The ferry used to cross the Dornoch Firth between Meikle Ferry on the northern shore and Ferry Point at the end of Ness of Portnaculter on the southern shore. This saved travellers between the towns of Dornoch and Tain a long land journey around the inlet. The first mention of a ferry in this area was in a Charter of 1560.
On the 16th August 1809 was the Lammas Fair in Tain. This busy market day attracted men and women from the surrounding parishes. Many were traders and craftsmen with all of their cash to bank in Tain. Some were tenants moving out of the area with cash from the sale of their flocks.
More than a hundred people boarded the ferry. This was more than the boat could comfortably carry as there was little elbow room for the oarsmen. As many as forty people were turned away but this still left the boat overloaded. It was claimed that drunk ferrymen encouraged the overloading. The boat was hit by a wave and overturned claiming some 99 lives. Barely a family in the area was unaffected.
The Dornoch Firth Bridge was opened on Tuesday 27 August 1991.