Flood relic

Luray panoramic

January 15, 1986 — The Great Flood of ‘85 resurrected a relic which vanished in the Great Flood of ‘42. Ruffner’s Ferry, a hardwood boat which carried people, livestock and other cargo across the South Fork of the Shenandoah River for at least 50 years, surfaced on the V.E. Martens property in Page Valley Estates in the wake of the November flooding.

The ferry, which measures 40 to 50 feet long and 16 to 18 feet wide, lies rusted but not rotted, about four-tenths of a mile from the Massanutten boat landing. The large flat raft apparently rose from the river bottom and came to rest only three-tenths of a mile from the crossing where it plummeted 43 years ago.

The ferry, which ran on a sturdy pulley system, contained as many as 9,000 sixty-penny spikes. According to Sheldon Wimpfen of Luray, who guided visitors to the site recently, the weighty nails are 11 to the pound. 

~ From the public archives of the Page News and Courier

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