The 23rd Regiment was the first African American unit to fight against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. They met on the battlefield on May 15, 1864, during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Today’s living history organization, named for the 23rd, is headquartered in the Spotsylvania area and works in conjunction with the John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center Museum.
Most people today have heard of Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly non-stop over the Atlantic Ocean. Fewer people these days are familiar with Anne Morrow Lindbergh, his wife, but, in the mid-20th century, they were both well-known in America and abroad.
Looking for something a little different? From celebrating Christmas as they did in colonial Fredericksburg to learning about winter holidays all over the world, CRRL offers lots of options for all ages. Find the event that’s right for you with Winter Celebrations at CRRL.
Some people today fear going under the surgeon’s knife. It’s mostly a dread of the unknown. What might happen while they are knocked out, unaware of what is going on around them. They may not realize how fortunate they are. In Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, readers are swept back in time to a period before anesthesia was generally used. A good surgeon was a swift, careful cutter who could make the operation as mercifully short as possible for his wide-awake patient. He might even do some good for the patient in the process.
Ever wonder what happened after Lee's surrender to Grant that fateful day at Appomattox? Did everyone simply go back home and pick up their lives as they once were?
Three of the best historians from the National Park Service will present three different topics on three evenings at the HQ Library theater from 7:00-8:00. Each program is designed to give you information you may not have heard before and an opportunity to ask questions.
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." Also available online.
- 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.
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
Each summer, the National Park Service offers free History at Sunset tours which give insights into our area’s Civil War past. Hosted by Park Service historians, they are a tremendous treat for history lovers. Unless otherwise noted, tours begin at 7pm and last about 90 minutes. Here is their schedule and our suggested titles to go with each topic:
The CRRL is proud to partner with area historians, museums, tourism agencies, organizations, churches, and scholars to provide programs and information that can promote understanding of the events that exploded here in the 1860s and their far-reaching impact.
Over the last four years the community has been invited to commemorate—through lectures, re-enactments, exhibits, film screenings, and musical performances—the extraordinary fact that we were a war zone from 1861-1865.
Virginia’s Civil War history sometimes overshadows her Revolutionary past. In For Virginia and Independence, Dr. Ward shares fascinating, adventurous stories of soldiers, some local, whose deeds should be remembered. There’s Peter Francisco, the strongman immigrant soldier; Jack Jouett, Virginia’s Paul Revere; Anna Maria Lane, who dressed as a man and followed her husband into battle; and 25 more.
The year 2002 celebrated the 250th anniversary of the foundation of "George Washington's Mother Lodge." According to the authors of The History of Freemasonry in Virginia, "Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 stands out as one of the brightest Lodges in the early history of Freemasonry in Virginia." Since 1752 it has maintained a continuous Masonic presence in Fredericksburg. Many of the town's prominent citizens have been members, and many of its prominent buildings have Masonic cornerstones.