Occoquan Creek flows in front of you. Occoquan is an American Indian word meaning at the end of the water. The Dogue Indians may have named this creek. They lived in the area for centuries before European exploration and were part of the Alqonquin nation.
The Dogues' main village of Tauxenent was located near the Occoquan, most likely on Mason Neck directly across Occoquan Creek from this location. Dogue people called that land Myampses. Early colonial land patents refer to it as Dogg's Island.
Englishmen established Jamestown in May, 1607. As their relations with the local Powhatan people became hostile, they explored further inland. In June, 1608 John Smith led an expedition up the Potomac and found the Dogues' king's howse. As many as 175 people occupied this village, which Smith referred to as Tauxenent. Smith's men met the "Toags" who "?did their best to content us."* ? Dogue society was complex and long established. Dogues lived in communal longhouses. They hunted, fished, ate seasonal foods and grew numerous crops. These crops included corn and native tobacco, which the Dogues taught English settlers to cultivate.
As more English colonists arrived in Virginia, tension between the colonists and the Indian people increased. By the mid-1600s, Europeans began to settle in what became Prince William County. Most Dogue Indians left their homes on the Potomac River and the Occoquan Creek and moved inland.
* From Captain John Smith's History of Virginia, David Freeman Hawke, ed., the Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., Indianapolis & New York, 1970.