Virginia's Oldest Chartered City-You Might Be Surprised

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker

Virginia's Oldest Chartered City
Most people think Old Town Alexandria is Virginia's oldest charted town but they would be wrong.  As you drive down Route 1 between Woodbridge and Quantico you pass through an area known as Dumfries.  It doesn't seem much like a historic area but it is.

However chartered one day before Old Town on May 11, 1749, Dumfries was a thriving cultural and commerce center in its time.  Founded by Scottish merchants, the town had large tobacco warehouses and was the second largest port in the colonies only surpassed by Boston.  Dumfries was also known as a cultural center with theaters, race tracks and artisans.

When historians talk about thriving port cities of the 1700's they mention Boston, Charleston and Alexandria but not Dumfries.  Perhaps part of the reason is because today there is no port.  Try as hard as you would like but you won't find any remnants of the port and in fact as you are driving on Route 1 you are actually driving where the port used to be.  For reasons that are still unclear in the early nineteenth century silt began filling the port making it unusable. 

There are plenty of new waterfront developments being built close to the Dumfries area in eastern Prince William County so perhaps in a 21st century way the town will regain some of the glory of the past.

Comments (11)

Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Hi Pat, thanks for sharing some interesting history about Virginia's Dumfries!  With best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year! Silvia

Jan 03, 2010 04:18 AM
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

Silvia-thanks for stopping by. 

Jan 03, 2010 11:28 PM
Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com - Dallas, TX

Pat Interesting never knew that I love history.  I do hope you had a fabulous Holiday, look forward 2010!

Jan 04, 2010 01:21 AM
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

Lynn thanks for stopping by.  The year is starting out great and hope that it is a peek into another busy year.

Jan 05, 2010 12:37 AM
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

Very interesting!  I don't think I had heard of Dumfries until today.  Thanks for the interesting information. Have a great day!

Jan 07, 2010 11:00 PM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

thanks for the history lesson - you are right, I would have never guessed!

Jan 08, 2010 06:38 AM
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

I actually thought there were a lot of places in Virginia that were older than even 1749.

Jan 08, 2010 02:37 PM
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

Irene-Thanks for stopping by and getting a little local history.

BarbaraJo-even locals think of Old Towne Alexandria as our oldest chartered city.

 

Jan 08, 2010 11:29 PM
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

Jim-the key is "chartered" city.  Virginia of course has Jamestown which is far older than Dumfries but it was never officially a city.  Strange how those little pieces of history work.

Jan 08, 2010 11:31 PM
C M C D
Charlottesville, VA

always good to learn a little more about the history of an area

your friend in Charlottesville Virginia!

Feb 22, 2010 07:23 AM
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

You live in an area rich with history.

Feb 23, 2010 12:09 AM