Known today as Cruze Landing after Cruze Farm donated property, the Huffaker Ferry is notable for several reasons other than the fact that it hosted, as we might expect, a ferry across the French Broad. The ferry was operated by the Huffaker family, who lived on both sides of the river here for generations.
The Huffakers were a well-known presence for both farming and ferrying for generations, but the family produced one genius who's known to aviation historians. This was the childhood home of aviation pioneer Edward C. Huffaker (1856-1937). Huffaker was well-known for his important discoveries in the field of aviation theory before he joined the Wright Brothers during their early experiments at Kitty Hawk in 1901, leading up to their successful flight in 1903. Huffaker may have been a genius, but was not easy to get along with, and by all accounts made a mess of things. He is the subject of a 2003 book aptly titled The Unwelcome Assistant.
Huffaker's Ferry was a shooting locale for the 1963 film All the Way Home, the James Agee-inspired family drama starring Robert Preston. In the film, the ferry, which was still operating, was used to represent a ferry over the Powell River, north of Knoxville. It sank during the shooting and, since the days of the ferry were already waning, was not recovered or rebuilt.