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

Occoquan Workhouse

Occoquan Workhouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Elia J. Prats, March 28, 2010
1. Occoquan Workhouse Marker
Inscription. This marker honors the suffragists imprisoned at the Occoquan Workhouse in 1917 and 1918, for picketing the White House to gain support for an amendment to the Constitution to give women the right to vote. The women were members of the National Woman’s Party, founded by Alice Paul in 1916. They came from diverse social backgrounds that included businesswomen, factory workers, homemakers, and students. Some women held membership in the DAR.

Sentenced for “obstructing the traffic” or “unlawful assembly,” they demanded treatment as political prisoners but were instead met with cruel punishments and deplorable living conditions.

The struggle for women’s suffrage continued as the women shared their stories through publications, rallies and legislative sessions. In 1920, women were granted the right to vote following ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Erected 2009 by Fairfax County Chapter, NSDAR.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Daughters of the American Revolution marker series.
Occoquan Workhouse Marker at Building 2 image. Click for full size.
By Elia J. Prats, March 28, 2010
2. Occoquan Workhouse Marker at Building 2
38° 41.871′ N, 77° 15.243′ W. Marker is near Lorton, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Ox Road (Virginia Route 123) and Lorton Road (County Route 642), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. It is to the left of the entrance to building 2, facing the courtyard. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9601 Ox Rd, Lorton VA 22079, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Occoquan Workhouse (approx. ¼ mile away); Lorton Nike Missile Site (approx. 0.6 miles away); Town of Occoquan (approx. one mile away); Occoquan River Bridges (approx. one mile away); Occoquan (approx. one mile away); Historic Occoquan - Center for the Processing of Grain (approx. one mile away); The Dogue Indians (approx. one mile away); Ellicott’s Mill (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lorton.
Also see . . .  History. This brief historical sketch is on the Workhouse Arts Center website. Excerpt: “At the beginning of the 20th Century, President Theodore Roosevelt
Occoquan Workhouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Elia J. Prats, March 28, 2010
3. Occoquan Workhouse Marker
commissioned the purchase of a large tract of land in Virginia for the creation of a workhouse for Washington, DC’s non-violent criminals. Roosevelt’s progressive era vision was to provide prisoners with fresh air, natural light and structured, purposeful work as the basis for their rehabilitation. Agricultural operations began at the Workhouse in 1912 and the prisoners created a brick plant where they produced bricks to construct the permanent buildings that now make up the Workhouse Arts Center.

“At the same time, the Women’s Division of the Workhouse was established west of the Men’s Workhouse. The Women’s Division is known for having held approximately 168 women, most from the National Women's Party, for picketing in front of the White House for women’s voting rights. Lucy Burns, who, along with Alice Paul, founded the National Women’s Party, was one of the women incarcerated in the Women’s Division of the Workhouse.” (Submitted on May 1, 2010.) 
Categories. 20th Century
Occoquan Workhouse Courtyard image. Click for full size.
By Elia J. Prats, March 28, 2010
4. Occoquan Workhouse Courtyard
Building 2 is the most distant building on the right. These were prison dormitories until the prison was closed. They now house artist studios.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 1, 2010, by Elia J. Prats of Columbus, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,290 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 1, 2010, by Elia J. Prats of Columbus, Ohio. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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