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Sistersville Ferry back in business this summer

SISTERSVILLE — The Sistersville Ferry is back on the river after its closure for the 2019 season due to staffing issues.

Pilot Bo Hause returned and is excited to continue to honor and respect the history of the ferry and the town of Sistersville.

The July 4 weekend was the debut of the ferry for the 2020 season and so far, Hause said it was well received with hundreds of patrons.

“The first four days of the season were great, good business. If it stays like this, it will do the ferry very well,” Hause said.

The ferry was scheduled to open in the spring but it was pushed back because of the pandemic.

Hause said he and the deckhand had a lot of work to do to get the ferry ready for the season.

“We had to paint the barge and get a commercial contractor to take the deck and repaint it. It was in pretty bad condition. We’re still in the process of sanding and painting the boat and the barge,” Hause said.

Social distancing is easy on the ferry since patrons usually stay in their cool vehicles instead of being in the heat, Hause said.

The ferry, operating since the 1800s, services customers from Sistersville to Fly, Ohio.

If someone were to drive that route, it would take about 40 minutes but the ferry only takes about 4 minutes.

“I’m proud to be working on it. That is a piece of history, the records indicate that the ferry has been in Sistersville since 1817,” Hause said. “I enjoy running a boat, I meet a lot of nice people. There hasn’t been anyone I didn’t appreciate meeting. Everybody’s nice, they come on to ride history.”

Hause said the best way to support the ferry is to ride it or rent it out for parties or special events.

“Even though we have grants, running the ferry is not cheap. The fares that we generate help maintain the ferry,” he said.

The ferry runs 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Cost is $5 for a vehicle, motorcycles $4 and walk-ons $1.

Anyone who walks or bikes on the ferry is welcome to ride back and forth as many times as they want.

To rent the ferry for a party or event, for two hours it’s $250 and for three hours it’s $350.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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