The History of Industry in Fredericksburg

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library  A Different Story: A Black History of Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania, Virginia by Ruth Coder Fitzgerald.    These chapters are of particular interest: Chapter 2, Occupations and Owners (Antebellum period) and Chapter 13, Occupations (post-Civil War). Economic Challenge and Mercantile Enterprise in a Southern Urban System: A Case Study…
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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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Thomas Armat: Fredericksburg Native Was an Inventor of the Motion Picture Projector

By Dan Enos, CRRL Volunteer Most Fredericksburg cinephiles have to content themselves with a life far removed from the gaudy glamour of the flashy film world that has its yearly peak as “award season” takes over Hollywood. However, if not for the ingenuity and tenacity of Fredericksburg-born entrepreneur and movie projector inventor Thomas Armat (1866-1948)…
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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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A Return to Sunken Road

Fredericksburg rises from the fall line of the Rappahannock River. Its natural hills are generally considered to be just part of the scenic landscape. Wealthy townspeople, such as the Willis and Marye families, built their mansions on the heights. Before the Civil War, the scenery was pleasant but otherwise unremarkable. Days to Prepare In November…
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