MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — White’s Ferry’s owners said their efforts to reopen the longtime mode of transportation were not working out.

“Established in 1786, the Ferry ceased operation in December 2020 after the previous owner Herb Brown could not come to terms with Virginia’s Rockland Farm,” said a spokesperson for Chuck and Stacy Kuhns.

The Kuhns bought the ferry in February 2021 after it closed in December 2020. Since then, they’ve been working with leaders in Maryland and Virginia to reopen it.

They even offered $1.1 million to the owners of Rockland Farm (which controls the Virginia landing site) for 1.4 acres.  

“Unfortunately, Rockland Farm owners rejected the bid—which was well above the land value—and has caused White’s Ferry owners to pursue selling the land and operation to Montgomery County,” said a spokesperson for the Kuhns.

The Kuhns are now trying to sell the ferry to Montgomery County so that they may invoke eminent domain to acquire the Virginia site.

“We needed an agreement that we could build a business model around. Owning landing rights would enable us to understand and manage ferry costs so that we could offer the best product at a price the users can afford,” said Chuck Kuhn.

“The reason that Rockland Farm turned down the $1.1M combined offer from Loudoun County, Montgomery County, and Mr. Kuhn is that we will not accept a flat fee for our Virginia landing. We favor a volume-based fee that varies with the amount of traffic encroaching upon our land and will work with either county to accomplish that,” said Libby Devlin, co-owner of Rockland Farm.

“We have also located a nationally based company that will work with both sides to get a ferry up and running again and operate it. However, Mr. Kuhn has refused to work with this company and has told them that he intends to be the ferry operator,” Devlin said. “Rockland Farm has also made an offer to both Montgomery and Loudoun Counties for a permanent easement on our Virginia landing in exchange for a volume-based fee. Our offer is still on the table.”