Colchester Ferry was a key crossing point over the Occoquan River near Belmont Bay in the 18th century. With the lack of developed bridges, ferries and fords were needed to cross waterways. In September 1781, Colchester Ferry and its nearby fords were utilized by Generals Washington and Rochambeau on their way to Yorktown, followed by the combined Franco-American Army’s artillery and wagon train. The latter, traveling along the King’s Highway, encamped along Pohick Creek and Giles Run near the town of Colchester before crossing the Occoquan River. After the surrender of Cornwallis’s British army at Yorktown, both the American and French forces moved along this same route to New York City and Boston, respectively.
The historical marker can be found at the following GPS coordinates 38° 39’ 40′ N * 77° 14’ 51′ W