Oxon Hill in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Potomac Highway
Oxon Cove Park
Two hundred and fifty years ago, the Potomac River was a highway. Roads were bumpy, narrow, winding routes, littered with stumps and fallen trees. They led from tobacco barns and small villages down to the real thoroughfare – the Potomac. When people and goods had to travel, they took to the water.
Many of the first roads on dry land were called “rolling roads.” Farmers, slaves, or teams of oxen used them to roll huge barrels of tobacco, called hogsheads, down the water’s edge. There the tobacco was loaded on ships, often for the long journey to England.
People used the Potomac River for local travel, too. More than sixty ferries connected points in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., along the Potomac by the mid-1800s. At the mouth of Oxon Creek, a ferry to the King Street wharf in Alexandria, Virginia, started in 1740 and ran for nearly 200 years.
This image shows the bustling waterfront of Alexandria in the 1860s, directly across the river from where you stand now.
Birds Eye View of Alexandria, Va. Courtesy of The Mariner’s Museum.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 38° 48.184′ N, 77° 0.74′ Touch for map. Marker is in Oxon Cove Park, on the north side of the hiker/biker trail in the woods northwest of the Oxon Hill Farm, overlooking the cove with I-295 and the Potomac River beyond. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6411 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill MD 20745, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Capture of Alexandria (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Oxon Cove, the Potomac, and the Chesapeake (about 500 feet away); "Rockets on the Hill" (about 700 feet away); War Comes to Mount Welby (approx. 0.2 miles away); The DeButts Family Comes to Maryland - Mount Welby (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Burning of Washington, D.C. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wheat and Tobacco (approx. ¼ mile away); Root Cellar (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oxon Hill.
Also see . . . Oxon Cove Trail. (Submitted on October 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Categories. • Agriculture • Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 331 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.