Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fredericksburg, Virginia

We are still in Fredericksburg, Virginia today.  The weather is much better, I have been able to get by in a sweater and have not needed my new coat.  I am sure once the sun goes down I will be needing it, again.  There is still snow on the ground, in the shady areas, but driving and getting around is no problem at all.  I was a bit worried about it since I had the car all to myself today.

Fredericksburg is a very historical town so one might think someone, like me, who has studied American History, would be all over the historical significance of it.  There are battle fields to tour and many many historical markers and sites to read about.  Yet, I chose to study study the history in another way....I went Antiquing. 

Down Town Fredericksburg has quiet a few antique shops to rummage through.  I found that most of the antique shops were typical to what I have found in the antique malls in Dallas, Texas.  You will not find the OLD antique furniture, rather you will see lots and lots of collectables from mid-century up to more current items.  This is fine for me as I have no more room for furniture and little money to spend.  

I went thru about 5 or 6 shops and the very last one I went to had the "dear-to-my-heart" Gooseberry Pyrex refrigerator set....ALL FOUR PIECES WITH PERFECT condition.  The price was right, then I got it marked down another 10% so I said "ring em' up, I'll take em".(this is not my photo, I found it on the web...)


I got very excited when I spotted an old fashioned drug store down the street.  I had spur of the moment fantasies of sashaying in there are ordering a cherry coke from a soda jerk named "Biff"...but I walked in and was very disappointed.  No one acknowledged me.  I walked all over the little store, back in the pharmacy part and everything...the pharmacist did not even say "hello".  It was not the picturesque place I had hoped for.  Even thier little bitty selection of post cards was lacking.  So I walked out, still thirsty for a cherry coke.

I spent all day out and about while David was teaching a class and had such a good time.  I did stop and pay my respects at a few spots, so I can hold my history loving head up high.  I also stopped and took a photo of a stream that was frozen....we do not see sights like this much in my neck of the woods...


in case any of y'all are interested in the historical part of Fredericksburg, I got some info from Wickepedia


Located on the Rappahannock River near the head of navigation at the fall line, Fredericksburg developed as the frontier of colonial Virginia shifted west out of the coastal plain. The land on which the city was founded was part of a tract patented in 1671. The Virginia General Assembly established a fort on the Rappahannock in 1676, just below the present-day city. In 1714, Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood sponsored a German settlement called Germanna on the Rapidan River, a tributary of the Rappahannock upstream from the future site of the city, and led an expedition westward over the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1716.
As interest in the frontier grew, the colonial assembly responded by forming a new county named Spotsylvania (after the governor) in 1720 and establishing Fredericksburg in 1728 as a port for the county, of which it was then a part. Named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of King George II, the colonial town's streets bore the names of members of the royal family. The county court was moved to Fredericksburg in 1732 and the town served as county seat until 1780 when the courthouse was moved closer to the county center. Fredericksburg was incorporated as a town, with its own court, council, and mayor, in 1781.
It received its charter as an independent city in 1879. The city adopted its present city manager/council form of government in 1911.
The city has close associations with George Washington, whose family moved to Ferry Farm in Stafford County just off the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg in 1738. Washington's mother Mary later moved to the city, and his sister Betty lived at Kenmore, a plantation house then outside the city. Other significant early residents include the Revolutionary War generals Hugh Mercer and George Weedon, naval war hero John Paul Jones, and future U.S. president James Monroe.
The city's development and success was based on other significant residents, enslaved Africans with varied skills, who were critical to its growth. "Slaves worked on plantations, on the docks, in iron industries, mining and quarries, mercantile businesses, construction, domestic services, and others were skilled blacksmiths, coopers, cobblers, and draymen. African Americans were vital in the development of the area."[8]
During the 19th century, Fredericksburg sought to maintain its sphere of trade but with limited success. It promoted the development of a canal on the Rappahannock and construction of a turnpike and plank road to bind the interior country to the market town. By 1837, a north-south railroad, which became the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, linked the town to Richmond, the state capital. A much-needed railroad joining the town to the farming region to the west was not finished until after the American Civil War.
Fredericksburg, Virginia, March 1863. View from across the Rappahannock River. To the right is the steeple of the Baptist Church and toward the center is the tower of St. George's Church.
American Civil War: Union Army Soldiers of 6th Corps, Army of the Potomac, in trenches before storming Marye's Heights at the Second Battle of Fredericksburg during the Chancellorsville campaign, Virginia, May 1863. (#B-157) Sometimes mistakenly labeled as taken at siege of Petersburg, Virginia
Wounded soldiers being tended at Marye's House in Fredericksburg in May 1864. Sometimes mistakenly labeled as taken in the field after the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 2, 1863.
During the Civil War, Fredericksburg gained strategic importance due to its location midway between Washington and Richmond, the opposing capitals of the Union and the Confederacy. During the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 11–15, 1862, the town sustained significant damage from bombardment and looting by the Union forces. A Second Battle of Fredericksburg was fought in and around the town on May 3, 1863, in connection with the Chancellorsville campaign (April 27, 1863 – May 6, 1863). The battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House were fought nearby in May 1864.
After the war, Fredericksburg recovered its former position as a center of local trade and slowly grew beyond its prewar boundaries. The University of Mary Washington was founded here in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women. Adopting the name of Mary Washington College in 1938, the college was for many years associated with the University of Virginia as a women’s liberal arts college. The college became independent of UVA and began to accept men in 1970. Recently, the college changed names from Mary Washington College to The University of Mary Washington. A separate campus for graduate and professional studies is located in suburban Stafford County.
Today Fredericksburg is the commercial hub of a rapidly growing region in north central Virginia. Despite recent decades of suburban growth, reminders of the area’s past abound. A 40-block national historic district embraces the city’s downtown area and contains more than 350 buildings dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. Notable homes include Kenmore, home of Washington’s sister Betty, and the Mary Washington House, where his mother spent her final years. Crowds of tourists are drawn to the historic district of Fredericksburg during the summer months.
Other historic buildings and museums include the late 18th century Rising Sun Tavern, Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, and the James Monroe Law Office Museum. Important public buildings include the 1852 courthouse designed by James Renwick, whose works include the Smithsonian Institution’s castle building in Washington and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, and the 1816 town hall and market house. The latter building now houses a local history museum and cultural center.
Nearby points of interest include the George Washington Birthplace National Monument, located 38 miles to the east in Westmoreland County, and the Ferry Farm historic site in Stafford County where Washington spent his boyhood across the river from Fredericksburg. The historic community of Falmouth lies across the Rappahannock to the north and includes the historic house Belmont, home of American artist Gari Melchers.
The area’s Civil War battles are commemorated in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Formed by an act of Congress in 1927, the national military park preserves portions of the battlefields of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. The Fredericksburg National Cemetery, also part of the park, is located on Marye’s Heights on the Fredericksburg battlefield and contains more than 15,000 Union burials from the area’s battlefields.
The power chord of modern guitar was first developed by Link Wray in Fredericksburg in 1958 during his first improvisation of the instrumental piece "Rumble", a single released by Wray & His Ray Men.[9] The local music scene includes a wide variety of genres.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in Fredericksburg.


  1. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time! Love your refrigerator dishes! I'm about 2.5 hours away from Fredericksburg.

  2. Sorry you missed the cherry Coke at Goolrick's! They serve the real thing, with old fashioned cherry syrup, enough to set your teeth on edge. I adore them.
    Some days at Goolrick's you get friendly, other days, not so much, obviously. Still worth the trouble to sit at the counter with a milk shake or soda and a chicken salad sandwich and deviled egg. Glad you had a good time in our little city. I love it here and am very proud to call it home.