Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Site Selection / Architectural Features
L'Enfant selected Brent's Island for its bountiful supply of good-quality freestone, proximity to the capital city, and accessibility for water-transit.
On December 2, 1791, L'Enfant purchased the quarry for the federal government. Thereafter, the site was known as The Public Quarry. Today, the site is commonly known as Government Island.
The Commissioners also contracted with other nearby, private quarry owners to supply additional building material. The use of these quarries, in addition to Government Island, helped to further establish quarrying as an important industry in Stafford County.
In 1791, L'Enfant wrote to his assistant, stating, "...repair immediately to Aquia Creek to see the qurries [sic] there belonging to the public - to have barracks erected upon theron for twenty men on each of these quarries, on the island purchased from Mr. George Brent...."
Approximately two miles northwest of this site stands Aquia Episcopal Church (1751-1757), which has freestone architectural components, including keystones, quoins, and pediments. Aquia sandstone was used in other prominent Virginia buildings, such as Kenmore in Fredericksburg (ca. 1772), Gunston Hallat Mason Neck (1755-1760), and Christ Church in Alexandria (1767-1773).
Erected 2010 by Tourism and Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities, Stafford County, Virginia.
Location. 38° 26.967′ N, 77° 22.875′ 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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Island Ownership (within Quarrying the Stone (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Native American Presence (about 400 feet away); Transporting the Stone (about 500 feet away); Government Island (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Government Island (approx. 0.4 miles 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 Site Selection / Architectural Features. There are two pictures on the "Site Selection" Marker. One is a portrait of L'Enfant painted by Bryan Leister and provided by the Historical Society of Washington D.C. The other is an overhead view of Government Island, looking south down Aquia Creek, toward the Potomac River.
There are four pictures on the Architectural Features marker. The color picture features a picture of Aquia Episcopal Church, where the Keystones and Pediment are made from Aquia sandstone. On the right of the marker are three pictures. The top picture
Categories. • Natural Resources •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 516 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 17, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.