“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Leesylvania in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Freestone Fisheries

The Freestone Fisheries Marker image. Click for full size.
February 18, 2008
1. The Freestone Fisheries Marker
Inscription.  The Freestone Fisheries played an important role in Leesylvania’s past. Their successful operation, given the plentiful numbers of fish in the Potomac, provided a significant income to the successive proprietors of the Leesylvania estate. The Lee family conducted business in the fishing industry until they sold the property to Henry Fairfax in 1825. The fisheries at Freestone Point remained in operation until the end of the nineteenth century. Remains of the Civil War era fish houses, pictured below, can still be seen on this shoreline.

George Washington described the high quality of the Potomac river fishery in the following quote: "A river well-stocked with various kinds of fish at all seasons of the year, and in the spring with shad, herrings, bass, carp, perch, sturgeon, etc. in great abundance...the one entire fishery."
Erected by Leesylvania State Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNatural Resources. A significant historical year for this entry is 1825.
Location. 38° 35.385′ N, 77° 
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14.951′ W. Marker is in Leesylvania, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker can be reached from Daniel K Ludwig Drive. The marker located along the southern shoreline in Leesylvania State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Woodbridge VA 22191, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Iron Pulley Wheel (here, next to this marker); Swimming in Bounty (within shouting distance of this marker); “Pleasureland of the East” (within shouting distance of this marker); "Light Horse Harry" Lee (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); "A Pacific Paradise on the Potomac" (about 600 feet away); Freestone Point Earthworks (about 600 feet away); Lee’s Woods Historic Trail (about 600 feet away); The Freestone Point Hunt Club (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leesylvania.
More about this marker. On the lower left of the marker is a sketch captioned, Original Sketch of the fish houses Freestone Point in 1861.

On the upper right of the marker is a reproduction captioned, This ad was placed in the Alexandria Gazette by Henry Fairfax. He leased out the fishery at Freestone Point for $2,000 per year in 1826. This sum equates to approximately $35,000 per year in today's dollars.

On the bottom right of the marker is a sketch captioned, Haul seining is a method of catching
The Freestone Fisheries Marker image. Click for full size.
February 18, 2008
2. The Freestone Fisheries Marker
On the shoreline of the Potomac River.
fish that has been in use throughout the ages. The technique has varied little to this day. Fishermen enclosed the fish in a net that could sometimes be a mile or more in length.

Also see . . .
1. Leesylvania State Park. (Submitted on December 6, 2008.)
2. Official records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Order of the Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles requesting protection of a building at the Freestone Point fishery. (Submitted on December 6, 2008.) 
Iron Pulley Wheel image. Click for full size.
February 18, 2008
3. Iron Pulley Wheel
From the interperative marker: This artifact was found buried here. It likely served to help pull boats and or nets from the river as part of the fishing activity that occured here for over 100 years.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 20, 2023. It was originally submitted on December 6, 2008. This page has been viewed 930 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on October 3, 2023. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 6, 2008. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 17, 2024