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.
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.
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.
This account has been compiled from the Free Lance newspaper of Fredericksburg, Virginia, October 16, 1894 through September 27, 1895, by Robert A. Hodge.
The grand houses created by 18th-century Virginians are a huge tourist draw, but what does their design tell us about the natures of the men who built them? The auhor "illuminates the fortunes, motivations, and aspirations of the wealthy and powerful owners who built their 'homes' with the object of securing their status and impressing the public." Among those included are the houses of Governor Alexander Spotswood, William Fitzhugh, the Lee family of Westmoreland, and Thomas Jefferson.
Originally published in 1850--less than 75 years after the war--this attractive reprint of a history classic gives a unique narrative to the conflict based on the author's travels to the original sites, some of which are now unrecognizable. The Field-Book contains many illustrations by the author of places, people, and objects important to the history of the American Revolution.
Born a slave in Franklin County, Virginia, Booker T. (Taliaferro) Washington went on to become a nationally-known leader and educator. He shared his educational philosophy with U.S. presidents and served as the first president of Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University.
Whether you're planning on an Old Dominion road trip or just enjoy breezing through the centuries with a guidebook in hand, check this one out to discover the sometimes surprising histories of our state's counties and cities. From the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
Anyone interested in Virginia's earliest colonial history ought to get to know the passengers and crew of the Sea Venture. This ship was sent to relieve Jamestown's starving colonists but never made it. The survivors landed on Bermuda, known as the Devil's Isle, where their saga continued. Their story was the inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest.