Transporting the Stone

Transporting the Stone (HMQM4)

Location: Stafford, VA 22554 Stafford County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 27.001', W 77° 22.78'

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A historic road is visible to the right. It was created by skids or "stone boats" that were loaded with stone and dragged by oxen to the wharf. The stone was very heavy. One cubic foot of stone weighed 120 pounds.

In addition to moving the stone by skids, a canal was needed to transport the stone. The canal was "cut about 18 feet wide to let scows [flat-bottom boats] into the quarry..." (Commissioners Records, 1793). Although the exact location of the canal is unknown, Benjamin Henry Latrobe describes it in 1886:
Between the great mass of rock on the island of Acquia and the deep water of the creek is a soft marsh. Through this marsh a canal has been formerly cut, now much choaked [sic] up which is barely sufficient to convey stone by means of a scow to the vessels which bring it up to the city. From the Quarry to the canal the stone must be carted.

At the wharf, stone was loaded onto scows and was then transported downstream to deeper, more navigable waters around Coal Landing. There, stone was transferred onto larger sailing vessels called schooners or sloops, carried down Aquia Creek, and shipped up the Potomac River to Washington, D.C.

Today, submerged remnants of a stone wharf are still visible along the shore. Up the hill to the west of the wharf is a stone foundation of a building. Artifacts from this site include brick and mortar fragments, nails, window glass, wrought iron hinges, pieces of serving utensils and iron kettles. These artifacts indicate that the building probably served as living quarters during the time of the quarrying operations.
HM NumberHMQM4
Year Placed2010
Placed ByTourism and Parks, Recreation & Community
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 7:10pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 292341 N 4258429
Decimal Degrees38.45001667, -77.37966667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 27.001', W 77° 22.78'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 27' 0.06" N, 77° 22' 46.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3433 Aquia Dr, Stafford VA 22554, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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