Historic ferry topside, causing issues

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DARWIN TOWNSHIP (WWTO/WAWV) — A ferry that residents in Darwin, Illinois once depended on for their livelihoods is now causing them distress.

Established in 1818, the Darwin Ferry was the longest operating ferry on the Wabash River. Nearly two years ago, it was sold to a private owner. Now, it is sitting on its side on the river, and locals want something to be done about it.

Township Supervisor and keeper a nearby cemetery, Todd Kirby said the ferry’s location is causing the natural flow of the river to change.

That change is causing the banks of the Illinois side of the Wabash to erode and wash away. As time passes, and the ferry still sits, Kirby is worried the land holding the cemetery will wash away.

“This is south [describing the Darwin Cemetery] of the ferry probably 200 yards. It’s already washed probably 20 feet of this bank off,” said Kirby.

Residents such as Danny Gard are saddened to see the ferry in this condition and are worried about the effects it may have on the land.

“I remember one time the ferry snagged the bottom of the river and I was stuck out there for an hour,” Gard recalled. “Until a couple of fishermen came and got me.”

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