JK Founder and CEO Chuck Kuhn and his wife Stacy have come to terms on a purchase of White’s Ferry in Leesburg, Virginia, helping protect an important Potomac River crossing with a long history. Established in 1786, the Ferry ceased operation in December 2020. Kuhn will be working with Peter Brown, the majority owner of Rockland Farm, in an effort to get the ferry reopened to the nearly 800 daily users.
“White’s Ferry represents a piece of our region’s past as an early commerce route that built and sustained local economies and remains so today. This fits with my family’s interest in conserving land and history as well as supporting business and the local communities. White’s Ferry has provided an important and scenic transportation alternative to the swelling demands on our local roads,” explained Kuhn. “We look forward to working with nearby landowners and local jurisdictions to make this viable for the region.”
Kuhn finalized the purchase terms on February 11, 2021, which includes the ferry, the store, and the Maryland shoreline that supports the ferry operation. Necessary repairs to the ferry and property are taking place immediately and replacement cables are on site to fix the ferry following December storm damage and are ready for install as soon as reasonable terms are negotiated with Peter Brown and Rockland Farm on the Virginia side. The goal is to purchase the Virginia land site or negotiate a permanent easement with Rockland Farm so that the ferry never ceases operating again. The ferry can be operational within seven days of being granted Virginia shore rights.
“The previous owners of White’s Ferry have done a remarkable job serving the community,” commented Kuhn. “They have sold the ferry with the hopes that we would have a better chance of opening the ferry than they did. We look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the ferry, enhancing the experience for riders, and making a number of upgrades to the store.”
The Kuhns will begin working with the Coast Guard, Loudoun County, Montgomery County, and the owner of Rockland Farm to open the ferry. The Kuhns plan to make a number of upgrades to the ferry over the next few years, bringing more operational and environmental efficiencies to improve services and preserve a piece of history.
Other ways that Kuhn, his family, and his company have protected local landmarks and supported the community include:
- Purchasing Westpark with the intention of placing 135 of those acres into a conservation easement for a park and to protect the open space from future development.
- Partnering with Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy to buy and place into conservation easement an 87-acre parcel of land in northern Loudoun County called JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary that has more native species of plants and wildlife indigenous to Loudoun and Virginia than is typical.
- Starting the JK Community Farm, a charitable effort designed to alleviate hunger by growing and harvesting crops and livestock and donating them to local food banks, on 150 acres of conserved land in Purcellville.
- Buying the historic Middleburg Training Center, which was placed into conservation easement and is now fully renovated.
- Purchasing and placing several thousand acres near Loudoun’s historic villages into easement, including Egypt Farm – which had been previously owned by developers, the historic Wolver Hill farm in Middleburg, and recently three farms outside the town of Waterford.
As the founder of JK Moving Services – the largest independently owned and operated moving company in North America, Kuhn employs nearly 1,100 people – a majority of which live in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. The company and Kuhn have won numerous awards, including being recognized by the Washington Business Journal as a Best Place to Work and Top Corporate Philanthropist, Loudoun Chamber as a Community Leader, and Old Dominion Land Conservancy for its conservation efforts.