I have been doing a lot of genealogy work with the American portion of my family. This has brought me to want to explore different places where I believe my ancestors footsteps may have been placed, and explore what I can find about their lives. This is a new journey for me, so I was not quite prepared to connect the dots between my family and Occoquan, VA but it was great to see such a beautiful and historical town.
I started out at Mom’s Apple Pie Company in their wine section, since I love wine. They had a wonderful selection of Napa, European and South American wines among others and each section also included some organic wineries. After perusing a number of options, I chose an organic Spanish Tempranillo.
I then headed over to the tourist information center where I found out about the tours that people can do, with their phone or following a map that show the historical locations in the town that relate to the civil and revolutionary wars as well as the history of the community and the industry. The conversation that I had with the tourist center led me to start my way toward the museum which was four blocks away. I decided to check out a few shops along the way.
Artists Undertaking Gallery was a wonderful place. The art is varied, the artists are local and part of a co-op which means that they all share some of the responsibilities of keeping the gallery going. I love collaborative environments so that made me very happy to learn. I met one of the artists, who was working behind the counter. He made some very beautiful artisan wooden boxes. Jon Kaufman is someone I highly suggest looking into for fans of wooden boxes that have inlays and lovely details hand made.
I also stopped into Tastefully Yours which is a gourmet market that advertises wine and beer tastings and gelato. I ran upstairs to check out the tasting. Again, I was sold on a Spanish blend and surprisingly convinced to buy some blueberry beer, that was more pilsner than hops or wheat, which is better for my allergies. When I went downstairs I mentioned that my manche go cheese would go well with the wine and the lovely sales lady had some cheese in her hand she was planning on recommending but I declined. I am pretty cheese-monogamous with my manchego.
I did make it to the museum and I got some great advice. I did not however come prepared with family information so another time, I would like to do the research into which relatives were in the area and try and put together some stories.
Occcoquan was beautiful on a cloudy day, I can only imagine in the summer the fun that can be had in the water with standing paddle boarding, and kayaking, or just wandering around and enjoying the outdoor dining. I highly recommend it for a visit.