The Valley View Ferry is Kentucky's longest running business having been founded in 1780 by the Virginia Legislature. Over the years there have been several boats and owners. Claude C. Howard who grew up near the ferry purchased it in 1950 and operated it himself until 1963. He leased it to other operators until 1991 when the Fayette, Jessamine and Madison County governments jointly purchased the ferry. Today it is being operated by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The Claude C. Howard Collection provides an extensive history on the Valley View ferry. The ferry is Kentucky's oldest continuous business, and has run from 1780 to present. The collection has photographs of Valley View and the ferry from the early 1900s to the 1970s. Enclosed are letters and legal documents about the ferry, including deeds and lawsuits. During their ownership the Howards also collected newspaper articles, advertisements, and pamphlets on the ferry. For over 230 years, the Valley View ferry has carried thousands of people over the Kentucky River. It is still a cherished historic, and functioning, landmark of Kentucky.
Only a portion of this collection has been digitized. See the Finding Aid for a description of the entire collection.