- Virginia Johnson
Every year brings a lot of newcomers to the northern Stafford area. At first glance, they may see its many stores, wide roads, and convenient subdivisions. That’s modern Stafford, bedroom community to D.C. and Quantico Marine Corps Base. But Stafford County has a significant place in history, too.
Well-known local historian Jerrilynn Eby’s Land of Herrings and Persimmons is a tremendous volume that chronicles the county’s farming and industrial past, place by place, including Stafford County communities that were enveloped and lost when Quantico was established.
In its many pages, you will find documented stories of people who lived in colonial, antebellum, and post-war Stafford. Eby has gleaned the history behind the sites, from the lady with three young children who spent a few years in an asylum before regaining her place in society (Windsor Forest, p. 143) to the doctor who died slowly of cancer in the days when there were few to no treatments, leaving a messy court battle in his wake (Stone-Gordon Farm, p. 587).
Although many of the places mentioned are merely names on signs now, if even that, by going through court records of the day, the author has unearthed much that will be of interest to history-minded readers. Jerrilyn Eby has written many other books about Stafford, including They Called Stafford Home: The Development of Stafford County, Virginia, from 1600 until 1865; Land of Hogs and Wildcats: People and Places of Lower Stafford County, Virginia; Men of Mark: Officials of Stafford County, Virginia, 1664-1991; 45th Regiment of Virginia Militia, Stafford County, Virginia, 1781-1856 with Biographical Notes on Over 1,600 Militiamen; and Laying the Hoe: A Century of Iron Manufacturing in Stafford County, Virginia: With Genealogical Notes on Over 300 Families.