Historic ferries of the Atlanta area
There were several historic ferries around the metro Atlanta, Georgia area, for which many of its current-day roads are named. Most of the ferries date back to the 1820s and 1830s, to carry travelers across the Chattahoochee River or several other smaller rivers. Many of them were replaced with bridges, many of which became the historic bridges of the Atlanta area.
Note: Present-day Bell’s Ferry Rd. does cross the Little River, however according to Cherokee County, Georgia, court documents of 1835, James H. Bell operated a ferry across the Etowah River. It has been suggested that, since James Bell owned Land Lot 252/21/2 at this time and as it contained both banks of the Etowah, this was the probable location of his ferry.
Bells Ferry Road runs from Church Street (former Georgia 3, one block west of former Georgia 5 on Cherokee Street) in Marietta north to Marietta Street (former Georgia 5) in Canton. It is an alternative route between the two county seats, departing well west of former Georgia 5 (which is now renumbered onto Interstate 575). Until 1984, the section of this road from Georgia 92 at Oak Grove north to Canton was designated as Georgia 205.
Within the city of Marietta, street signs use the proper "Bell's" rather than "Bells". However, the southernmost end of the road is called Church Street Extension, despite being a turn off of Church Street, and being a straight continuation of Bells Ferry Road. The counterintuitive name change occurs at an arbitrary place in the road (near Cobb EMC), instead of at a major intersection like Cobb Parkway. This section was once the main street through the small town of Elizabeth.
- Cherokee County Court Records, 1835; Georgia Archives, Morrow, GA
- Hidden History of Lake Allatoona: The Sixes, Cherokee Mills, Little River Area,; Dautzenlein Publications, 2013
Originally Montgomery Ferry. Run by Martin DeFoor.
Johnson's Ferry or the Johnson Ferry was built by Johnson Garwood. Johnson Ferry Road (often incorrectly referred to as "Johnson's Ferry Road") is a major arterial road between Cobb County and Sandy Springs. From Columns Drive on the northwest riverbank of the Chattahoochee River, southeast to Abernathy Road, and continuing east on Abernathy to Roswell Road (Georgia 9), the roads have been temporarily designated by GDOT as Georgia state route 947.  This is due to the heavy volume of rush hour traffic traveling this route to get to and from Georgia 400, and the failure of Cobb and Fulton counties to come to an agreement on their own, with Fulton at one time timing the traffic lights to cause further morning backups into Cobb. While all of the homes along Abernathy will be destroyed for widening, the neighborhoods along the 1¼ miles or two kilometers of Johnson Ferry Road will be spared. Johnson Ferry and Abernathy will be "broken", such that they flow directly into each other, and will require a turn to stay straight on the original roads. The 1969 bridge at the former ferry location will be widened between Columns Drive on the Cobb riverbank to Riverside Drive on the Fulton riverbank, from its current four lanes to six plus bike lanes, wide sidewalks, and a raised road median. Currently Johnson Ferry Road is four lanes on the Fulton side (two southeast of Abernathy), and six lanes on the Cobb side (four north of its own Roswell Road, Georgia 120).
See Jones Bridge.
Heard's Ferry, originally Isom's Ferry, was operated by John Heard (1835-1931).
This ferry was near Duluth and crossed over the Chattahoochee River. There is currently a street off of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard bearing its name.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2009)|
|This section requires expansion. (December 2009)|
Isom's Ferry was operated in the 1860s by James Isom. The ferry went by many names, include Isham's Ferry, Isham's Ford, Phillip's Ford, and Cavalry Ford. John Heard took over Isom's Ferry in 1868 and operated it until 1890 as Heard's Ferry. 
McGinnis Ferry Road crosses the Chattahoochee River at Suwanee. It connects Gwinnett County on one side with Fulton and Forsyth County on the other. It serves as the border between Fulton and Forsyth.
In 1853 it was taken over by Martin DeFoor and became known as DeFoor's Ferry.
John B. Nelson (father of Allison Nelson) operated this ferry where Sandy Creek flowed into the Chattahoochee (now the up-river part of Fulton County Airport). He ran it from 1820 until his murder in 1825. historical marker
This ferry was located on the Chattahoochee River between Sandy Springs and Roswell. It is approximately 2 miles west of Holcomb Bridge. There are currently two Nesbit Ferry Roads, one in Sandy Springs and the other in Johns Creek. The Sandy Springs one, located in the Dunwoody Panhandle district, is an exclusive residential area with million dollar homes, some of which have views of the river.
Pace's Ferry belonged to Hardy Pace, one of Atlanta's founders. Paces Ferry Road connects historic Vinings in the west, on the Chattahoochee River in Cobb County, to the western edge of Atlanta's Buckhead area in the east. From this end, West Paces Ferry Road, one of Atlanta's best-known streets, traverses east through some of Atlanta's oldest and wealthiest Buckhead neighborhoods, and serves as the address for the Georgia Governor's Mansion. Continuing east, West Paces Ferry Road becomes East Paces Ferry Road after intersecting Peachtree Road in Buckhead's entertainment and nightlife district. East Paces Ferry Road runs as far east as Lenox Square mall, after being severed by Georgia 400. Paces Mill Road is a small spur route off of Paces Ferry Road connecting Vinings east to Cobb Parkway (U.S. 41). There was also a Battle of Pace's Ferry during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War.
The Powers Ferry was another route northwest from Atlanta, upstream from Pace's Ferry. It is named after James Power (1790-1870), a plantation owner who ran the ferry across the Chattahoochee River in the early 19th century.
The exact location of the ferry is now the northeastern-most crossing of Interstate 285 over the river and the county line (and now the Sandy Springs city limit), carrying several lanes in each direction (originally just two each way when opened in 1969). It is flanked on its north side by Interstate North Parkway (west) / Riveredge Parkway (east), and on its south side by the ferry's namesake road, each carrying two lanes (one in each direction).
The business district just east of the crossing is called Powers Ferry Landing, located where Northside Drive crosses the road, just east of the former landing. This provides freeway access at Northside Drive (west ramps) and New Northside Drive (east ramps, road and ramps built in a 1990s reconstruction). Signage on the freeway indicates Powers Ferry Road, Northside Drive, and New Northside Drive.
Vann's Ferry was the first ferry across the Chattahoochee, starting in 1804. It was named for Cherokee leader James Vann (builder of the Vann House, and crossed the river between Hall and Forsyth counties (both created later on), at a point now under Lake Lanier. There is no longer a road by this name, and the area is now becoming an exurb of metro Atlanta.
- Golden, Randy. "Ferries of Cobb County". About North Georgia. Retrieved 2008-03-30.