By the 1740s a ferry service was being regularly operated at this location by James Cannon. He was succeeded by his son Jacob, who constructed a much-needed causeway on this side of the river for the improvement of the business. Threatened by competitors, Jacob’s widow Betty Cannon successfully petitioned the Delaware General Assembly in 1793 for “sole and exclusive” rights to the operation of the service. The ferry continued to be operated by members of the Cannon family until the mid-19th century. In 1883 the legislature authorized the county government to establish and maintain “a public ferry across the Nanticoke River at the place now known as Woodland, but formerly know as Cannon’s Ferry.” The Act further required “that all citizens of the State, with their teams, wagons, and carriages, shall be transported across said ferry at all times between sunrise and sunset, free of charge.” In 1935 the State of Delaware assumed responsibility for the maintenance of roads and the operation of the ferry. Landing areas on both sides of the river have been improved and are jointly maintained by the State and local citizens.
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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Kevin Barni at (302) 744-5015 or via email at Kevin.Barni@state.de.us.
LOCATION: Woodland, south side of the Nanticoke River