Hunter’s Iron Works

By Jerrilynn Eby James Hunter (1721-1784) was the son of James Hunter, merchant of Duns, Scotland. His uncle, William Hunter, settled in Virginia in the 1730s and was one of the first Scottish merchants to settle in the Fredericksburg area. James was brought up in the mercantile business and soon began making business trips to…
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A Female Soldier in the Civil War: Emma E. Edmonds

By Christie Hoerneman Historians believe at least 400 women served in the Civil War as soldiers, but documented cases are very few. One woman who served with a Michigan regiment and witnessed the Battle of Fredericksburg, Emma Edmonds, documented her time serving with Company F, the Flint Union Greys, of the Second Michigan Infantry Volunteers by writing…
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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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Shiloh Cemetery Graves

Collected by Robert Hodge Local historian Robert Hodge reported in 1981 that this information is from a report prepared by students of Germanna Community College circa 1979. The report is not verified and was unsigned. Indeed, there is a variation in the name Bumbrey - represented as Bumbray here, but there are stones with Bumbrey…
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Fire in Fredericksburg

By Dan Enos One of the charms of Fredericksburg, especially in the downtown historic/business district, is the old-timey, small-town feel that is created by the many 19th-century structures still in use today.  However, despite the fact that people have been doing business here for well over 300 years, not much of the existing downtown Fredericksburg…
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Walk Through History . . . Mill Sites and Water Power

From the Greater Fredericksburg Tourism Partnership INTRODUCTION Fredericksburg is located at the falls of the Rappahannock River - the point where the flat, sandy, coastal plain meets the hilly, rocky piedmont to the west. This is where the river becomes unnavigable - rocky rapids and shallow waters make its channel impassable to vessels. However, this…
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A Discussion of Black History in the Development of Fredericksburg

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library Black Laws of Virginia: A Summary of the Legislative Acts of Virginia Concerning Negroes from Earliest Times to the Present by June Purcell Guild. A fascinating and disturbing volume originally published in 1936. Civil Rights: Fredericksburg's Story. In this forum sponsored by the Young Adult Department of the Central Rappahannock…
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Gold in Stafford County

By Jerrilynn Eby Gold was discovered in Stafford during the eighteenth century. In 1787 Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Notes on Virginia, “I know a single instance of gold found in this state. It was interspersed in small specks through a lump of ore, of about four pounds in weight, which yielded seventeen pennyweights [1/20 ounce…
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General Lewis Littlepage: Soldier, Spy, and King’s Confidant, 1762-1802

To the Spaniards, he was known as young Litlpese. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette knew him as the charming Little Peche. In Russia, to Catherine the Great and her favorites, he was the clever and ambitious Litlpaz. The doomed monarch, Stanislas Augustus of Poland, knew him as his loyal Litelpecz. Whatever the name, this often penniless Virginian's brilliant intellect…
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