For more than 200 years, Mid-Ohio Valley residents have been able to cross the Ohio River between what are now Sistersville, W.Va., and Fly, Ohio, through use of the Sistersville Ferry. Keeping such a mode of transportation afloat has taken the support of residents, businesses and municipalities. Once again, there is a call for renewing some of that support.
The Sistersville Ferry Board of Directors has asked for contributions to help with operating costs of the ferry.
Through the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, the board of directors has created the Sistersville Ferry Endowment Fund to provide a growing pool of funds to defray expenses. But many local families can relate to the reality that those expenses can be relentless.
“Unanticipated expenses such as the transmission and hull repairs are a significant financial challenge,” the board said.
Just this year, a rebuilt transmission cost $27,000, a Coast Guard-required dry dock inspection was $20,000, insurance policies were $22,000, fuel was more than $10,000, hull repairs will cost an estimated $15,000 and excavation at the Fly landing was $4,000.
There is always talk in a valley as rich in history as ours about preserving our heritage and the buildings and institutions that made us who we are. It is unusual to be presented with an opportunity to help in that preservation before it is too late — and the Sistersville Ferry is very much a part of what has built this region, starting way back in 1817.
“The Sistersville Ferry Board of Directors appreciates any and all donations to help sustain its vital, historic role in serving the Mid-Ohio Valley with the last remaining ferry service between West Virginia and Ohio,” the board said.
There are options for giving, such as sending a check, calling in to give with a credit card or going to the community foundation’s website at www.cfov.org to click the donate button.
Giving doesn’t just preserve some dusty relic that has history, but not much future. In this case, giving preserves a mode of transportation that is still in use today. Let’s do our best to make sure it stays that way.