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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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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Westmoreland County’s African American History

Westmoreland County’s African American history dates back to the 17th century. During the earliest years, both slaves from Africa and white indentured servants were imported to the Northern Neck (the land between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers) to work on farms and plantations, with African slaves becoming more prevalent over time.  17th Century – The…
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Hartwood History

Beyond the I-95 Corridor Drive out Route 17 north from Falmouth, past the strip malls, the shopping centers, and the subdivisions, and you’ll find that as the roadside gets less crowded, the scenery becomes more historic. In the 18th century, this corridor was more a place for pioneers than for fancy plantation owners, though there…
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Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days, Part I

William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine (William and Mary Quarterly) Volume XXVII, No. 2. October 1918. pp. 73-95. Parts II and III may also be read online.  FREDERICKSBURG IN REVOLUTIONARY DAYS PART I. In a charming diary kept by him while under indentures to Colonel William Daingerfield, of Belvideira (a plantation on the river about seven miles below Fredericksburg) John Harrower a clever Scotchman…
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Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days: Part II

"Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days: Part II" The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Jan., 1919), pp. 164-175. Parts I and III are also available to read online. In November, 1775, Harrower tells us of a muster of the minute men of the district, composed of the counties of Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George, and Stafford, which was held…
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Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days: Part III

Source: The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Apr., 1919), pp. 248-257.  Parts I and II may also be read online.  FREDERICKSBURG IN REVOLUTIONARY DAYS (Concluded) PART III. We come now to the record of one of the most important of Virginia's institutions for the prosecution of the war: the manufactory of small arms established by ordinance of the Convention of July…
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Walk Through History . . . Caroline Street

By the Fredericksburg Area Tourism Department 130 Caroline Built c. 1855. The style and design of this Greek Revival townhouse are identical to its neighboring duplexes, although this is a single family dwelling. Extensive changes have altered the architectural similarities shared with 132-138. Note bay window and wing additions. 132,134,136,138 Caroline Built 1855. These Greek Revival townhouses are mirror images…
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Ellwood: A Crossroads in History

For more than two hundred years, this Spotsylvania farm has stood as a witness to Virginia history. Originally carved from land given to colonial Governor Alexander Spotswood, Ellwood willingly hosted two armies-that of the Marquis de Lafayette during the Revolutionary War and General Robert E. Lee during the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. However, in 1864…
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Early Ice Houses

By Roy Butler 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…
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