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An account of the origins of the Arivruach Ferry by JM Macleod, Balallan
Donald Macrae, Headmaster of Balallan School (1887-1889) testified before the Napier Commission (1883) on behalf of the crofters of Airidhbhruaich and in his testimony he stated that Sir James Matheson, who bought Lewis in 1844 later proposed to run a ferry from Airidhbhruaich to Tarbert and in order to do this, he 'planted' four crofters in Airidhbhruaich, one of whom I think was my great-grantfather, John Morrison, No 4.
Sir James must have surveyed the route at high tide and knew nothing of the Doras Mor or the Doras Beag, or the 'Airidhbhruaich Niagara'. A canoeist, in the 1930s shot over it in spectacular style and survived. He went ashore and ordered a lorry to convey himself and the canoe to Stornoway.
Old Arrievruick in the vicinity of Cnocan Tadha is marked on Chapman's Map (1821). The above phonetic spelling is obviously rendered by a non-Gaelic speaker.