Ferry Farm

By Jerrilyn Eby Ferry Farm is best known as the childhood home of George Washington, though it has a history that predates the Washington occupancy. Augustine Washington bought the property in 1738 from the heirs of William Strother (c.1700-1732). Strother had first lived at the family estate, Millbank, in King George County and served as…
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Book Corner: Building Empathy through Children’s Books

By Caroline Parr Developing empathy, reducing impulsiveness, improving decision-making even when upset – these are all social and emotional skills that children build slowly, with lots of help from caring adults. Locally, the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board provides the Second Step program to schools and child care programs where children can work on these…
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Scented Geraniums Were Stars in Victorian Bouquets

By Barbara Crookshanks Scented geraniums' modest flowers are almost invisible among the big blossoms of their flamboyant cousins...but their fragrant leaves made them the secret stars of Victorian Valentine bouquets. "Once no bouquet was deemed complete without a bit of this fragrant foliage," wrote Louise Beebe Wilder in her 1932 classic, The Fragrant Path. She suggested…
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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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