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Ferry Says Goodbye Until Next Season

By Staff | Nov 19, 2015

The City of Sistersville II’s makes a few more crossings before ferry traffic for the season closed on Sunday. Photo by Miles Layton

Captain Herman Hause was very busy Saturday inside the wheelhouse of Sistersville’s ferry in the waning hours before the season ended. Since early spring, the City of Sistersville II, had made countless journeys across the Ohio River between West Virginia and that other state where the Buckeyes play football.

The ferry takes people to work, perhaps to church or the store, and cuts their drive time by 30 minutes. The ferry’s season ended Sunday.

“We had a good season,” Hause said. “During the summer we were busy with sometimes as many as 100 cars a day. It’s sad to see the season end, but there’s just not enough traffic to keep it going during the winter.”

Like a river that has highs and lows, the ferry had its share up ups and downs this year. Hause said Sistersville’s Ohio River Ferry Boat festival in August was the highlight of the season. Hundreds of people attended the festival.

Hause smiled as he said, “We had over 900 people cross that day.”

The low point of the 9-month season were those rare times when weather and river conditions made ferry travel impossible, Hause said.

Barbara Gage, director of the Sistersville Ferry Board, made a final trek across the river with a friend on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a good day to ride the ferry,” she said. “We had a good year.”

The ferry will sail again in early spring, but the next season can’t come soon enough for the captain.

“We look forward to next year because of the people we meet. We make a lot of friends on the boat,” Hause said.