Clapham’s Ferry, known also as Spinks Ferry, Lost Corner Farm, and Riverside, is a historic home in Loudoun County, Virginia, located near the town of Leesburg. Built in 1849, the home is most known for being the site of a ferry crossing, one of the earliest in the area, between Loudoun County and Maryland. On March 19th, 1997, it was designated on the Virginia Landmark Register, and on September 4th, 1997, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the home remains as a private residence.
Backstory and Context
In 1757, Loudoun County resident Josias Clapham was given the opportunity and permission by the Virginia Legislature to maintain and operate a public ferry off of his own land from Virginia to Maryland. Clapham took the opportunity, and he and his family began to operate the ferry beginning that year. For a time, Clapham and his family’s ferry was in competition with a nearby ferry, Noland’s Ferry, up until the time when Clapham and his family left the property in 1816, at which time it was taken over by William Hawling. Four years later, the land was sold to Hawling, and by 1828, it was divided up and given to his descendants.
Hawling’s daughter Jane and her husband Hamilton Rogers received the portion of the property that held the home and ferry operation. In the following years, Jane and Hamilton worked to collect money, and they systematically bought the remaining divided land from her siblings. Once the entire plot of land was under the collective ownership of Jane and Hamilton, she sold the entire plot to John Spinks in 1833. After the sale, John Spinks took over the operation and maintenance of the ferry, which he then renamed Spinks Ferry. Spinks would then operate the ferry until around the start of the Civil War, after which the service ceased. On March 19th, 1997, it was designated on the Virginia Landmark Register, and on September 4th, 1997, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the home remains as a private residence.