One of the most important stopping places on the Stockton/Mariposa Road, the first Tuolumne River Ferry was established 3/8 mile downstream from here by Alden Jackson and Dr. Benjamin Horr in 1850. Dr Horr, who came to California in 1849 for the Gold Rush, was a State Assemblyman who in 1854, introduced the Legislative Bill creating Stanislaus County.
In 1851 Dr Horr sold the ferry to Gallant Dickinson who again sold it, now including an adjacent hotel, to Cornelius Osborn in 1857. The ferry and hotel were controlled by Osborn until 1862 when he sold it to John Roberts. In 1864 the ferry was either leased of sold to John Morley, moved upstream 3/8 mile to its current location in 1865, and was again operated by Roberts in 1872.
It remained in Roberts' name until 1887 when he built a wooden truss toll bridge. In 1916 Stanislaus county constructed a new toll-free steel truss bridge which was used until destroyed by floods in January 1997. The present bridge, concrete with a wooden cover to blend in with the historic nature of this area, was constructed in the same location in 1999.