"A unique town by the river" Occoquan by b1bob
Occoquan Travel Guide: 39 reviews and 94 photos
Like Fredericksburg 30 miles (48 km.) down the road, the riverside location of Occoquan was the reason it was settled by the Indians before European settlement. Occoquan is derived from an Indian word meaning "at the end of the water". Because of its location, was a natural site for water-borne commerce. In the early days, it thrived as an industrial settlement with grist mills and tobacco warehouses. During the War Between the States, the post office passed letters and packages between North and South. A fire devastated much of the town in 1919. Route 1 opened soon thereafter, carrying traffic away from the town. The Occoquan River silted up, and the new railroad bypassed the town, causing local industries to decline. Adding insult to injury Hurricane Agnes struck in 1972 destroying buildings, sidewalks, streets and the remaining Occoquan Iron-Truss Bridge. Any of these tragedies might have been enough to wipe out a small riverfront town, but Occoquan stubbornly slogged on. Residents, merchants and people interested in history restored the town to its old form, creating a unique place which offers water sport, fishing, fine shopping and antiquing (they use it as a verb here too), pleasant dining, and a chance to experience a great little town unspoilt by Northern Virginia sprawl.
On 5 June 2005, my friend Lee and I set out for here to attend the Crafts Fair. We went as much to see the uniqueness of historic Occoquan- an island of history surrounded by exurban sprawl. Going to and from George Mason University from 1987-1991, I passed by here 100 times, but it never occurred to me until now to give it a closer look. It was as hot as a tar road in Tennessee, but we walked through the neatly laid out streets examining all the booths. Many sold crafts, but some sold food, and a few offered free samples. The most notable thing I learned from this trip is that not all northern Virginians are in too big a hurry to be nice. All the folks we encountered were great to a couple of outsiders with obvious Southern accents.
- Pros:Occoquan has overcome much adversity to be what it is today.
- Cons:Too much of a crowd for the Craft Fair.
- In a nutshell:A friendly and historical island in a sea of hurried progress.
Dynamic Baskets & Gifts is a small gift shop on the second floor of the wooden Riverwalk edifice on Occoquan's main... more travel advice
After the damage from Hurricane Agnes in 1972, the town had to be reproduced to reflect its original glory. Besides the... more travel advice
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