Virginia's First Highways

Virginia's First Highways (HM26GT)

Location: Alexandria, VA 22305
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 50.003', W 77° 2.856'

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City of Alexandria Est. 1749

—Potomac Yard —

When Native Americans moved into the Mid-Atlantic region of the Untied States they traveled on the waterways created overland routes for hunting, migration, and trade. In essence, they were Virginia's first highways. These routes often followed the easiest terrain and most efficient paths around natural features and between destinations. In fact, 17th- and 18th-century European settlers frequently capitalized on the efforts of Native Americans and constructed their own roads and railroads atop these ready-made paths.

Prior to European settlement and exploration in the 1600s, American Indians in the area used the Potomac River as a major trade route and fishing ground. Many groups eventually located villages along the Potomac and tributaries to take advantage of easy access to food and travel.

"The manner of making their boats in Virginia is very wonderful. For whereas they want instruments of iron, or others like unto ours, yet they know how to make them as handsomely, to sail with where they list in their rivers, and to fish withal, as ours.
17th-century Roanoke Island Colonist

The Potomac Path: Native American Highway
One of the earliest land-based trade routes used by the first Virginians in the region was the Potomac Path. The Potomac Path began as a foot

trail that followed a natural ridge between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers; this path was a major overland trade route for the native people. Portions of the Potomac Path were utilized by white settlers and became the King's Highway. Eventually, these routes became modern-day roads such as Route 1 and Alexandria's Telegraph Road.

When Captain John Smith explored the Potomac River by boat in 1608, he noted that people from the Tauxenent (later known as the Dogue) group lived near the future site of Alexandria. These people were on the periphery of the larger Powhatan Confederacy.
HM NumberHM26GT
Placed ByCity of Alexandria
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, April 1st, 2018 at 7:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 322271 N 4300279
Decimal Degrees38.83338333, -77.04760000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 50.003', W 77° 2.856'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 50' 0.18000000000001" N, 77° 2' 51.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2915-2989 Potomac Ave, Alexandria VA 22305, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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