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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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 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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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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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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African-American History of Stafford, Virginia

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. As the colony grew, Falmouth and Fredericksburg, situated on the Rappahannock River at the limits of inland navigation, became important seaports. Seagoing…
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The Aquia Train Robbery

This account has been compiled from the Free Lance newspaper of Fredericksburg, Virginia, October 16, 1894, through September 27, 1895, by Robert A. Hodge. Charles Jasper Searcey was born in Palopinto County, Texas, December 12, 1858. He grew into a tall, slender, wiry man with well-developed shoulders, deep-set dark eyes, a low but pleasant voice, and…
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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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