On Sale:   
Daisy Turner's   Kin

On Sale:
The Circle
Newly Acquired  Collections
Can you help identify this photo?
Central Rappahannock Heritage Center 
A place that loses its history loses its soul
Message From The Chairman

Last month, The Heritage Center was fortunate enough to have been recognized for our wonderful archives and the work our volunteers do to preserve our local history. In the March 6 edition of the Free Lance-Star, there was an excellent story by freelance writer Wendy Migdal, along with some great photos of the facility by Mike Morones.
The Heritage Center was also recently featured on Freehling Finds. The Center's Outreach Coordinator, Beth Daly, appeared with Bill Freehling, Fredericksburg's Director of Economic Development and Tourism, in a video filmed by Jim Gaston, also of Fredericksburg's ED&TA. This video is one of a three-part series on historic resources in Fredericksburg.  Episode 1 featured HFFI and The Center is featured on Episode 2. Both episodes can be viewed online on YouTube. The CRRL/Virginiana Room will be featured in Episode 3. This is wonderful publicity for three outstanding local organizations, so be sure to check out all three episodes!
While we're on the subject of outreach, Beth will be doing a presentation for Mary Washington ElderStudy on May 8 at 10am on UMW's Stafford Campus (off Warrenton Rd., just past GEICO). The subject will be Fitzhugh Lee, based on information from The Center.
Beth's efforts on The Center's behalf attests to the power of volunteerism and what it brings to an organization. This year, April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week.  Signed into law in 1974 by President Richard Nixon, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize and thank those who lend their time, talent, voice and support to causes they care about in their communities. Besides the benefits to society, studies have shown that individuals who volunteer enjoy psychological and physical benefits, increased satisfaction and a sense of belonging. The Heritage Center is unique in that it is an all-volunteer organization, with not a single paid staff or board member. Without our volunteers, the Center would cease to exist so a heartfelt thank you goes out to each and every one of our wonderful, selfless volunteers who do such a fantastic job!

Meredith Beckett
Chairman, The Heritage Center   
Become A Member Today 
Heritage Center memberships support the important work done by The Center.
The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center is a non-profit, all volunteer archives whose mission is to preserve historically valuable material of the region and make it available to the public for research. 
Please join us as part of the Heritage Center's preservation team.  As a  member, you will be helping to preserve our priceless local history.
Click here to become a member today!

Thank you for your support,
The Heritage Center
The Heritage Center Volunteers

The important preservation work of The Heritage Center would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers.

The Center currently has a staff of 53 volunteers.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at The Center, please contact Donna McCague at dmccague@crhcarchives.org.

The Heritage Center Volunteer Spotlight

Sharon Null
Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia   
What brought you to Fredericksburg, and how long have you lived here?

My husband and I were offered teaching positions in Stafford County. We have lived here for 45 years.
Why did you choose to volunteer at The Heritage Center?             

As a retired art teacher (38 years), I wanted to try something different.  In fact, Billy Withers persuaded me to volunteer.  He was right; I do enjoy working at the Center with the rest of you - the fantastic volunteers that you are.
What project are you currently working on?

I do whatever is needed, sometimes I'm just a warm body answering the phones. I also participate in the Collections Committee and work on presentations for The Heritage Center.
How do you like to spend your free time?

"Nannying" my grandson, reading, and gardening.


The recent snow storm brings to mind several that left their marks on our area. The latest was predicted days in advance, people had time to prepare. Except for one day, the area wasn't seriously inconvenienced.

Not the case in the past. Three in particular caught the area unprepared. The first occurred just after the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 11 - 13, 1862. The battle was one of the worst Union losses of the Civil War. Confederate soldiers held the high ground at Marye's Heights. The Union retreated leaving thousands of dead and wounded on the plain below. It was several days before arrangements were made to deal with the casualties. During that time, temperatures dropped; the dead and wounded alike froze.

In April 1887, after the weather had been warm and the trees had started blooming, a blizzard came up from the south. The house in the photo belonged to Robert T. Knox, Civil War veteran and City Treasurer. It is possible to see members of the Knox family on the porch peeking out at the snow. The photo is inscribed, "R.T. Knox residence, taken April 1st, 1887. Cottage Corner of Prince Edward and Fauquier Sts, Fredericksburg, VA." The Center is fortunate to have this rare photograph.

Another storm that left a mark was the Knickerbocker Blizzard, 27 - 29 January 1922. It earned its name because the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater in Washington, DC, collapsed under the weight of the snow, killing a prominent Fredericksburg couple, Captain Reginald Henley Conroy Vance and his wife Clarissa. Vance, born in England, was president of the Planter's National Bank. The Vances were attending a performance of "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford."

We can all be thankful for improved weather forecasting, stricter building codes and better communications. Come explore the records at the Center to see how if the old days were truly the good old days.

click on picture to enlarge

R.T. Knox residence, April 1st, 1887

Beth Daly
Volunteer, The Heritage Center

2018 Fredericksburg Wall of Honor Nominees

The Fredericksburg Memorials Advisory Commission is seeking nominations to the City Wall of Honor for 2018. The Wall of Honor recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the welfare of the city and the betterment of society. Nominees must have been dead for at least one year.

You can find the Wall of Honor Application on the city website: fredericksburgva.gov.  If you have questions, email Tonya Lacey, Clerk of the City Council, at tlacey@fredericksburgva.gov.  The deadline for nominations is May 15, 2018.

Newly Acquired Collections

Acquired collections for the month include:  
  • Documents relating to a local resident's political career and his participation in the Main Street organization
  • Drawings of the Trinity Episcopal Church sanctuary, circa 1880
  • A Sidney Hamer catalog
  • The book Jamestown People to 1800
  • 14th installment from the Rappahannock Rotary Club
  • Two boxes of documents from a local attorney
John Reifenberg
Collections Manager, The Heritage Center  
Can you identify this photo?
click on picture to enlarge
Lions Club Show, 1956   
Courtesy of the
Frances Funk Collection

(L to R) Lou Silvey, Kitty Jones McKann, Virginia Ann Freeman, Jean Zeaman

Thank you to Lynda Jon Cowper Baer, Carter Frackleton, Patti Lynch, Marian McCabe and Lou Silvey for helping to identify the picture.

Adegbalola Collection, photos from Harambee Productions

Please contact Sharon Null at snull@crhcarchives.org

click on picture to enlarge 
The Heritage Center gladly provides research services.  Please contact the center for rates.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 
10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First Saturday each month 
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or by appointment 
900 Barton Street #111
Fredericksburg, VA
(540) 373-3704 

Click here to join the CRHC mailing list and stay up to date with what is happening at the Center!

The Circle Unbroken: Civil War Letters of the Knox Family of Fredericksburg  
On sale now at the Heritage Center 
$29.70 for members 
$33.00 for non-members  

Daisy Turner's Kin
An African American Family Saga
Jane C. Beck 
On sale now at the Heritage Center 

Central Rappahannock Heritage Center | contact@crhcarchives.org  540.373.3704 | crhcarchives.org
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