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Jamestown-Scotland Ferry


The ferry boat Pocahontas

Photo taken from the ferry boat Powhatan.

Photo taken by Roger Deschner in November 2019


BH Photo #461988



Ferry service from Jamestown to Scotland started by Captain Albert F. Jester on February 26, 1925 using the boat Captain John Smith to carry 16 Model T Fords at a time. It is very busy today using more, larger, and newer boats. It is the only crossing of the James River for a considerable distance in either direction. It is free, and it operates 24 hours per day every day.

The pilot house of the Captain John Smith has been preserved. At first, it was reused as a private residence, and it fell into disrepair. It has now been restored and is on display at the Surry County Historical Society & Museum.


Ferry across James River on VA-31
Jamestown, James City County, Virginia, and Surry County, Virginia
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Efforts to replace ferry with a bridge have persisted, but have faced considerable local opposition. The most recent bridge proposal was soundly defeated in 1991.
Service started February 26, 1925. Taken over by state in 1945. More, newer, larger boats added over the years, most recently in 2018.
Ferry crossing, with deck girder approach span to north landing.
Also called
Jamestown Ferry
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.20249, -76.78746   (decimal degrees)
37°12'09" N, 76°47'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/341374/4118832 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 87346 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Built 1925 (1,272)
Built during 1920s (9,922)
Deck girder (5,744)
Ferry (179)
Former toll (40)
Girder (10,233)
James City County, Virginia (6)
Jamestown, Virginia (1)
Open (39,882)
Owned by state (15,985)
Surry County, Virginia (2)
Virginia (1,216)

Update Log 

  • December 28, 2020: New photos from Roger Deschner
  • December 12, 2019: New photo from Roger Deschner
  • December 5, 2019: New photos from Roger Deschner
  • December 2, 2019: Added by Roger Deschner