Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Government Island Orientation
In 1791, the federal government purchased Brent’s Island for the purpose of consgtruction the President’s House (later referred to as the White House) and the United States Capitol. Extensive quantities of freestone were extracted from this site from 1791 through the 1820s.
As you tour Government Island, you will learn about the quarry workers, their quarrying methods, and the area’s Native American presence.
The picks and mauls are silent now at Government Island.
Gone are the muscled laborers who quarried the rock.
Gone, too, are the masted ships that carried it north.
Government Island is quiet now
Overgrown with oaks and maples and sticker bushes.
Only the silent stones say that
This was once the nation’s most famous quarry.
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
Connecting People and Places. The trail on Government Island, along with the Aquia Landing Park and Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail, is a segment of the Potomac heritage National Scenic Trail.
An enterprise of many partners, the evolving Trail network celebrates the heritage of the Potomac and upper Ohio River basins. Between the Alleghenies of Western Pennsylvania and valleys to the piedmont and coastal plain, and offers many opportunities to explore historic sites, natural areas, and communities.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/pohe.
Erected 2010 by Tourism and Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, Stafford County, Va.
Location. 38° 26.821′ N, 77° 23.283′ W. Marker is in Stafford, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker can be reached from Coal Landing Road (County Road 631). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stafford VA 22554, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Government Island (here, next to this marker); Site Selection / Architectural Features (approx. 0.4 miles away); Island Ownership Native American Presence (approx. half a mile away); Quarrying the Stone (approx. half a mile away); Transporting the Stone (approx. half a mile away); Mary Kittamaquund (approx. 0.8 miles away); Peyton’s Ordinary (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stafford.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 8, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 761 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 8, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.