Notes:
  • From Jamestown: Follow VA 31 South to ferry terminal at Glass House Point 
  • From Surry County: Follow VA 31 North through Scotland to ferry terminal
  • Since 2004 all vehicles are subject to a random security search before boarding the ferry.
  All photos taken August 26, 2006.

Gulls and other birds sit on top piers at the Scotland landing.

Exiting the Scotland landing heading north towards Jamestown.

Looking downriver on the James towards the east.

The Surry heads from Glass House Point towards Scotland.

The Jamestown Tricentennial Monument (obelisk in right-center of photo) can be seen while crossing the James.

Large freighters, like the one pictured, are able to navigate the wide James River.

The Pocahontas exits the Glass House Point terminal on the north shore of the James.

A closer view of the Pocahontas.

Looking downriver on the James again, this time with an ocean freighter, jet skiers, and recreational boaters in view.

The Williamsburg heads for the Glass House Point terminal.

Sources & Links:

  • (1) Virginia Department of Transportation. "Jamestown-Scotland Ferry History." (November 24, 2006)
  • Jamestown-ScotlandFerry ---Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Ferries in Virginia ---Virginiaplaces.org
  • VA 31 @ Virginia Highways Project ---Mike Roberson/Adam Froehlig
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