Virginia Johnson

Making the Most of Strawberry Season

First, a Little History

Originally, strawberries were wild things. Their unique flavor and sweetness led to their cultivation. At Monticello, Thomas Jefferson grew Alpine Strawberries, a European import, among other varieties and shared the seeds with his friends. The plants were hardy and delicious, but the berries were tiny. Jefferson remarked that "100 would fill half a pint." Wild strawberries grew freely in abandoned fields and woods and were gathered by Indians and colonists alike.

Rappahannock Romance: Planning a Local Wedding

If you met here and fell in love here, why not marry here? The region has many lovely venues, whether you prefer a riverside retreat, an historic site, or a formal ballroom. Having your wedding in your community also has advantages for those who have never visited our region as well as local guests.

Flowers, photographs, gowns, and tuxes are all part of a big wedding day, but there are some significant extras you can factor into your occasion to make it even more memorable:

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.

Online Auctions for Fun and Profit

Game tickets, antique china, power tools, jewelry, laptops, cars, pianos--they're all available online, new or used, cheap or pricey. If you haven't learned the in's and out's of the online auction yet, this is a good time to start. With the holidays just around the corner, think of online auctions as another option for finding gifts, decorations, and those gotta-have's that always seem to pop up around this time of the year. Have a house bursting at the seams with too much good stuff already? Downsize online, and pick up a little cash to cover the holiday bills.

A Time to Mourn

Often the anguish of death is too much to be borne alone. Deep, seemingly perpetual depression is exhausting to the mind and the body as well as the spirit. Know that there are others who have trod the path of grief and are willing to listen to your thoughts and memories, and that there are others who have written works that may show a healing mirror to your own journey.

A reaction to loss can be rage or tears, years of the silent pain of denial or a dedication to a project in memory of the life of the beloved.

Medal of Honor Winner Was Spotsylvania Native

The huge boulder rolled deliberately in the middle of the road was the first sign of trouble. On May 11, 1889, along a dusty trail in Arizona, an unlikely bunch of desperadoes made off with $28,000 in gold from U.S. Army Paymaster Major Joseph Washington Wham. Buffalo Soldiers from the 24th Infantry were part of the 12-man escort that would go down fighting that day.

Let's Go Fishing

Ponds, lakes, streams, and, of course, the Rappahannock River—there are lots of places to drop a line in the area. Whether you’re new to fishing or want to wade back in, we have suggestions on where to fish locally and books that will help you get your lines cast and your lures tied.

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.

Growing a "Greener" Garden and Lawn

Does hot July find your lawn a patchy, scorched remnant of greener times? Perhaps it bothers you that your green recycling efforts may be countered by the water and chemicals that seem necessary to maintain the visible herbal greenness.

Why Even Have a Lawn?

Well, they're a terrific place for the kids to play. Summer evenings + cool, green lawn + kids = throwing a football. Red Light—Green Light. Badminton. Wading pools. Water games. Tire swings. Firefly captures. Etc.