In 1647, Giles Brent established the first English settlement in this area along Aquia Creek. Nearly 50 years later, George Brent, Giles Brent's nephew, became the island's first documented owner. George purchased "?a small tongue or neck or Island of Land with small point of marsh?" in 1694. The property remained in he Brent family for almost 100 years, during which time is was used as a private quarry.
In 1791, the property was purchased by the federal government, which bought all but one acre. Tha one-acre panel had been sold previously in 1786 to Robert Steuart, a stone mason from Baltimore, Maryland. Steuart delineated his parcel with four stone boundary markers, the largest of which still remains and is clearly marked with his initials, "R.S." It is located nearby this sign.
Down the trail there is a large pit, lined with cut stone, which measures approximately 50 feet by 150 feet. Its purpose is currently unknown. However, due to its proximity to the quarry, the pit was likely connected to the quarrying operations.