Virginia History

06/22/2010 - 2:59pm

Between April and September 1862, an estimated 10,000 slaves fled the South through our region. As part of the local Civil War Sesquicentennial commemorations, the Trail to Freedom project was designed to give the public a better understanding of the experiences of those whom the war impacted greatly but are often only a footnote in history books.

06/03/2010 - 5:10pm

The time was sunset on Sept. 23, 1779. A full moon was rising. The place was the bloody deck of John Paul Jones’ ship the Bon Homme Richard. There a young Spotsylvanian named Laurence Brooke would show the stuff of which heroes are made.  At age 21, he was the lone surgeon on the Bon Homme Richard as it engaged the 50-gun HMS Serapis in the North Sea off Scarborough, England. The burning Serapis surrendered after a 3 1/2-hour battle during which John Paul Jones proclaimed: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

06/01/2010 - 10:58am

Down the old plank road from Fredericksburg towards Culpeper--today's Route 3 West, you'll find the still-standing and ruined remains of many a grand Virginia plantation. One of these was home to Charles Nalle, who escaped from slavery in hopes of reuniting with his already-freed wife and children. In 1860, the streets of Troy, New York, became the scene of a struggle between the  Harriet Tubman's Underground Railroad supporters and the slave hunters who had been sent to retrieve him.

04/01/2010 - 11:19am
Environmentalism and historic preservation have their own histories, and it's the former that's presented in this new book. What were the struggles and who were the heroes of the movement in Virginia? This is the story of how the Old Dominion's state parks, historic easement programs, and environmental foundations came to be in the 20th century.
03/29/2010 - 11:33am

"By the King's Patent Granted" was a common embossing on English medicines of the 18th century. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries patent medicines reigned supreme as cures for everything from "hooping" cough to kidney ailments.

04/02/2010 - 9:53am

The inhabitants of early Fredericksburg enjoyed a cool drink during the hot summer months, just as we do today -- hence the massive excavations referred to as ice houses. These brick-lined, wood-floored structures were generally 15 to 20 feet in depth and 12 to 15 feet in diameter.

Dairy products, meats, and other perishables had to be kept cool, and what better way to do it than to cut the ice from the Rappahannock or a local pond during January, store it in a circular, subterranean cavity, cover it with straw, and preserve it for the warm months ahead.

Mac
03/19/2010 - 10:49am

Long before Lassie became a famous film star there was another collie who was courted by movie directors. This remarkable "dog with a human brain" had his day in a Fredericksburg court room and escaped the death penalty.

03/24/2010 - 11:24am

In the year 1675 four interesting events were recorded in Stafford County. Three of these were considered omens of the fourth, and the fourth was considered of significance to the history of our area.

The first event was in the heavens. In the southwestern sky, for more than a week, each day appeared a large comet with a long tail resembling that of a horse on a windy day. The Indians and the whites alike wondered what might be the meaning of this heavenly sign.

03/16/2010 - 10:04am

This account has been compiled from the Free Lance newspaper of Fredericksburg, Virginia, October 16, 1894 through September 27, 1895, by Robert A. Hodge.

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