(The photo above is Courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority)

Travel by ferry was an important part of everyday living for more than 150 years
in Sevier County. Ferries across the French Broad River date from the late 1780s
until 1943. Over the years, ferries transported people, animals, horse-drawn carts,
automobiles, school buses and a variety of goods to the river’s north bank and
back. In the Boyds Creek area, three ferries stayed busy: The Brabson Ferry, the
keystone of a local business empire; the Underdown Ferry, where farm produce
was loaded to be shipped downriver to Knoxville, and the Hodge Ferry, often
called Hodges Ferry. All three provided vital links to the Kodak area and all points
north. It wasn’t until 1942 that the first bridge across the French Broad was put in
place as Douglas Dam was being built. Before that time, residents of the north
bank had felt so isolated that they unsuccessfully pleaded to leave Sevier County
and become part of Jefferson County.

Learn more about the lives of the ferrymen and importance of ferries as well as
their shortcomings in From the Mouth of Boyds Creek – A History of Seymour, TN
and the Boyds Creek Valley. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which
will be available in October. All proceeds benefit Friends of Seymour Library, a
non-profit organization that supports Williams Family Seymour Branch Library.

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