Virginia Inland Ferries - The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry

Left Photo: The Pocahontas exits the Glass House Point terminal along the north shore of the James River.

The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, that carries VA 31 traffic across the James River, is Virginia's largest inland ferry operation.  Running seven days a week, 24 hours a day, the four ferry boats (The Virginia, Surry, Pocahontas and Williamsburg - shown at right) that cross the James run throughout the year.  Service began over 80 years ago on February 26, 1925 when the Captain John Smith made the initial crossing.  (1)

Not long after the initial voyage of the Captain John Smith, the first suggestion of building a bridge to replace the ferry was made in 1928.  Since then, there have been numerous discussions and proposals to build a bridge over the river, but none have gathered any steam.  The Virginia Department of Transportation took over the ferry operation in 1945 and continue to oversee ferry operations to this day.

Directions & Notes:

  • From Jamestown: Follow VA 31 South to ferry terminal at Glass House Point
  • From Surry County: Follow VA 31 North through Scotland to ferry terminal
  • Since 2004 all vehicles are subject to a random security search before boarding the ferry.



    All photos taken by the webmaster, August 26 ,2006.

    Left Photo: Gulls and other birds sit on top piers at the Scotland landing.

    Right Photo: Exiting the Scotland landing heading north towards Jamestown.

    Left Photo: Looking downriver on the James towards the east.

    Right Photo: The Surry heads from Glass House Point towards Scotland.

    Left Photo: The Jamestown Tricentennial Monument (obelisk in right-center of photo) can be seen while crossing the James.

    Right Photo: Large freighters, like the one pictures, are able to navigate the wide James River.

    Left Photo: The Pocahontas exits the Glass House Point terminal on the north shore of the James.

    Right Photo: A closer view of the Pocahontas.

    Left Photo:  The Williamsburg heads for the Glass House Point terminal.

    Right Photo: Looking downriver on the James again, this time with an ocean freighter, jet skiers, and recreational boaters in view.

    Site Navigation:
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    Sources & Links:

  • (1) Virginia Department of Transportation. "Jamestown-Scotland Ferry History." (November 24, 2006)
  • Jamestown-Scotland Ferry ---Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Ferries in Virginia
  • VA 31 @ Virginia Highways Project ---Mike Roberson/William Froehlig



    Page Created: December 1, 2006
    Last Updated: December 9, 2006

    © 2006 William Lawson