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Landing No. II

Evans Ferry

The Evans Ferry was located on a branch of the Great Indian War Path traversed by Col. William Christian as he led an expedition against the Cherokees in 1776. The Path crossed the French Broad River near the mouth of Boyds Creek to the Big Island (Buckingham Island). During the night a large detachment had been sent to ford the river at a place now known as Christian's War Ford near the Gallops and to come up the river on its south bank to rejoin Christian's troops at the Big Island.[17]  The crossing at the Big Island also is known as Christian's War Ford.

Andrew Evans was living on the land in 1787 as proven by North Carolina Land Grant No. 1268 dated September 20, 1787: "Andrew Evans, assn. of James Hubbert, 250 acres in Greene County (now Sevier) on the north side of the French Broad River in the first bent below Christian's War Ford against the Big Island running down the river on the north side of the French Broad opposite the mouth of Boyds Creek beginning at a tree at a spring above the Rock House thence up the several meanders of the river bank direct to beginning. " [18]

The Evans Ferry was in operation in 1788-89 as proven by the following deed:

On January 19, 1789, John Sevier and Thomas Buckingham for 1200 Spanish milled dollars a deed was transferred in Greene County for land known by the name of Big Island on the French Broad River, being 357-1/2 acres which island is about 200 yards above Evans Ferry.[19]

Andrew Evans received permission from the Greene County Court to operate a Public Ferry in 1790:

"Ordered that Andrew Evans have leave to keep a ferry on French Broad River at his plantation agreeable to the rates established at August term last. Enters into security in the sum of 500 pounds on condition that he will provide good and sufficient boats and attend the same and in case of damage, pay for the same. " [20]

Two years later in 1792, the Greene County Court gave John Evans permission to operate a Public Ferry: [21]

"John Evans hath leave to keep a Public Ferry on French Broad River at his plantation and enter unto bond himself with James Gibson, his security, in the sum of 500 pounds on condition that he will constantly keep good and sufficient boats. "

It is believed that the John Evans Ferry was at the same location as the Andrew Evans Ferry. The Greene County Court Minutes of May, 1792 state:

"Ordered that a road be laid off from the mouth of Boyds Creek to the gap of Bays Mountain crossing the river at John Evans thence to Sinking Creek."

Brabson Ferry

The Brabson Ferry succeeded the Evans Ferry at the same location.

A document of "intent to sell property" recorded by Joseph Evans and Nathaniel Evans for John Brabson II and dated April 16, 1798, mentions as a boundary line "bluff of rocks below the ferry". After the property transaction took place the ferry was operated by John Brabson II and subsequently by his heirs until 1918.

The winter of 1918 was extremely cold. The French Broad River was a bed of ice. Even wagon teams crossed the river on the bed of ice. When the spring thaw came the ice began to thaw and break up. As the ice broke the ferry boat was swept from its moorings and carried down the river. The damage was so extensive that the ferry was not rebuilt.[22]

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