American Historic Small Towns Itineraries
A Civil War Experience at the Manassas National Battlefield Park, Family Arts and Entertainment, History at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, National Parks and the Outdoors, Antique Shops, Cafes, Restaurants, Art Stores and Boutiques in:
Bristow Most of the Bristow Area was previously part of the Linton's Ford Plantation, owned by the Linton Family from the 18th century. In 1894, Sarah Linton converted to Catholicism, the property was deeded to the Roman Catholic Church and the Linton Hall School was founded. However in the late 20th century, much of the original property was sold to developers to raise money to support the school.
Dumfries the largest town in Prince William County was chartered in 1749. It is named for a town in Scotland from where a locally prominent merchant hailed. It grew in wealth and importance as a tobacco port rivaling New York and Boston; soil erosion and silting ended the trade. Today, Dumfries is known as the oldest continually chartered town in Virginia, home to the Weems-Botts Museum and as keeper of much of our Nation’s early history.
Gainesville was once a changing point for stagecoach horses on the Fauquier & Alexandria Turnpike. In 1852, the Manassas Gap Railroad reached the area and the stop became Gainesville. The town was a shipping point for grain, timber and cattle and remained a major shipping point into the early 1960’s. During the Civil War, nearby Thoroughfare Gap in the Bull Run Mountains served as a path for soldiers to reach the First and Second Battles of Manassas.
Haymarket, in northwest Prince William, owes its location to an abandoned Indian hunting path which became Old Carolina Road. It was used by settlers as a route from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas. Haymarket grew around the intersection of Carolina and Dumfries Roads. It was burned by Union troops in 1862. Since then, the town has been revived with a collection of quaint restored buildings and shops.
Manassas is 10 square miles of homes, the arts, entertainment and community events. With more than 40,000 residents, it serves as a transportation and business hub. Steeped in history and tradition, the city center has an old town feel with a city square type event pavilion - the Harris Pavilion. Residents and visitors can watch a band or attend an ice cream social in the summer and ice skate in the winter. The city also offers a museum rich in Civil War and local Virginia history.
Nokesville The center of a farming community with cattle and dairy farms, Nokesville became an intermediate stop on the Orange & Alexandria Railway in 1865. From the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s, Nokesville was the location of a religious movement called the German Baptist Brethren, later known as the Church of the Brethren. In the 1950’s, it was cut off from passenger train service and remains a rural community today.
Occoquan In the early 1600s, the Occoquan River Watershed was occupied by the Dogues, an Algonquian tribe. In the Dogues' Dialect, Occoquan means "at the end of the water." It has been a successful industrial settlement as well as the site of Civil War skirmishes. Today, Occoquan is known as a small community that is rich in history with local shops, a waterfront, outdoor dining, ghost walks, and a boat dock.
Quantico Rich in military history, Quantico is the only town in the U.S. that is completely surrounded by a Marine Corps Base. Quantico's military tradition dates back to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, when the area was used by Virginia Naval elements. The area also spent time as a resort community called "Potomac". Incorporated in 1872, it takes its name from a Douge Indian word meaning “by the large stream”. Today it is home to a notable Marine Corps Base, established in 1917.
Woodbridge Rich in history and natural beauty, it offers a
wide range of recreational and leisure opportunities. Outdoor recreational
enthusiasts can access both a state and national park, the Potomac River, and
numerous hiking and biking trails. Woodbridge is also the place to be for
shopping and dining with Potomac Mills directly off of Interstate 95 and
numerous small shops and restaurants throughout the community.
Potomac Mills Rippon Lodge Leesylvania State Park
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