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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John Adams Elder: Fredericksburg’s Artist of the Civil War

By Barbara Crookshanks On October 6, 2007, the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, 907 Princess Anne Street, opened a retrospective exhibit of the paintings of Fredericksburg artist John Adams Elder, "Fredericksburg's Artist of the Civil War." The retrospective exhibit, the first of Elder's work since 1947, included portraits, landscapes, and paintings of the Civil…
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Downtown Hotels Abounded in the 19th Century

By Barbara Crookshanks Today, Fredericksburg ponders the building of a single downtown hotel, but during the 19th century, Fredericksburg was known as a town of hotels. Some were large and elegant. Some catered to specific clienteles. All left their mark on Fredericksburg’s history. Most people traveling from Washington to points south stopped over in Fredericksburg…
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Mary Ball Washington: “His Revered Mother”

By Barbara Crookshanks Fredericksburg's Mary Ball Washington was an intrepid 18th-century woman who raised five children alone. The oldest became the first President of the United States. Mary Washington's name and heritage are alive and well in the Fredericksburg area and beyond. Her home is at the corner of Lewis and Charles streets; the Mary Washington Monument is on…
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