Final Voyages of Fredericktown Ferry Draw a Crowd
Washington PA Observer Reporter
29 August 2013
By Scott Beveridge, Staff Writer
FREDERICKTOWN – Fans and vehicles on Wednesday clambered aboard a
historic ferry that is making its final passes this week across
the Monongahela River.
The captain of ferryboat Frederick at one point had to scream at a
slightly aggressive driver when he tried to drive onto the vessel
before it dropped off its passengers in Fredericktown.
“As you know this started out as a small group thing and it
spiraled into something bigger,” said Evan T. Williams II of
Carmichaels, a member of a Facebook group that organized
Wednesday’s send-off for the ferry before it is permanently
“You hate to be trite, but it’s the end of something significant,”
Nearly 100 people turned out about noon to take their final rides
as pedestrians on the ferry, a service that has existed here for
nearly two centuries.
Meanwhile, a post about the event on the Friends of the
Fredericktown Ferry Facebook page was shared 28,000 times this
week, said Jennifer Holleran of Clarksville, an administrator of
Operated by Fayette County, the commissioners there voted in May
to close this ferry built in 1948 because of increased costs and
dwindling ridership. The loss of traffic has been accredited to
last year’s opening of a new Mon-Fayette Expressway bridge over
the Mon a short distance away between Centerville and Redstone
Holleran said Fayette and Washington counties ignored
recommendations for ways to promote ferry tourism that were cited
in a study that found the red-and-white vessel was still “a
significant route of transportation.”
“They’re not interested in funding the history,” she said. “It
should be here for future generations and not in a museum.”
Melda Lutes of Low Hill showed up to say so long to Frederick,
reminiscing that the ferry service had been used by her parents,
grandparents and likely even her great-grandparents.
“We’re losing one of our local landmarks,” Lutes said.
“It’s just a sad ending to a good thing,” added Marie Frye of
Marianna Mayor Jeremy Berardinelli said Frederick is among just
seven or eight ferries that are pulled along an underwater cable
that exist east of the Mississippi River.
“It’s a historic treasure,” Berardinelli said. “I remember my mom
taking me here when I was 4 years old and it’s something I’ve