Virginia History

First New World English Thanksgiving Was Celebrated in Virginia

The Pilgrims get the fame for their feast in New England, but two years prior on December 4, 1619, thirty-eight Virginians at Berkeley Hundred celebrated “a day of thanksgiving’ to God as required by their charter:

Virginia's Historic Homes and Gardens

Beautiful photographs show some of Virginia's best-known and lesser-known historic sites and gardens at their most glorious. Most are open to visitors. Some of the houses mentioned include Abram's Delight, Bacon's Castle, Gunston Hall, Kenmore, Maymont, Oatlands, Point of Honor, and Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest. Includes a bibliography and index.

Virginia Highways

From the Central Rappahanock Regional Library

Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life by Tom Lewis.
The monumental story of the largest engineered structure ever built -- the American interstate highway system -- is told in dramatic text and pictures. This is the companion volume to the PBS documentary series of the same name.

Getting There: The Epic Struggle Between Road and Rail in the American Century by Stephen P. Goddard.
A well-done bit of social history, with its focus on the triumph of the road builders.

Restoring Kenmore: Resources in the Library and on the Web

From the Central Rappahanock Regional Library

Classic Georgian Style by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill.
A thorough detailing of the landscaping and interior design that defined Georgian style. Includes an overview of the Georgian and Regency periods (1714 to 1830), a glossary, and a design directory of the masters of Georgian style, such as Palladio, Chippendale, and Repton.

Fielding Lewis and the Washington Family: A Chronicle of 18th Century Fredericksburg by Paula S. Felder.
Local historian Paula Felder has researched the Lewis and Washington connections thoroughly and gives an interesting yet scholarly introduction to Kenmore's first family and its more famous relations.

250 Years of Freemasonry in Fredericksburg

The year 2002 celebrated the 250th anniversary of the foundation of "George Washington's Mother Lodge." According to the authors of the new book 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.

John Francis Mercer of Stafford County: A Neglected Patriot: Captain of the 3rd Virginia; Anti-Federalist at the Constitutional Convention; Governor of Maryland, 1801-03

The Central Rappahannock region produced many of the men who led the fight for independence and fashioned the new American nation. Some are remembered, and afforded their due. Some, like John Francis Mercer, are not remembered -- but should be….

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…. 

Freeman Funk: Third City Manager of Fredericksburg

Freeman Funk was City of Fredericksburg city manager for 23 years - from 1955 until 1978 - and later served five years on City Council, retiring in 1998. After leaving public service in 1978, Mr. Funk was a consulting engineer. His first wife, Frances Gill Funk, is deceased. Mr. Funk and his wife, Mary Frances Blackburn Moore Funk, live on Franklin Street in a house that Mr. Funk built in its entirety. This is the transcript of the first tape in a series beginning May 14 and continuing on May 21, May 28, and ending September 9, 1999.

Palmer Hayden Comes Home: Discovering a Native Son

By Janet Payne

Janet Payne is the retired fine arts coordinator of the Stafford (VA) County Public Schools.

This article originally appeared in the International Review of African American Art, volume 16, number 1, and is reproduced here with the permission of this publication.

African-American History of Stafford, Virginia

(This brochure was originally printed in the fall of 2002.)

Colonial Times

Africans first arrived in the Virginia colony in 1619 as indentured servants. In the late 1600s slaves were brought into the sparsely settled Rappahannock Valley, primarily to serve as agricultural laborers.