A rare sight: Aquia exposed


From Hennessy (for a prior post on the evolution of Aquia Landing, click here):

At our program at Aquia on August 6, local resident Jim Hazzard approached me with some images he’d taken a couple years before. They were remarkable. They showed the pilings to the massive docks at Aquia Landing completely exposed. This rare opportunity was the product of an uncommonly low tide, low water, and a strong NW wind that blew the water off the point at Aquia Landing. Jim took about thirty photographs, and we share a number of them here.

The wharves and docks at Aquia Landing were not the haphazard jumble the remnant pilings would suggest. Rather, the images reflect the fact that the docks at Aquia were burned four times (thrice by the Confederates) and rebuilt four times–each time, apparently, on a slightly different footprint. Not only are these images are evocative–bringing to us tangible evidence of what otherwise has vanished–but they could (and perhaps will) offer archeologists an opportunity to unravel what appears to be a jumble.  As mentioned before, Stafford County has received a grant to perform archeology (including underwater archeology) at Aquia Landing in the next 18 months. It will be very interesting to see what the archeologists add to our store of knowledge about the place.

By the way, there’s no hint of a locomotive in these images…  (click here to see what I am talking about).

I include a slideshow of the images here, and beyond the jump a few of the better images in larger form, for those of you who would like to explore them yourself.  We are very grateful to Jim Hazzard for sharing these remarkable pictures.

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3 thoughts on “A rare sight: Aquia exposed

  1. The comparison image from Harper’s along with the Civil War Trails marker is wonderful. A very exciting series of images. I am sorry I was not able to attend the program.
    Apparently this exposed sand bar was more of a constant feature in 1862? Is the Trails sign near where people are seen approaching a small bridge at lower left of the Harper’s picture?
    Thank you, Mr. Hazzard, for sharing.

    • John: the trails sign is actually at the point, in the midst of the Union buildup. The bridge in the Harpers image is about a half-mile from the point. The pilings shown in the modern images were then and are today entirely under water–in fact about three feet or more, which is why the pictures of them are so unusual and valuable. John H

  2. Mr. Hazzard

    I live near Aquia Landing and went to your presentation with great interest. I came away with a greater apreciation of the area in which I have lived for the last 30 years. Thank you for your time and sharing these images. I have shared them woth others who could not attend.

    Biff Kadis
    Brooke Virgina

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