Around Carolina: Elwell Ferry
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KELLY, N.C.-- The typical motorist who uses the Elwell Ferry does know what’s in store for them. Imagine driving through an unfamiliar part of the state, and your GPS leads you down a small road to a crossing of the cape fear river.
Upon arrival, you find a two-car cable ferry designed to take you 100 yards to the other side. This scenario plays out in Bladen County almost every day.
"GPS don't say nothing about no ferry. it just shows a line going across the river, so they assume it's a bridge until they get here. I've had some turn around and say they weren't expecting this, they didn't want to go across there," says Elwell Ferry operator, Shalico Ward.
Ward has operated the ferry here for eight years, and it’s a unique job dealing with one of the last remaining cable ferries in the state.
This is a quiet section of the Cape Fear between the communities of Carver's Creek and Bladen County.
"They built this thing back in 1905, and it's been here ever since and well, most of the people who stay over here they want it to stay here for its historical value, I reckon," Ward says.
This one and a half minute ride saves motorists an 18 to 20 mile drive. A bridge in Bladen County is not justified for the amount of traffic, and most locals wouldn’t want one anyway.