Lake Jackson, Virginia

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Lake Jackson is an unincorporated community in Prince William County, just southeast of Manassas, Virginia. It lies on Lake Jackson 38°41′56″N 77°27′10″W / 38.69889°N 77.45278°W / 38.69889; -77.45278, a reservoir that was created by the Lake Jackson Dam 38°42′18″N 77°26′53″W / 38.70500°N 77.44806°W / 38.70500; -77.44806 on the Occoquan River. The dam was created in 1927 by Charles W. Alpaugh. The community, the lake, and the dam are all located in suburban Prince William County. The lake is surrounded by 600 homes.[1]


The area of land where the lake now resides was once 800 acres (3.2 km2) of farmland. The area was known for its Moonshine stills and yellow pine timber. In 1927, Charles W. Alpaugh created a dam that was 300 feet (91 m) long and 25 feet (7.6 m) high. This original dam was built in a staircase pattern. It took over two years to create with the aid of local laborers. Once finished with the dam, Mr. Alpaugh sold the rights of the dam to General Electricity. General Electricity then smoothed the dams service with a layer of 2 feet thick concrete, added a tainter gate, and a concrete walkway. The original dam was designed to house two turbines that together could produce 720 KW, but it was upgraded to produce 1 MW. To raise the lake's water level high enough, they used flash-boards which made it possible to use the hydroelectric all year round.

Charles W. Alpaugh learned early on that the hydroelectric generation would not be the source of income he desired, so instead he then built 30 log cabins around the newly made lake to create a summer residence. Up until about 1955, the dam was used as the power source to all of the inhabitants of the surrounding area.[2]

Residential history[edit]

Originally created as a summer escape for the wealthy, Lake Jackson has become a year-round residence for many people. It was rumored that in its earlier years, Lake Jackson was a weekend and summer get-away for Washington D.C. officials. Today, residency includes the average lake-lover, families, and everyone in between. Organizations include a neighborhood citizens association, garden clubs, neighborhood watch, a road committee, and the Lake Jackson Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department Auxiliary.[3][4]

Notable Residents[edit]

·Willard Scott (Weatherman) [5]

·Marjorie Holmes (Author) [6]

A notable home on the lake, called Alvictus, is widely known to have served as a "safe house" during the Cold War. It was built to Victor Purse, who was the Acting Deputy Chief of Protocol for the State Department, and later became the department's Executive Director for Administration.[7]


Lake Jackson stems off of the Occoquan River and is located in Manassas, a city in Prince William County. This Northern Virginian lake is 12 miles (19 km) long and is surrounded by approximately 800 acres (3.2 km2) of land.[8]


Wildlife records are created through personal sightings. Birds inhabiting the lake include robins, sparrows, finches, heron, woodpeckers, geese, ducks and hawks. One bald eagle is known to inhabit the area as of 2016. In January 2010, residents reported sighting two mature adults and one juvenile. Mammalian sightings include: squirrels, foxes, raccoons, possums, beavers, bats, otter, and deer. Tree frogs and bullfrogs are widespread, as well as turtles and snakes, including the copperhead. There are many different types of fish, including sunfish, crappie, bass, and catfish.[9]

Public Access[edit]

Public access to the lake is restricted to fishing from the shore only. Boating and swimming are not allowed in order to protect the water quality. This has been the case since 2004, with several attempts to modify access restrictions having been blocked for various reasons.[10]


  1. ^ "Lake Jackson,Virginia". Find Lakes. 2010. March 30th, 2010.
  2. ^ "History". Lake Jackson, VA. 2010. March 30th, 2010.
  3. ^ "Organizations". Lake Jackson, VA. 2010. March 30th, 2010.
  4. ^ "History". Lake Jackson, VA. 2010. March 30th, 2010.
  5. ^ "Out and About in Lake Jackson". Priscilla Jones. Lake Jackson, VA. 2016. April 27, 2015.
  6. ^ "Out and About in Lake Jackson". Priscilla Jones. Lake Jackson, VA. 2016. April 27, 2015.
  7. ^ "Out and About in Lake Jackson". Priscilla Jones. Lake Jackson, VA. 2016. April 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "News". Lake Jackson, VA. 2010. March 30th, 2010.
  9. ^ "Wildlife". Lake Jackson, VA. 2010. March 30th, 2010.
  10. ^

Coordinates: 38°42′09″N 77°27′17″W / 38.70250°N 77.45472°W / 38.70250; -77.45472