Skip to main content

Sunnybank Ferry

For over a century, the Sunnybank Ferry has carried travelers over the Little Wicomico River in Northumberland County.  The ferry first began operation in 1903 as a hand-pulled cable ferry over the Little Wicomico.  Nearly a decade later, in 1912, the human powered ferry would be replaced by a motorized one.  The A.L.E. -- named after ferry operator's Jynes Crabbe's children, Arley, Lois, and Elmer -- would carry horse and wagon and later automobiles until 1954 when the vessel was destroyed by Hurricane Hazel.  In 1955, a new ferryboat was commissioned, and it was appropriately named, The Hazel.  The Hazel was retired in 1985 by the Northumberland, which is still in use today. (1) 

Today, the Sunnybank Ferry continues to carry locals, bicyclists, and curious tourists from one bank of the Little Wicomico to the other.  The ferry generally operates from dawn to dusk with the exception to inclement weather, higher than normal tides, or repairs to the Northumberland.  The ferry is operated by VDOT and is free of charge.

Directions:
  • From points west: Follow US 360 East to the crossroads of Burgess.  Turn left of Secondary Route 644.  Follow SR 644 to Ophelia at the 'T' intersection turn right to remain on SR 644 and to the ferry.  Once crossing the ferry, you can continue on SR 644 to Reedville where you will reach the beginning of US 360 West.
All photos taken August 26, 2006.

The south landing of the Sunnybank Ferry.  To get the attention of the ferry operator, just blow your horn.

Seagulls hanging out at the ferry's southern landing.

Now on the ferry and exiting the southern landing.

Now on the ferry and exiting the southern landing.

A distant look across the Little Wicomico to the ferry's southern landing.

Boating is a family tradition on the Little Wicomico.


Sources & Links:

  • (1) Virginia Department of Transportation. "Sunnybank Ferry captains are ambassadors."  The Bulletin. May/June. 2003.
  • Virginia Ferry Information ---VDOT
  • Comments

    Popular posts from this blog

    The Abandoned New Stanton Interchange Ramps

    For nearly 50 years, the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange with Interstate 70 and US 119 in New Stanton has been a rather free-flowing double trumpet, grade separated interchange between the two freeways.  But for the first 23 years of the turnpike, this interchange was vastly different.  It was the only non-trumpet interchange within the system (excluding termini points) and featured very tricky and gridlock causing left turns within the interchange.  (See image on right).  With the birth of the Interstate Highway System in the mid-1950s, new freeways were built and in many cases the Turnpike kept the original interchange using local roads to connect to the new freeways.  Interchanges with what would become I-81, I-176, I-80, I-70 in Breezewood, and I-79 were left with the original design.

    Meanwhile in the 1950's, the state began building a freeway that ran from New Stanton west towards Washington.  This freeway, signed PA 71, was built to connect those in the industrial Mon Valle…

    Quemahoning Tunnel

    The Quemahoning Tunnel may have never been built by the Pennsylvanina Turnpike Commission, but it still has a history unto itself.  Originally planned to carry rail along the South Penn Railway, the tunnel never would not see any trains until 1909 when a small line named the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland & Somerset began utilizing it.  The use was brief and by the end of 1916 the PW&S was no longer in operation and abandoned the facility.  Twenty-some years later, the newly formed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission considered using the abandoned tunnel, in fact it was shown on some original plans.  However, the PTC decided against using it, and the tunnel remained empty.

    The eastern portal of the Quemahoning Tunnel is easily accessible from the PA Turnpike.  The portal is located at mile 106.3 along the westbound roadway.  The tunnel is one of the many "What Could Have Been's?" of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Below, Bill Symons shares photos taken in late Fall of 1986 of …

    Icelandic Highways & Byways (Part 2)

    Continuing on our series on traveling in Iceland, we'll explore the Golden Circle, which is a popular tourist route in Iceland. The Golden Circle is easily accessible from Reykjavik and includes such must-see places like Thingvellir National Park (spelled as Þingvellir in the Icelandic language), Geysir, which yes, is a geyser, and the Gullfoss waterfall.So yes, the Golden Circle includes a little bit of everything that Iceland has to offer. For those of you playing at home, I drove the
    Golden Circle in a clockwise fashion with an impromptu diversion towards the end of my loop, which meant that I missed the hydroponic tomato farm, but I discovered a few other neat things, so it all worked out in the end.

    Thingvellir (Þingvellir) is actually situated within the rift valley that separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, as the site where the Alþingi or Althing (in English), which is the Icelandic Parliament met between the years 930 and 1798. So as you can tell, the…