The Potomac Highway

The Potomac Highway (HMX0R)

Location: Oxon Hill, MD 20745 Prince George's County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 48.184', W 77° 0.74'

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Oxon Cove Park

Two hundred and fifty years ago, the Potomac River was a highway. Roads were bumpy, narrow, winding routes, littered with stumps and fallen trees. They led from tobacco barns and small villages down to the real thoroughfare - the Potomac. When people and goods had to travel, they took to the water.

Many of the first roads on dry land were called "rolling roads." Farmers, slaves, or teams of oxen used them to roll huge barrels of tobacco, called hogsheads, down the water's edge. There the tobacco was loaded on ships, often for the long journey to England.

People used the Potomac River for local travel, too. More than sixty ferries connected points in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., along the Potomac by the mid-1800s. At the mouth of Oxon Creek, a ferry to the King Street wharf in Alexandria, Virginia, started in 1740 and ran for nearly 200 years.

This image shows the bustling waterfront of Alexandria in the 1860s, directly across the river from where you stand now.
Birds Eye View of Alexandria, Va. Courtesy of The Mariner's Museum.
HM NumberHMX0R
Placed ByNational Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 11:00pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 325258 N 4296846
Decimal Degrees38.80306667, -77.01233333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 48.184', W 77° 0.74'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 48' 11.04" N, 77° 0' 44.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2341 Oxon Hill Bike Trail, Oxon Hill MD 20745, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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