Residence: 3963 Dickson Avenue, Avondale, Ohio
Sarah Ann Anderson Ferguson Evans
The Anderson Ferry Connection
The Anderson Ferry, on the Ohio River in northeastern Boone County between Constance and the western part of Cincinnati, has been in continuous operation since 1817.
George Anderson, born in Maryland in 1765, lived near the mouth of Dry Creek in Boone County beginning about 1800.
In July 1802, the Boone County Court ordered a group of men including Anderson to mark the most convenient path for a road from the Burlington courthouse to Dry Run, or Dry Creek as it is called today, the current location of the Anderson ferry. In 1817, Anderson bought 103 acres and a ferryboat from Raleigh Colston for $351 and was granted a license to operate. Traffic in the early 1800s consisted of foot passengers, horse-drawn wagons, and livestock.
The first ferryboat was propelled by men poling and was steered by using a wooden sweep with a long tiller arm. Around 1820, the Anderson family built a stone house overlooking the ferry landing and opened a tavern there. The stone house was torn down during the late 1960s.
House buily by George Anderson
George Anderson and his wife (Sarah Brooks Anderson) operated the businesses until 1836, when the property was transferred within the Anderson family. In February 1841, Evan Anderson, a son of George and Sarah, sold the ferry to Montague McClure. (Evan Anderson was Sarah Anderson Evans father)
From 1841 to 1865, the ferry changed hands 10 times. Charles Kottmyer bought it from John Wilson in March 1865.
Local history at NKY.com: You can find past articles from "The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky" at NKY.com's Northern Kentucky History page along with local history links and a quiz.
In 1867 Kottmyer built a new steam-powered boat, the Boone #1, named after Daniel Boone. From then on, every new boat the Kottmyer family put into service was named for Daniel Boone and had a sequential number.
In 1937 Henry Kottmyer contracted to have an all-steel, steam-powered boat, the Boone #7, built by the Stanwood Corp. of Covington. A side-wheeler converted to diesel in 1947, it can carry a maximum of eight cars.
In 1964 Richard Kottmyer and his brother-in-law Duncan Huey bought a passenger barge, placing a second ferry into service as the Boone #8. It is capable of carrying 10 cars, and its push boat is named the Little Boone.
Four generations of Kottmyers owned and operated the Anderson Ferry for a total of 121 years. Under their ownership it survived the building of bridges over the Ohio River and the creation of the interstate highway system. Richard Kottmyer, a fourth-generation owner, retired in 1986, after selling the business to Paul and Deborah Anderson (relation to the original owner is unknown).
Paul Anderson worked for the Kottmyers for 25 years before he bought the Anderson Ferry. He began working on the ferry in 1961 and received his pilot's license at age 18 in 1965. With a staff of 12 and three boats in service, the Anderson Ferry now carries an average of 450 cars per day. Following the tradition set by Charles Kottmyer, in 1992 the Andersons, having purchased the excursion barge the City of Parkersburg, renamed it Boone # 9. It holds 15 automobiles and its push boat is called the Deborah A.
The Anderson Ferry is the only privately owned and operated ferry business on the 981-mile length of the Ohio River. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982; in 1996 it was designated a Centennial Business by the Kentucky Historical Society.