Near Woodbridge in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The King's Highway ~ The Potomac Path
The route was first cleared on land south of what became Prince William County during the 17th century. Then known as the Potomac Path, the route passed through Dumfries after it crossed the Occoquan River at Colchester.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Virginia law required landowners to annually contribute time to road maintenance. Slaves and tenants largely maintained the King’s Highway in Prince William County.
Sections of the King’s Highway were paved in the 1920s and incorporated into U.S. Route 1. Route 1 loosely follows the Potomac Path through Prince William County. Segments of the colonial road are now protected.
In 1781, Generals George Washington and Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau used the King’s Highway to reach Yorktown with their cavalry and wagons. Eighty years later, Federal and Confederate troops followed the road during numerous Civil War campaigns.
Erected 2007 by Prince William County.
Marker series. This The Washington-Rochambeau Route marker series.
Location. 38° 37.165′ N, 77° 16.644′ W. Marker is near Woodbridge, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker can be reached from Forest Grove Drive near Rippon Boulevard (Virginia Route 784). Touch for map. Marker is in a mini-park, on the NE corner of the intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Woodbridge VA 22191, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The King's Highway ~ Preserving History ( within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Potomac Path ( within shouting distance of this marker); Rippon Lodge ~ Latrobe's View ( approx. 0.3 miles away); Rippon Lodge ~ Neabsco Creek ( approx. 0.3 miles away); Potomac Path ( approx. 0.4 miles away); Freedom High School Sundial Memorial ( approx. 0.6 miles away); Leesylvania ( approx. one mile away); Neabsco Iron Works ( approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Woodbridge.
More about this marker. On the left is a map detailing the route then known as the Potomac Path. The map carries the caption, "This detail of Peter Jefferson’s and Joshua Fry’s 1751 Map of the most inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole province of Maryland with part of Pensilvania,
The lower center of the marker displays a 1768 newspaper article. It carries the caption, “Mail was carried over the King’s Highway and delivered to post offices along the route. This notice in the July 7, 1768 Alexandria Gazette lists people who had letters awaiting them in Dumfries.”
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. A duplicate of this marker is located near a stretch of the old Potomac Path at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
Also see . . . Virtual Tour of The King's Highway. (Submitted on March 4, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 4, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 5,177 times since then and 119 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 4, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 4, 5. submitted on August 10, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.