Since its settlement in the mid-1700s, Loudoun County has been acclaimed for its fertile soil. In the 1850s and 1860s, Virginia was the fourth largest wheat producing state, and Loudoun was one of the state's top-producing counties. Thirty water-powered mills were processing a half-million bushels of Loudoun wheat by 1850.
In the 1700s, oxen took the flour to market in Alexandria. By 1826, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were in operation through nearby Point of Rocks, Maryland. Waterford flour could be hauled there by oxen, then barged to Georgetown or taken by railcar to Baltimore. After the Civil War ended in 1865, and Loudoun's damaged Washington and Old Dominion railroad could be repaired and extended west beyond Leesburg, it was even easier for Waterford area farmers to get their flour to market.
1. Locate Waterford on Map 1.
2. Note the close distance between Waterford, Virginia and Point of Rocks, Maryland.
3. Describe how Waterford flour was transported to markets prior to the Civil War. Trace the possible routes on Map 1.
4. When the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad began to operate in Loudoun County, how do you think it affected the volume of traffic between Waterford and Point of Rocks?
* The map on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Map 1, but be aware that the file may take as much as 22 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.