The dock before you was once the site of a large wharf complex and ferry landing. From the founding of Fredericksburg in 1728, the river played a major role in the transportation of goods such as timber, flour and corn as well as passengers.
During the late 18th century, this area underwent a transformation from an informal scattering of individual docks into an organized wharf complex. The wharves once stretched from where you are standing northward to the railroad bridge.
Prior to the introduction of the railroad, the wharves were the center of commerce and transportation for the city and continued to play a major role in travel and trade throughout the 19th century.
From this site a traveler could board a vessel bound for numerous locations. A November, 1855, report in the Fredericksburg News lists New York, Boston and Portland, Maine, as cities served by vessels calling port in Fredericksburg.