Richland County Ferries

April 20, 2012

Ferries were both public and private. Public ferries were authorized, and fares set, by the General Assembly and given so many years of free competition to operate. Fares for the public McCord's Ferry across the Congaree River were set at 6¢ for a person on foot; 12¢ for a man and a horse; livestock was 4¢ a head, and a four- wheel carriage was one dollar. The Cowasee Basin consisted of the Wateree, Congaree, & Santee Rivers.

A partial list of former COWASEE Ferries, starting with the Congaree River at the northern boundary of COWASEE at I- 77, includes:

• Myricks Ferry, established at Green Hill in 1749;

• Goodwyn's Ferry, a little further south and formerly known as Horseman's Ferry;

• Howell's Ferry, also known as Russell's Ferry, crossed the Congaree near the mouth of Mill Creek. Howell's Ferry was used by General Nathanael Greene in 1781 in pursuit of British Col. Stewart. It was abandoned after the Revolutionary War.

• Huger's Ferry, further down river at the east end of the Congaree National Park, was named for the same Revolutionary War General as the notoriously- named street in Columbia. It was only in use from 1787 to 1792 but the bridge ramps and abutments where the ferry road crossed sloughs and guts in the Congaree Swamp are still evident today.

• McCord's Ferry was perhaps the most significant of all the COWASEE Basin ferries. It first started as Joyner's Ferry in 1749 but became McCord's in 1766 and stayed in continuous family ownership for more than 150 years. It was of strategic importance during the Revolution and all the notables used it including Greene, Marion, Lee, and Sumter. McCord's Ferry was later called Bates Ferry and operated until 1923 when it was replaced by a bridge over the Congaree.

• Manigault's and Buchanan's Ferries. Moving down the Santee, there were several ferries, private and public, used during the Revolution including Manigault's, possibly located near the old Sawdust Pile Landing just below the confluence of the Wateree and Congaree, and Buchanan's or Buckingham's Ferry located a few miles further downstream.

• Stark's Ferry. Moving upstream on the Wateree, Stark's Ferry crossed the river roughly east of the community of Wateree.

• Garner's Ferry. The most well- known of the Wateree ferries was about where the present US Highway 378 bridge is today. Earlier ferries that operated here were called Simmon's, then Brisbane's Ferry, before Presley Garner took over operation in the early 1800s.

Garner's Ferry remained in operation until the early 20th century. It was also used by Edmund Ruffin during his agricultural tour of the state in 1843. He complained of the fare, one dollar, as well as the "shamefully bad" road through the Wateree Swamp for which he had to pay a 50 cents toll.

• Ancrum's Ferry was further up the Wateree where the Wateree Correctional Facility is located today. Interestingly there was also an Ancrum's Ferry that crossed the Congaree near Columbia that was used during the Revolution. Ancrum's Ferry Rd. was a main route through the Ft. Jackson land.

• English Ferry was another ferry that operated on the Wateree in the general location of Ancrum's Ferry.

This information from the Columbia Star, June 2009


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"There is no lykelihoode that those thinges will bring gryst to the mill."


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