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Blackfords Ferry ( more details)

Blackfords Ferry Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


The ferry that operated between Shepherdstown and Bridgeport was first built and owned by Thomas Swearingen sometime before 1765. John Blackford married Thomas Swearingen’s daughter Sarah and purchased the ferry along with land around Bridgeport from the Swearingen family. The ferry was reinstated in the 1930s after the third toll bridge was destroyed by the 1936 flood and was in operation until the new James Rumsey Bridge was erected in 1939, which itself was replaced in 2004.

This photo appears to be from the time between the razing of the first toll bridge during the Civil War and the construction of the second toll bridge in 1871.


Public domain

Mile 72.8
NPS File 930

The families that owned and operated the Blackford Ferry would have also used the canal and its basins for the transportation of goods to larger markets. Also, Blackfords Ferry was used by Canallers to ferry their cargo across the river to the Shepherdstown markets. (Ferry Hill Plantation Journal, January 4, 1838–January 15, 1838 p. 8)


Collection Location:
C&O National Historic Park

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (Md.); Washington County (Md.), History

Maryland, 1824-1938

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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