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

People and the Potomac

 
 
People and the Potomac Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 29, 2007
1. People and the Potomac Marker
Inscription.  Great Falls Park

The Potomac River is the second largest watershed feeding the Chesapeake Bay. Early peoples depended on the river for food and made their homes along its banks. European settlers saw the river as a source for transportation, expansion, and settlement.

We still rely on the river in important ways. Most of the people in the Washington, D.C. area depend on the Potomac River as a source of their drinking water. Millions more see the river as a place to recreate - a place to escape from busy lives.

What is YOUR relationship to the river?
 
Erected by George Washington Memorial Parkway, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Natural ResourcesWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 38° 59.753′ N, 77° 15.2′ W. Marker is near McLean, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Georgetown Pike (Virginia Route 193). Located along the Great Falls National
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Park main trail, at an overlook of the falls. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Great Falls VA 22066, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. River of Change (here, next to this marker); A Globally Rare Environment (here, next to this marker); Patowmack Canal (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Patowmack Canal (about 400 feet away); Floods at Great Falls (about 400 feet away); Olmsted Island (about 500 feet away in Maryland); a different marker also named The Patowmack Canal (about 700 feet away); Matildaville (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McLean.
 
More about this marker. The background photo on the marker shows "Two women sit on a rock overlooking the Great Falls of the Potomac circa 1920." Three inset illustrations on the lower right illustrate the evolution of river transportation. The first is a drawing showing that "American Indians used fire to make dugout canoes." The second is a photo showing "Reenactors pole a replica of a boat used for early river navigation." The last shows that "Experienced kayakers paddle the waters at Great Falls."
 
Also see . . .  Great Falls Park. National Park Service site detailing the falls and the park. (Submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
People and the Potomac Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 29, 2007
2. People and the Potomac Marker
 
 
Kayakers Enjoying the Rapids at Great Falls image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 29, 2007
3. Kayakers Enjoying the Rapids at Great Falls
Tourists gathered near the People and the Potomac Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Richard E. Miller, April 1, 2012
4. Tourists gathered near the People and the Potomac Marker
- viewed from Olmsted Island in the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park off the Maryland shore.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,191 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on April 7, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.

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Mar. 5, 2024