History Blog

About Ancestry Library Edition

You can search genealogy collections from North America, Europe, Australia, and more with Ancestry® Library Edition. There are over 4 billion listings for individuals found in more than 4,000 databases. Ancestry® includes many censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court & legal documents, directories, photos, maps, and more.

His Royal Highness Frederick, Prince of Wales

By Sue Willis, CRRL Staff

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

"Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (1707-1751)" Dictionary of National Biography. Volume VII, pp. 675-678
A detailed article from the revered source for British biography. Available in the reference section of the headquarters library.

Accessing the Old Newspapers of Fredericksburg

There have been newspapers published in Fredericksburg since 1788. (The only gap came in 1862-65, when the city was devastated by war.)  Fredericksburg has been a one-newspaper town – the Free Lance-Star –- since the 1920s, but before that many newspapers were published locally…. 

The Ghosts of Fredericksburg

Ghost stories abound in our area. From a lovelorn lass at a colonial mansion to a Virginia patriot fallen on hard times to soldiers for whom the battle goes on, our region is rife with spirits of all sorts. This fall, take time for a tour of the Ghosts of Fredericksburg.

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.

Spotsylvania African-American Church Celebrates 150 Years

On October 18, 2009, Little Mine Road Baptist Church will be marking its 150th anniversary. Founded just before the Civil War, the congregation first met in a tent. According to an article in the Free Lance-Star, the members weren't able to buy the land to build their permanent sanctuary until 18 years later in 1877, and the current structure was built in 1974. A series of special worship services October 18 through 20th will celebrate the church's long history.

Stafford County May Get New Museum at Chatham

According to an article that appeared in the Free Lance-Star on 10/10/2009, Stafford County is working with the National Park Service to place a museum on the whole of the county's history at Chatham, a National Park Service property.

John Brown and the Raid on Harper's Ferry

October 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.
Born in 1800 to an abolitionist couple, John Brown was raised to believe that slavery was a sin and an insult to God. These beliefs influenced his actions throughout his life.

The Way It Used to Be: The Town Hall Before the Fredericksburg Area Museum

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

In the Stacks 

"Be Careful Where You Park: Archeology in Fredericksburg Market Square," by Joshua Duncan. Fredericksburg History and Biography (Volume 1) (2002): 26-39.
This article is about the early history of Town Hall/Market Square and the archaeological excavation of the Square.

The History of Industry in Fredericksburg

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

A Different Story: A Black History of Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania, Virginia by Ruth Coder Fitzgerald.
These chapters are of particular interest: Chapter 2, Occupations and Owners (Antebellum period) and Chapter 13, Occupations (post-Civil War).

Economic Challenge and Mercantile Enterprise in a Southern Urban System: A Case Study of Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1835-1880 by Keith Edward Littlefield.
A doctoral dissertation written under the auspices of the University of Maryland, Graduate Studies in Geography. 380 pages.

Fifty Years of Service in the Printing Business, 1894-1944: Fiftieth Anniversary, May 10th, 1944 by Robert A. Kishpaugh.
Mr. Kishpaugh noted important local dates in the city's history in his 31-page book.

Four Mayors of Fredericksburg: An Oral History collected by Archer Williams.
Mayors Cowan, Rowe, Cann, and Davies recall the events of their administrations in 20th-century Fredericksburg.

Spotswood's Iron by Ralph C. Meima.
Alexander Spotswood's blast furnace was an important early step for industrialization in the Virginia Colony.

Fredericksburg Business Directories
The library has the 1852 directory (photocopies) and the 1888-89 directory (combined with Alexandria). The 1892, 1910 (copied), and 1921 directories are also available. CRRL has a run of directories from 1938 to the present with the exceptions of 1957, 1960, 1963, and 1988 which are missing.

The Fredericksburg Fire of 1807 by Edward Alvey, Jr.
The 1807 fire destroyed six city blocks, including 45 homes, plus warehouses and stores.

The Fredericksburg Times.
This local magazine often featured articles by local historians. A separate index is available.

The Fredericksburg Wood Working Plant by Peter Pockriss.
Built in 1896 and shut down in 1904, the wood working plant produced milled lumber and house trim for orders that were shipped as far as New York City and Boston. It was adjacent to the old Bridgewater Mills, near Amaret Street.

The Free Lance-Star Historical and Industrial Number: Portraying the Glorious Past and Future Possibilities of Fredericksburg, Virginia (1907) edited and compiled by Albert E. Walker.
This intriguing glimpse into Fredericksburg's industrial past is complete with photos. An index, compiled by Robert Hodge, is available separately.

Historic Fredericksburg by Oscar H. Darter.
A 55-page account, written in the 1950s, by a local historian and college professor. Each year, the University of Mary Washington's history department gives a scholarship in honor of Dr. Darter’s memory.

History of Fredericksburg, Virginia by Alvin T. Embrey.
A history written in the 1930s that includes biographical notes.

The History of the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia by S.J. Quinn.
This lengthy 1908 history is often affectionately referred to as "Quinn."

The Journal of Fredericksburg History.
Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc.'s annual, illustrated, and scholarly volume.
Oral History Index, 1997-1999 indexed by Ruth Coder Fitzgerald.
An index to Historic Fredericksburg Foundation's oral history project. Click here for a listing of titles.

Reference Materials for Historic Preservation 463 Laboratory in Museum Design and interpretation compiled by John N. Pearce, Tad Czyzewski and Kathy J. Beard.
Contents:
The Industries of Fredericksburg, c1720-1996
Fredericksburg Business Data
City/Battlefield Industrial Park (Fredericksburg Industrial Park)
Fredericksburg Businesses: Major Employers
Fredericksburg: All Businesses, by Street
Documents relating to the creation of an exhibit with the working title, "Industrial Fredericksburg," at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center
Major headings from A History of Technology, Volumes III, IV, and V, and from Technology and Society in Twentieth Century America