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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
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