A Place in History...

The following excerpts from the Companion Book to the Historic Map of the County, published in 1992 by Historic Prince William

A treasure hunt of established places and practically unknown corners of the County. With a little searching, you can find them all!

Note: Crossroads and Corners by Eugene Scheel is now available as one of the publications from Historic Prince William. The book provides a tour of the villages, towns, and post offices of Prince William county, Virginia - past and present. It is a companion book to the 1992 historical map.


Newport, established in 1787, was to draw commerce from Dumfries, it's deep water rapidly silting in. Cuthbert Bullitt, who lived at Mount View, just north of Newport, had the idea, and had thirty-five lots laid out. Since 1757 there had been a ferry here - "Over the Potowmack River to the land of Roger Chamberlayne" in Maryland and in 1787, a second ferry "from the land of Cuthbert Bullitt . . . across the mouth of Quantico Creek" to Carrborough, Newport's sister town, established the next year for similar reasons. Both came to nought and Mount View, atop Bullitt's Hill, was destroyed by Federals in March 1862 in retaliation for the Confederate Batteries there, set up early in the war to harass Union shipping plying the Chesapeake Bay en route to Washington and Alexandria. Source: Lee H. Lansing.


Barrow's, the 1885 successor to 1787 Newport, was to be a manufacturing city of the Barrow Land Company, owner of some 52,000 acres of iron ore and timer land bordering on the Potomac, Quantico and Neabsco. Previous to Barrow's RF&P station, there was a whistle stop called Bullitt's, established in 1872, and, until July, when the railroad spanned Quantico Creek, the southern terminus of the Alexandria and Fredericksburg Railroad. With the completion in 1889 of the six mile narrow-gauge Cabin Branch Railroad, to the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mines, Barrow's prospered as a shipping and processing center for wood and fish. At one time annual shad shipments ran to 3 million pounds and herring shipments to 15 million pounds. There were several warehouses by Possum Point - called Otterback's Point and Landing during the Civil War - and a long wharf with tipple for pyrite ore, right on the point.

But the Cabin Branch railroad stopped in 1920, the mines became a Depression casualty, and by 1932 Old Possum Point Road had been abandoned east of Horse Grave Branch. The metropolis-to- be's successor became a hunting and fishing lodge, but the railroad platform yet sported the sign "Barrow's'. In 1948, when VEPCO came in with their power plant, ever more massive throughout the years, they took over the lodge and use it still. They also changed the rail stop, now just freight and coal, to Possum Point, the 18th century name. The peninsula is shaped like an opossum with the nose right at the railroad bridge.

Editor's Note:
In Fairfax Harrison's Landmarks of Old Prince William, chapter 34 titled "The Founders of the Towns" (page 664) lists Newport and Carrborough as follows:

1787 - Newport
Record: Hening, xii, 603.
Description: 30 acres of land lying at the mouth of Quantico Creek and in Potomack river in the county of Prince William, the property of Cuthbert Bullitt.
Trustees: Thomas Blackburn, Alexander Henderson, William Grayson, Thomas Montgomery, William Tebbs, Burr Harrison, Jesse Ewell, John McMillan, Ludwell Lee.

1788 - Carrborough
Record: Hening, xii, 684.
Description: 50 acres of land lying on the south side of the mouth of Quantico creek and on Potomack river in the county of Prince William, the property of Willoughby Tebbs.
Trustees: Cuthbert Bullitt, William Carr, John Hedges, Spence Grayson, John Linton, William Linton, William Grayson, Burr Harrison, John Cannon.