Town of Occoquan-History amidst the Hustle of Prince William County

Most people zooming across the Occoquan River on Route 123 or driving south on interstate 95 aren't thinking about the history of our area.  Yet hidden among all of the mega subdivisions and marinas on the Occoquan River in Prince William County is the historic Town of Occoquan. 

The town's history can be traced back to the indigenous Native American Dogue Indians who inhabited much of the Occoquan River area.   The Town of Occoquan growth as a settlement began in the 18th century as a mill town.  It was prospering by 1765 with a grist mill, tobacco warehouses and foundry.   As one of the high water points of the Occoquan River at the time, Occoquan became not only a successful commercial area it also attracted weekend tourists from DC who came to stay at the Rockledge Hotel.

The town was officially established in 1804 and the streets and neighborhood lots were officially laid out.   By the mid 1850's there were 50 homes and business, including the first commercial ice storage warehouse.  By the beginning of the 20th century the town was in its heyday.    With hotels, theater, shops and a wharf where ships could dock the town was a social center for the area.

Tragedy struck in 1919 when much of the town burned down.  By then the river had begun to develop a layer of silt that made it impossible for larger ships to get to the wharf.   As with many of the small towns in Virginia a new railroad bridge and road construction moved the Town of Occoquan off the direct path of traffic.  With the flooding from Hurricane Agnes in 1972 the town could have been wiped completely off the map.

However the town came back and today is a great place to visit historic buildings, eat and shop.  Last fall the Washington Business Journal put the Town of Occoquan on its list of places to watch.  Twice a year thousands of people flock to the town for the Occoquan Arts and Crafts Fair.  An active merchants association helps business in town and the Mayor of Occoquan, Ernie Portia sends out regular newsletter updates about events in the town.

One thing that the Town of Occoquan offers that you won't find in any of the neighboring communities in Prince William County is GHOSTS!   As you can imagine a historic town is bound to have a few residents who like it so much that just never want to leave.  The town offers ghost tours throughout the year.   If you are looking for a break from the usual malls and madness in Prince William County then make sure you stop and enjoy the historic Town of Occoquan.  

Related Posts on the Town of Occoquan:

Mom's Apple Pie and General Store
Madigan's Restaurant
Washington Business Journal Likes Us and So Will You
Occoquan River Communities


                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations. 

Military Relocation Professional

Check out www.varealestatetalk.com and www.cjrealtygroup.com for more information.

Integrity Real Estate Group
Real People*Real Life*Real Estate

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia



Comment balloon 0 commentsCindy Jones • June 25 2009 06:07PM
Town of Occoquan-History amidst the Hustle of Prince William County
Most people zooming across the Occoquan River on Route 123 or driving south on interstate 95 aren't thinking about the history of our area. Yet hidden among all of the mega subdivisions and marinas on the Occoquan River in Prince William County is… more
Northern Virginia Relocation-Life Along Shirley Highway
It is obvious when you look at the large overhead signs, I-95 is the interstate running outside the beltway and I-395 runs inside the beltway to DC. However if someone asks you how to get to DC and you say take Shirley Highway then you know you are… more
Wordless Wednesday-Getting to Know Your Neighbors
Oer the last few months we have watched this Osprey spend hours perched in a tree outside our window. When it is time to eat he/she flies to the river, comes back with a fish and drops it off at the nest on top of our condo building for… more
A Cool Tool- Housing and Transportation Calculator
Thinking of buying a home in the Northern Virginia area? Wonder what the cost of owning that home and commuting in the area might cost you per year? Transportation and housing affordability are a big part of the buying process. The Urban Land… more
Northern Virginia Buyers Are Turning to FHA & VA Loans in Droves
We see dozens of marketing reports posted every day about total sales and sales prices in Northern Virginia. We know sales prices are down. Recently we have been able to report that the total number of sales have increased from 2008-2009, brought… more
Lake Ridge (VA) New Rental Listing Ready to Go!
Photo Gallery Living Room Living Room Kitchen Kitchen View from Deck Recreation Room Recreation Room Rear Yard Description Enjoy spending your free time watching the wildlife from your back deck in this nice 3 Level Lake Ridge townhouse. If you… more
PCS to Fort Belvoir? -Put Lorton on Your List of Possibilities
Located just a few miles from the main gate of Fort Belvoir the neighborhoods that make up the Lorton area have a long tradition with the military and military families in Northern Virginia. Lorton history goes back to our first Commander in Chief,… more
Unraveling the Maze of PCS Orders to the Washington DC Area
The PCS orders have arrived! The phone has been ringing as military families around the world have gotten the word that their next duty station is in the Northern Virginia area. The first few days after the PCS orders arrive all the questions about… more
Schools out For Summer and We All Know What that Means
MOM I"M BORED. THERE'S NOTHING TO DO. Fortunately for families living in Northern Virginia there are a variety of local water parks where you can spend the day working off your kids boredom and also stay cool at the same time… more
Wordless Wednesday-Get Out Your Butter Churn
I ran across this field of buttercups on Fort Belvoir while headed to an appointment. They reminded me of when we used to pick them as children and it was a make you smile moment. ©Cindy Jones 2009 If you would like to use… more