Jamestown Ferry

Jamestown Ferry

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Jamestown Ferry

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The Jamestown Ferry (also known as the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry) is a free automobile and bus ferry service across a navigable portion of the James River in Virginia. It carries State Route 31, connecting Jamestown in James City County with Scotland Wharf in Surry County.

The service provides the only vehicle crossing of the river between the James River Bridge downstream at Newport News and the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Bridge upriver near Hopewell. It is toll-free and operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Operations are based at the Scotland Wharf in Surry County.


The Jamestown Ferry service was privately established in 1925. The Commonwealth of Virginia acquired it and the Department of Transportation (VDOT) assumed operations in 1945. It runs it as a state service.

The ferryboat Captain John Smith made the first automobile-ferry crossing of the James River on February 26, 1925. The privately owned business was founded by Captain Albert F. Jester. After the Captain John Smith was retired in the early 1950s, the deckhouse was put into adaptive use. For another 50 years, it was used as a private waterside cottage, perched on pilings in the Elizabeth River near Portsmouth. In 2003, the deckhouse was removed and donated to a preservation group in Surry County.

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