Falmouth

Union Church of Falmouth: The Power of Preservation

When the storm destroyed Union Church’s roof in 1950, there wasn’t much to be done about it. It had not been used since 1935, after all, and rebuilding a church requires a committed congregation. But churches are centers of the community, and during its lengthy, active history, Union Church was established as an important part of Falmouth’s past--and America’s, too. So, in an effort to preserve what they could, local people bricked up the narthex (the front of the church) to house a few things from years gone by, including a bell and a pew dating to just after the Civil War. What we see today is a slice of the original building, but that building has quite a history and what was preserved will soon be shared at the new National Museum of African American History on the Washington Mall.

Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days, Part I

William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine (William and Mary Quarterly)
Volume XXVII, No. 2. October 1918. pp. 73-95. Parts II and III may also be read online. 

FREDERICKSBURG IN REVOLUTIONARY DAYS
PART I.

In a charming diary kept by him while under indentures to Colonel William Daingerfield, of Belvideira (a plantation on the river about seven miles below Fredericksburg) John Harrower a clever Scotchman, and schoolmaster to the youth of the Daingerfield and other neighboring households, was wont from time to time to copy letters which he had addressed to his "kith and kin" across the seas. In a letter to his wife in Lerwick in Scotland, sent under date of December 6, 1774, Harrower, after alluding to the "hote war" on the frontier which had terminated in the sanguinary battle of Point Pleasant: the conflict known to history as Dunmore's War, refers to the trouble then brewing between the Mother Country and her American colonies.

Accommodating Revolutions: Virginia’s Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810

By Albert H. Tillson, Jr.

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The Northern Neck runs from Falmouth in Stafford County all the way down to Windmill Point in Lancaster County, bounded by the Rappahannock River to the south and the Potomac River to the north.  Now it’s a sleepy section of Virginia but it was once called the Athens of the New World.

What a foreign world it seems to us today—the antebellum Northern Neck--where wealthy white plantation owners bought and sold slaves with ease along with the services of bound whites for years at a time. How could such a system that relied on keeping people in their places and maintaining the established order bring forth some of the greatest leaders of the Revolutionary period? History is complicated, and Accommodating Revolutions digs into court documents and newspaper accounts to flesh out what was going on with those who served the gentry as the winds of political and religious upheaval shook Virginia.
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Laying the Hoe: a Century of Iron Manufacturing in Stafford County, Virginia: with Genealogical Notes on over 300 Families

By Jerrilynn Eby

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For nearly a century, iron manufacturing dominated the economic, social, and political fabric of Stafford County, Virginia. In the mid-1720s Principio Iron Company, the eighteenth-century leader in American iron production, built a charcoal-fired blast furnace on Accokeek Run in Stafford. Accokeek’s furnace and store served customers within a six-county region. Employment opportunities at the furnace created a diversified economy and encouraged people from all walks of life to settle there.

The late 1750s witnessed the creation of James Hunter’s Iron Works near Falmouth. Originally intended as a forge and multi-purpose milling facility, this operation quickly grew to be the New World’s largest manufacturing center, producing a wide variety of consumer goods as well as quantities of weapons and supplies for Continental troops.

In addition to exploring the scope of each business and its impact upon the region in which it existed, the author has identified hundreds of people involved with or employed by Accokeek Furnace and Rappahannock Forge.
The only known surviving business ledger from Accokeek Furnace is included as a CD-ROM in the back of the volume.
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Stafford County

By De'Onne C. Scott

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Fascinating photos of people and places from Stafford's past.
Part of the Images of America series.

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Come to an Archaeological Investigation in Falmouth

On October 17 & 18th, 2009, the public is invited to observe an archaeological dig at the Historic Magistrate's Office--Stafford County's oldest existing municipal building, dating to about the 1820s.

Archaeologists are conducting a small dig along the foundation to try to determine when the building was constructed and if there was anything present prior to this building. Visitors will learn about the history of the site and methods of archaeology.

Parking is available in the lot behind the Historic Magistrate's Office; entrance from Washington Street.

Drive Through Stafford County's History

By Stafford County Historical Society

1. AQUIA CRUCIFIX AND BRENT CEMETERY

The crucifix, erected in 1930, memorializes the first English settlers of Stafford County, the Brenta. Colonel Giles Brent of Maryland and his Piscataway Indian wife settled at the mouth of Aquia Creek in 1647. His sisters joined them, one of them being Margaret Brent, prominent landowner and attorney, a remarkable achievement for a woman of that time. The Brenta, who were Catholic, welcomed others of all religions to settle in the Aquia area.

Fighting for Civil Rights: A Battleground in the Old Dominion

From October through the end of December, 2006, the Fredericksburg Area Museum hosted a traveling exhibit, Civil Rights in Virginia.

Teachers were encouraged to bring middle and high school students to the museum to come face to face with this turbulent time in the state's history. An excellent exhibition curriculum guide, The Story of Virginia: Becoming Equal, is available for educators.

Gari Melchers: Stafford County's Artist in Residence

In 1916, Gari Melchers, an internationally famous painter, purchased the Belmont estate in Falmouth, Virginia. With the exception of some European travel in the 1920s, he made this his permanent home during the last decades of his life. Area residents and visitors are privileged to be able to visit this gem of a museum which combines a glimpse of the artist's home life as well as a tour of his studio.

Casino Island Park

In the summer of 1910, hundreds of electric lights shed their radiance on the Rappahannock River for the opening of Casino Island Park.