Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Woman and Her Ferry

It is often discussed how Maime Weir owned and operated the Campbellton Ferry from time Alfred Austell, Jr. died until the 1950s when a bridge was finally built crossing the Chattahoochee River. 
Some might even think Maime Weir was the only female ferry owner in Campbell/Douglas County, but they would be wrong. 

Pull out an issue of the Southern Banner dated January 11, 1844 you would see the following blurb under state of Georgia legislative news, “An act to authorize Leah Rice to keep a ferry across the Chattahoochee River in Campbell County.”
The image below is the ferry crossing at Campbellton some 60 years later, but I would imagine it hadn't changed that much.
So, as early as 1844 a woman owned a Campbell County ferry – the one that operated right near the current Highway 92 bridge.

Regarding Mrs. Rice I want to point out that legally she owned the ferry, but I do not think she actually operated it.  The prior ferry owner had been her father, Armistead Bomar who owned property on both sides of the river including the Irwin-Bomar-Rice-Austin-Bullard House which still stands along Highway 92.  His will mentioned his mill and ferry.

Leah Rice Bomar was married pastor Thomas Sherod Rice who had passed the year before his wife took control of the Campbellton Ferry.

Presently, I’m not sure where Leah and her husband lived.

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