|1600 - The Dogue indians inhabit the Occoquan River basin
Watershed in the early 1600s. In their dialect, Occoquan means “at
the end of the water.” They lived in villages, hunted and fished, and
raised corn, beans, squash, and tobacco. They departed as the
English settled the area in the 1650s. Occoquan’s Town Seal
commemorates the Dogues.
1608 - John Smith visits Occoquan
Occoquan and to record his findings. When Smith sailed into the
Occoquan River in a large, unenclosed craft with 14 of his
companions from Jamestown, people were conducting “business as
usual” in Occoquan. Here was the principal village of the Dogue (also
known as the Tauxenent, Taux, Toags, Doeggs, and Doeg) Indians.
Men were out hunting and women were tending the gardens where
they cultivated a variety of vegetables and tobacco. Smith’s boat, like
the Indians’ log canoes, stopped at the rocky head of the tide water,
as do the kayaks and recreational boats today.
1681 - Dogue Tribe Disappears
left the Occoquan area in 1681. No record of where the tribe
migrated to afterward exists, although it is assumed that they were
absorbed into other Algonquin tribes in areas less settled.
1729 - Landing built
which was one of the first major commercial developments in the town.
1736 -First tobacco warehouse built
1750 - Industrial complex grows around tobacco warehouse
mills, tolling mills, a bake house, saw mills, storehouses and
dwellings. The Merchant's Mill became the first automated grist mill in
the nation. Grain was taken from the holds of ships and off barges,
processed, and returned to these carriers by machinery operated by
only one man, then transported to markets from Alexandria to the
1758 - Rockledge Built
the town began to prosper.
1795 - Toll Bridge
storm in 1807, rebuilt in 1808 and stood until the 1850’s. A strong
iron truss bridge was erected in 1878 at the same location, remaining
for almost 100 years before collapsing to the fury that was Hurricane
Agnes. Today a footbridge stands in this location.
1804 - Town of Occoquan Formally Established
fruition industrial and commercial developments begun, at or near
the falls of Occoquan, by John Ballendine.
1804 - The Hammill Hotel
Streets, it is the oldest brick structure in Occoquan, dating from 1804.
1805 - Mail Route Authorized
route would gain in importance, especially during the Civil War, as it
was through this route that much of the mail being transported
between the North and the South were passed.
1835 - Occoquan reaches about 50 dwellings
"about 50 dwellings, houses, several mercantile stores and various
mechanics." This marks a major milestone in the town's development.
1861 - First Battle of Bull Run
21, 1861.The Bull Run begins in Loudoun County and flows for
several miles to Manassas where it becomes a national historic
benchmark. On July 21, 1861 the two great armies from the North
and South clashed for the first time on the fields overlooking the Bull
Run. This encounter left 900 dead and 3,800 missing and wounded.
1862 - General Wade Hampton winters in Occoquan
North and the South, and often played an important role in the war.
July 21, 1862, General Wade Hampton had his winter headquarters
in the town at the Hammill Hotel, which still stands at the corner of
Union and Commerce Streets.
1862 - Second Battle of Bull Run
three days, 3,400 soldiers were killed and 20,000 missing and
1865 - Leary's Lumber and Hardware Store Built
hardware store supplied the town and surrounding community with all
their general merchandise needs. The old sales counter is still inside
the front window where it is said to be used by the building's
crotchety elderly apparition, but only after regular business hours.
Mrs. Leary chased kids away and tried to keep the corner quiet.
1863 - Ebenezer Church Founded
first Black church in the area. Reverend Bailey's descendants are still
active in the congregation.
1919 - Fire Devastates Town
town had to be rebuilt.
1928 - First Major Road Out
outside world. The completion of this road allowed a freer flowing of
goods and people in and out of the city.
1972 - Hurricane Agnes
destroyed buildings, sidewalks, streets and the remaining Occoquan
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