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More than 15 miles of Virginia shoreline along the Potomac near Dahlgren were part of a single family domain in the early 1700s. The legendary Fitzhugh family had several estates; one of them included 45,000 acres along the Potomac. Marmion, one of the surviving Fitzhugh mansions, gave its drawing room to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Chotank society was based on tobacco and the river.
More than 1100 acres along the Potomac and Chotank Creek have been preserved through a conservation easement. The Chotank Creek Natural Area Preserve is part of the 1400-acre Cedar Grove farm adjacent to Caledon Natural Area. The property includes hardwood forests, marsh communities, and nesting areas for bald eagles. The property includes a wide variety of natural communities such as seasonal ponds, swamp forests, and hardwood forests. At least two active bald eagle nests are found on the property, which is privately owned and not open for public visitation.