Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Transporting the Stone
In addition to moving the stone by skids, a canal was needed to transport the stone. The canal was "cut about 18 feet wide to let scows [flat-bottom boats] into the quarry..." (Commissioners Records, 1793). Although the exact location of the canal is unknown, Benjamin Henry Latrobe describes it in 1886:
Between the great mass of rock on the island of Acquia and the deep water of the creek is a soft marsh. Through this marsh a canal has been formerly cut, now much choaked [sic] up which is barely sufficient to convey stone by means of a scow to the vessels which bring it up to the city. From the Quarry to the canal the stone must be carted.
At the wharf, stone was loaded onto scows and was then transported downstream to deeper, more navigable waters around Coal Landing. There, stone was transferred onto larger sailing vessels called schooners or sloops, carried down Aquia Creek, and shipped up the Potomac
Today, submerged remnants of a stone wharf are still visible along the shore. Up the hill to the west of the wharf is a stone foundation of a building. Artifacts from this site include brick and mortar fragments, nails, window glass, wrought iron hinges, pieces of serving utensils and iron kettles. These artifacts indicate that the building probably served as living quarters during the time of the quarrying operations.
Erected 2010 by Tourism and Parks, Recreation & Community.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1886.
Location. 38° 27.001′ N, 77° 22.78′ W. Marker is in Stafford, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker can be reached from Coal Landing Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stafford VA 22554, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Quarrying the Stone (within shouting distance of this marker); Island Ownership (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Native American Presence (about 500 feet away); Site Selection / Architectural Features (about 500 feet away); Government Island (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also Government Island (approx. half a mile away); Mary Kittamaquund (approx. 1.2 miles away); Peyton’s Ordinary (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stafford.
Regarding Transporting the Stone. On the right side of the marker is a map of the Potomac River, showing the "Stone transportation route" from Government Island to Washington, D.C.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 18, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 729 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 18, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.