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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Hunter’s Island Vineyard

By Robert Hodge In 1883, Charles E. Hunter, an industrious Fredericksburg foundryman, purchased what was then known as Beck's Island just below the dam in the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg. Two years later he purchased a tract known as the "Falls Farm." On these properties, under the supervision of Mr. George Arnaud, a Frenchman who…
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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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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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History of the Rappahannock River

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library The Civil War on the River Lines of Virginia, 1862-1864 "Trask argues that the bloody engagements on the river lines were the most important battles of the Civil War in the East, far surpassing even the dramatic contests at Antietam and Gettysburg in significance. During the Civil War, the…
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