The New Nation Birthstone of the Nation Aquia Creek Sandstone

Aquia Creek Sandstone

From an obscure island on Aquia Creek in Stafford, Virginia, came sandstone which was destined to construct America’s most historically significant architectural works.  The stone was never referred to as “sandstone” by our founding fathers.  Instead, it was called “Aquia Stone” since the stone was found on the island or else close to the shore of Aquia Creek.  It was also called “freestone,” as it could be carved freely in any direction without breaking.  The island was purchased by George Brent from the King of England in 1694.  For a century stone was quarried from Brent’s Island and shipped to Colonial America for architectural structures, tombstones, and bridges. After the Revolutionary War, the new nation wanted to construct buildings for the new Capital City.  In 1791, at the request of George Washington and the Commissioners for the construction of Washington, D.C., Pierre L’Enfant purchased the island for the U.S. Government.  Thereafter, stone from Government Island was shipped north to construct the President’s House as well as the U.S. Capitol.

In the 1694 document that gave George Brent the island, the name Wiggington Island was added to the deed in red ink.  It is not known where this name originated.  There are no Wiggingtons mentioned in any chain of title.

Aquia Creek sandstone