Its site on the Potomac River allowed Occoquan to become a center for iron smelting, gristmills and sawmills, and shipping. These industries declined after Occoquan Creek silted up. Fire and floods have destroyed many of the older buildings, but some survive. Occoquan's location along I-95 has made it a bedroom community for northern Virginia and a small boat center, and it has developed an “olde towne” atmosphere of faux Victorian and Colonial Revival. Among the buildings of note are Rockledge (1759; 412 Mill Street), attributed to William Buckland, a six-bay, two-story stone house, originally the home of William Ballendien, who established the iron furnace. It has burned and been restored several times. Ellicott's Mill (1759; Mill Street, west end) is a three-and-one-half-story gristmill in ruins. The former Mill House (c. 1755; 413 Mill Street), is of stone and brick. The remainder of the town has a variety of nineteenth-century structures, some with identifying plaques and dates.
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Occoquan Historic District
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