Originally inhabited by the Patowomacks (Algonquian Indians) in the 16th Century, Quantico has been vital to the foundation of American history. Even before the Jamestown Settlement and Captain John Smith explored the banks of the Potomac River in 1608, the Spaniards had visited Quantico over 40 years earlier. The area became a destination for the tobacco trade and was a bustling stopping point for routes between New York and Florida.
The first military presence in the ‘Quantico’ region of Virginia was during the Americcan Revolutionary War. Years later during the American Civil War, control of the Potomac River became vital to both armies and Confederate Civil War cannons had blockaded Union traffic. Around 1916, Marine Corps Commandant Major General George Barnett sent a team to find possible sites for a new Marine Corps base near Washington, D.C and in 1917 – Marine Barracks, Quantico was established.
Today, Marine Base Quantico is comprised of 55,148 acres and is so large, is situated in three counties including Prince William, Stafford and Fauquier. Today, Marines from across the U.S. come to Marine Corps Base Quantico to train, learn, and develop skills.
Visitors can learn about Marine Corps History and Heritage throughout Prince William, Virginia at several sites include: