Washington Post (December 28, 2021) – When she moved from Ohio to Virginia to fulfill a lifelong dream of working with horses, Andy Jane Armstrong didn’t think her future would depend on a cable-run ferry line established in the late 1700s.
Armstrong, 28, found a home in Leesburg about eight miles from the farm in Poolesville, Md., where she put her degree in equine teaching and training to use. Leesburg was more lively than Poolesville, she said, although her 20-minute commute over the Potomac River depended on White’s Ferry, which began shuttling travelers between Maryland and Virginia before George Washington was president.
Then, on Dec. 28, 2020, White’s Ferry ceased operations — the victim of a long-running property dispute that, despite a change in ferry ownership and attempted intervention by two states, continues a year later. Overnight, Armstrong’s commute no longer included a 3-minute, 30-second ride across a river, but a 60-mile round-trip trek on exurban roads that adds two hours to her workday, if traffic is reasonable — and four hours if it’s not.