The Weddings of Five Famous Virginia Brides

By Barbara Crookshanks These five brides from three centuries left distinctive imprints on Virginia history. One was a humble serving girl; another was an Indian princess. The other brides were a mother, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter whose marriages would place them at the forefront of national affairs. For each, their weddings were times of celebration. The…
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The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy, Chapter 1

By Robert Krick The first 18 pages of The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy: The Death of Stonewall Jackson and Other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia, by Robert K. Krick, are reprinted here with permission from the author and publisher, Louisiana State University Press, which retains all republication rights. Library copies of The Smoothbore Volley are available…
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Hunter’s Island Vineyard

By Robert Hodge In 1883, Charles E. Hunter, an industrious Fredericksburg foundryman, purchased what was then known as Beck's Island just below the dam in the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg. Two years later he purchased a tract known as the "Falls Farm." On these properties, under the supervision of Mr. George Arnaud, a Frenchman who…
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Fredericksburg’s Battlefield Granite

By Noel Harrison, NPS A longtime area resident, Noel Harrison is Manager of Easements for the Fredericksburg office of the National Park Service. To the almost-forgotten past belongs the story of Fredericksburg’s “Battlefield granite” quarries, once touted as being among “the most valuable granite properties in the United States.” The term, “Battlefield granite” is a trade name…
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The Narrow Gauge Railroad

By Robert Hodge In 1852, Fredericksburg businessmen were concerned with the failure of the Rappahannock Canal (see Fredericksburg Times, Jan. 1978), the impassability of the turnpike, the incomplete state of the plank road and the loss of county trade to the Alexandria markets via the railroad. A meeting was held and it was decided to revive…
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The Heritage of Sophia Street

By Roy Butler The late archaeologist Roy Butler explored the historical significance of this early street, believed to have been named for Sophia Dorothea, sister of George II and mother of Frederick the Great of Prussia. When we think of Fredericksburg history as it relates to Sophia Street, we immediately bring to mind a few specific remaining structures and…
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The Energy-Efficient Lifestyle

Adopting an energy-efficient lifestyle will not only save you money on your electric and/or gas bills, but it also will help the environment by releasing fewer greenhouse gases and creating less of a demand for non-renewable energy resources, such as coal, petroleum (crude oil), natural gas, and propane. According to the Department of Energy's Energy Information…
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