Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Government Island

Government Island Orientation

 
 
Government Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
1. Government Island Marker
Inscription. Welcome to Government Island. This 17-acre historic site is an early American quarry originally named Brent’s Island or Wiggington’s Island. As early as 1694, stone was quarried from this site for use as architectural trim in Colonial America. The quarry’s fine-grained sandstone was called Aquia (ah qui’ ah) stone, due to its location along the Aquia Creek, or freestone, for its ability to be freely carved without splitting. The stone was a desirable building material for its composition as well as its beautiful white color.

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.

Government Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
2. Government Island Marker
- Jim Hall, Journalist, July 6, 1992; The Free Lance-Star


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
Government Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
3. Government Island Marker
(approx. 0.4 miles away); 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.
 
Government Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
4. Government Island Marker
 
 
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 766 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 8, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
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