The Public Quarry at Government Island in Stafford County, Virginia is the principal source of Aquia Creek sandstone, a building stone used in many of the early government buildings in Washington, D.C., including the U.S. Capitol and the White House. A quarry was established just off the Potomac River at Wigginton's Island on Aquia Creek by George Brent after 1694, providing stone for tombstones and to houses and churches in northern Virginia, including Gunston Hall, Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, Mount Airy in Richmond County, Virginia, and Aquia Church, as well as steps and walkways at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Washington selected Aquia sandstone as the primary material for use in Washington's government buildings. Acting on the government's behalf, the Wigginton's Island quarry was purchased by Pierre Charles L'Enfant in 1791, becoming known afterward as Government Island.Use of the stone declined as its susceptibility to weathering was observed, and the quarry became worked out and derelict after the U.S. Civil War. The property was sold by the U.S. Government in 1963.Take a look at our Stafford travel itinerary planner to schedule your visit to Government Island and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Government Island Reviews
Wonderful wooded park and trails. Learn the history of the quary and enjoy nature! History markers along the way increase the educational value more »
We took the grandchildren to Government Island to walk in the woods and see nature. There are plenty of trails to walk and all kinds of wildlife. A great place to see animals, read postings on the his... more »
This "island" is quite the beautiful and serene spot to go for a walk as well as learn a little history. It is a nature preserve as well as the historic site of a quarry used to build homes and buildi... more »
What an amazing 1.6 mile diet hiking trail with boulders to boot. A quaint dock is located on the edge for a small scroll to see shoulder high lily pads in the spring. In North Stafford hidden away for any kind of day!
An awesome place to walk, hike a bike and explore. Well maintained trails, interpretive signs and markers. Great views, lots of benches and places to rest. If you follow Stafford Rocks on Facebook you will know Government Island a great place to find and leave rocks. A good sized parking lot and a porta-potty. Dog friendly, wheelchair and stroller accessable.
It's a great place to bring your family to run out some energy. Usually has a good amount of people and their dogs out walking around. Very clean place
This is a very cool park. It's fine to bring your dogs. There are plenty of pokestops, and even a few gyms. Also, keep an eye out for some of Stafford's rocks! Great place to take a few family photos as well.
Super cool to learn the history of our country. Really good walk and awesome to be in nature like that.
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