Historic ferries of the Atlanta area


Historic ferries of the Atlanta area

There were several historic ferries around the metro Atlanta, Georgia area, for which many of its current-day roads are named. Most of the ferries date back to the 1820s and 1830s, to carry travelers across the Chattahoochee River or several other smaller rivers. Many of them were replaced with bridges, many of which became the historic bridges of the Atlanta area.

Bell's Ferry

Bell's Ferry was a ferry across the Little River in Cherokee County, Georgia. This location is now part of a narrow arm of Lake Allatoona.

Bells Ferry Road runs from Church Street (former Georgia 3, one block west of former Georgia 5 on Cherokee Street) in Marietta north to Marietta Street (former Georgia 5) in Canton. It is an alternative route between the two county seats, departing well west of former Georgia 5 (which is now renumbered onto Interstate 575). Until 1984, the section of this road from Georgia 92 at Oak Grove north to Canton was designated as Georgia 205.

Within the city of Marietta, street signs use the proper "Bell's" rather than "Bells". However, the southernmost end of the road is called Church Street Extension, despite being a turn off of Church Street, and being a straight continuation of Bells Ferry Road. The counterintuitive name change occurs at an arbitrary place in the road (near Cobb EMC), instead of at a major intersection like Cobb Parkway. This section was once the main street through the small town of Elizabeth.

DeFoor's Ferry

Originally Montgomery Ferry.

Johnson Ferry

Johnson's Ferry or the Johnson Ferry was built by Johnson Garwood. Johnson Ferry Road (often incorrectly referred to as "Johnson's Ferry Road") is a major arterial road between Cobb County and Sandy Springs. From Columns Drive on the northwest riverbank of the Chattahoochee River, southeast to Abernathy Road, and continuing east on Abernathy to Roswell Road (Georgia 9), the roads have been temporarily designated by GDOT as Georgia state route 947. [http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache:auB7hdajdHUJ:wwwb.dot.ga.gov/dot/preconstruction/urbandesign/johnsonferry-abernathy/Documents/PDF/ConceptReport/concept%2520report.pdf+georgia+state+route+947+abernathy&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us.] This is due to the heavy volume of rush hour traffic traveling this route to get to and from Georgia 400, and the failure of Cobb and Fulton counties to come to an agreement on their own, with Fulton at one time timing the traffic lights to cause further morning backups into Cobb. While all of the homes along Abernathy will be destroyed for widening, the neighborhoods along the 1¼ miles or two kilometers of Johnson Ferry Road will be spared. Johnson Ferry and Abernathy will be "broken", such that they flow directly into each other, and will require a turn to stay straight on the original roads. The 1969 bridge at the former ferry location will be widened between Columns Drive on the Cobb riverbank to Riverside Drive on the Fulton riverbank, from its current four lanes to six plus bike lanes, wide sidewalks, and a raised road median. Currently Johnson Ferry Road is four lanes on the Fulton side (two southeast of Abernathy), and six lanes on the Cobb side (four north of its own Roswell Road, Georgia 120).

Jones Ferry

See Jones Bridge.

Heard's Ferry

Heard's Ferry, originally Isom's Ferry, was operated by John Heard (1835-1931).

Howell Ferry

Near Duluth.

Isom's Ferry

Isom's Ferry was operated in the 1860s by James Isom. The ferry went by many names, include Isham's Ferry, Isham's Ford, Phillip's Ford, and Cavalry Ford. John Heard took over Isom's Ferry in 1868 and operated it until 1890 as Heard's Ferry. [http://www.cviog.uga.edu/Projects/gainfo/gahistmarkers/isomsferryhistmarker.htm]

McGinnis Ferry

Near Duluth.

Montgomery Ferry

Montgomery Ferry was located on the Chattahoochee near Fort Peachtree, where the Western & Atlantic Railroad crosses the Chattahoochee, and was built by Major James McConnell Montgomery. [http://ngeorgia.com/feature/ferriesofcobbcounty.html]

In 1853 it was taken over by Martin DeFoor and became known as DeFoor's Ferry.

Nelson Ferry

John B. Nelson (father of Allison Nelson) operated this ferry where Sandy Creek flowed into the Chattahoochee (now the up-river part of Fulton County Airport).He ran it from 1820 until his murder in 1825. [http://www.cviog.uga.edu/Projects/gainfo/gahistmarkers/allisonnelsonhistmarker.htm historical marker]

Nesbit Ferry

Located between Roswell and Johns Creek.

Pace's Ferry

Pace's Ferry belonged to Hardy Pace, one of Atlanta's s. Paces Ferry Road connects historic Vinings in the west, on the Chattahoochee River in Cobb County, to the western edge of Atlanta's Buckhead area in the east. From this end, West Paces Ferry Road, one of Atlanta's best-known streets, traverses east through some of Atlanta's oldest and wealthiest Buckhead neighborhoods, and serves as the address for the Georgia Governor's Mansion. Continuing east, West Paces Ferry Road becomes East Paces Ferry Road after intersecting Peachtree Road in Buckhead's entertainment and nightlife district. East Paces Ferry Road runs as far east as Lenox Square mall, after being severed by Georgia 400.
Paces Mill Road is a small spur route off of Paces Ferry Road connecting Vinings east to Cobb Parkway (U.S. 41). There was also a Battle of Pace's Ferry during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War.

Powers Ferry

The Powers Ferry was another route northwest from Atlanta, upstream from Pace's Ferry. It is named after James Powers, a plantation owner who ran the ferry across the Chattahoochee River in the early 19th century.

The exact location of the ferry is now the northeastern-most crossing of Interstate 285 over the river and the county line (and now the Sandy Springs city limit), carrying several lanes in each direction (originally just two each way when opened in 1969). It is flanked on its north side by Interstate North Parkway (west) / Riveredge Parkway (east), and on its south side by the ferry's namesake road, each carrying two lanes (one in each direction).

Powers Ferry Road runs through Cobb and Fulton counties, terminating at both ends at two different streets named Roswell Road (Georgia 120 and Georgia 9, respectively).

The business district just east of the crossing is called Powers Ferry Landing, located where Northside Drive crosses the road, just east of the former landing. This provides freeway access at Northside Drive (west ramps) and New Northside Drive (east ramps, road and ramps built in a 1990s reconstruction). Signage on the freeway indicates Powers Ferry Road, Northside Drive, and New Northside Drive.

hallow Ford

The Shallow Ford was indeed a shallow ford across the Chattahoochee. It was established by Jacob Brooks in 1824. Shallowford Road now takes this route.

Vann's Ferry

Vann's Ferry was the first ferry across the Chattahoochee, starting in 1804. It was named for Cherokee leader James Vann (builder of the Vann House, and crossed the river between Hall and Forsyth counties (both created later on), at a point now under Lake Lanier. There is no longer a road by this name, and the area is now becoming an exurb of metro Atlanta.

References

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