The Valley View Ferry carries KY Route 169 across the Kentucky River between Fayette and Madison Counties in Kentucky. The Valley View Ferry is a free service that carries 250 cars per day on average and is the Commonwealth’s oldest remaining business. 3
The Valley View Ferry was established in 1785, predating Kentucky’s admission to the Union in 1792. 1 John Craig, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, acquired land in the area in 1780 through a military warrant. The Virginia General Assembly granted Craig a franchise to operate a ferry at Valley View in 1785, 2 and was operated as a private enterprise for over 200 years. It passed through seven generations of families until 1991 when the ferry was purchased jointly by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and Madison and Jessamine Counties for $60,000. 1
The weight of heavy snow sank the ferry boat in 1996. It was replaced by the “John Craig,” aptly named after the ferry’s original owner. 4 The Valley View Ferry was closed in 1998 for a renovation that included the construction of four 55-foot concrete anchor towers for the ferry. Previously, the ferry was anchored to the rusting piers of the former “Riney-B” Railroad Bridge that was dismantled in 1942. 2
A new boat was purchased in 2000 that allowed the ferry to transport three cars over the river at a time instead of two. 5
- State: Kentucky
- Type: Ferry
- Status: Active - Automobile
- Truss Height:
- Poor, Chris “The Return of the Valley View Ferry: Oldest Business is Back in Business”. Herald-Leader (Lexington) 28 July 1991. 27 Feb. 2009.
- Historical marker.
- Hammond, Claude. “A Kentucky Ferry Tale”. Herald-Leader (Lexington) 1 March 2004. 27 Feb. 2009.
- Martin, Kimberly N. “Boat Damage Sinks Historic Ferry Service: 2-Month Shutdown Inconveniencing Passengers”. Herald-Leader (Lexington) 17 Jan. 1996. 27 Feb. 2009.
- Partridge, Wayne. “Ferry Good News for Commuters: Valley View Gets Federal Grant to Replace Barge”. Herald-Leader (Lexington) 4 April 2000. 27 Feb. 2009.