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Ferry’s long history needs to be kept alive

To the Editor:

This letter was sent to the Hertford County Board of Commissioners.

Dear Sirs:

I am a Hertford County native and a taxpayer there though I live in Suffolk. I grew up near Parker’s Ferry and have always loved it.

Parker’s Ferry has been in operation for well over a hundred years. First it was privately owned. Then the county operated it for forty-five years before it was taken over by the state in 1931.

The April 25th edition of the Roanoke-Chowan Herald reported that Parker’s Ferry and Sans Souci Ferry would be shut down In June. I chose to concentrate on the quote from NCDOT’s Dennis Robertson, “We hope to have them back in service as soon as possible.” Now I have come to realize that service probably won’t be resumed unless some action is taken.

Commission chairman Ronald Gatling was quoted in the February 2020 Crossroads supplement to the R-C News-Herald talking about the importance of tourism. He said, “We can build off all the history we have in our county, specifically in Winton and Murfreesboro.”

Well, look at Parker’s Ferry. You don’t need a Tourism Development Authority to realize that the Ferry (not to mention the important Native American site nearby) has history and scenic beauty. That combination equals tourism and possible tourism dollars for the county.

Without the ferry, the county loses more than $60,000 a year in contracts and other fees.

Why was Bertie’s ferry returned after maintenance and ours was not? The Bertie Commissioners certainly seem to realize the importance of their ferry. Their chairman, Ron Wesson, was quoted as saying, “We need to keep the ferry afloat… We don’t need to leave any stone unturned.” (Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, May 6th.) They seem to be looking at all possibilities.

To the people of Hertford County, to the County Commissioners, and to those who represent the County in Raleigh, I say please use your voices. Get our ferry back and do everything you can to keep that bit of history alive. We can’t afford to lose a single asset.

Sue Woodward

Suffolk, VA