On Sale:   
Daisy Turner's

On Sale:
The Circle
On Sale:
Fredericksburg Memories
Can you help identify this photo?
Central Rappahannock Heritage Center 
A place that loses its history loses its soul
Message From The Chairman
While recently sorting through family memorabilia, I found a small envelope with my grandparents' name written on it. Inside was an invitation to a wedding "on Wednesday, June the twenty seventh one thousand nine hundred and six" at a church in my hometown in Washington state. I did not recognize the names of the bride and groom. An online search revealed the groom was a surgeon trained in Chicago. Several years after their marriage the couple built a home at an address I recognized. Loath to throw the invitation away, I searched for possible descendants who might treasure having this 113-year old bit of family history. Several fruitless phone calls and an hour later, I gave up.
I recounted my experience a few days ago to a Heritage Center volunteer. She advised sending the invitation to my hometown historical society or museum, saying they wouldn't discard it. Of course! Just as people elsewhere have found similar items relevant to our area's history and sent them to the Center for safekeeping. Remember this as you examine historical records of your own family or business.
Something else I found? A miniature box containing a brick-like piece of my parents' 90-year-old wedding cake. Its destination was not a regional archive!

Barbara Barrett, Chairman
The Heritage Center 

Bill Vakos Jr.

Jon and Meredith Beckett

Lucy and Wayne Harman

Kitty Farley and Vic Ramoneda

The Cohen Family 

The Greene Family

To become a Heritage Center Sponsor, please visit our website.  If you have any questions, please contact The Heritage Center at (540) 373-3704.

Welcome New Members

 Jonathon Gerlach
Sherri Haag Sue Bullock Eley Michael Spencer

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 over 45 volunteers.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at The Center, please email Donna McCague.

Salem Church Dam   

In response to the Fredericksburg floods of 1942, the Salem Church Dam across the Rappahannock river was authorized by Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers, but no funding was provided.  The benefits would be flood control, water supply, lake recreation, and hydro-power .

The dam would be built 5.6 miles upstream from Fredericksburg and the existing Embrey dam, and would have been 230 feet above sea level, or 196 feet above the riverbed.  The flooding would have turned the wild and scenic river into a flat-water reservoir that would have stretched 25 miles upstream to Kelly's Ford on the Rappahannock and to Raccoon Ford on the Rapidan.

Debates between proponents and opponents continued until 1974 when Congress shelved the project, having decided the benefits would not justify the cost.  Lake Anna, built in 1968 to support the nuclear power facility, and Motts Run Reservoir, built in 1971 to supply water to Fredericksburg, obviated the need for the Salem Dam Reservoir to provide water recreation or increased water storage.  In 1983 Congress totally scrapped the idea.  The estimated cost to build the dam at that time was $300 million. 

In anticipation of a dam construction, Virginia Electric & Power Co. had bought 4,700 acres of land along the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers that would have been flooded.  In 1969 the city of Fredericksburg bought those 4,700 acres for $450,000, since the dam project had been shelved.

After the Salem Dam project was abandoned, Fredericksburg City Council spent many years pondering how to manage this land.  Efforts led by the Friends of the Rappahannock convinced the city council in 2006 to place these 4700 acres into a perpetual conservation easement under a full-time watershed manager to control pollution as well as commercial and residential development.  With the demolition  in 2004 of the much smaller Embrey Dam, the river was fully restored to its wild and scenic state.

Wallace Morton
Volunteer, The Heritage Center

Collections Report

Newly acquired collections include:
  • 1888 plan of the crib dike at the Fredericksburg bar
  • Additional photos from the Rappahannock Garden Club


John Reifenberg
Collections Manager, The Heritage Center
Can you identify this photo?
Click on picture to enlarge

Pappandreou Collection

In the early 1900's, John Pappandreou opened the Athens Cafe. The second photo shows the interior of the cafe with the owner, his family and friends.

Do you know what business occupies the building today and where is it located? 

Click on picture to enlarge

Please contact Sharon Null at snull@crhcarchives.org with information on these pictures
The Heritage Center gladly provides research services.  Please contact the center for rates.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 
10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturdays by appointment
Please call to schedule during weekday business hours
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 

Fredericksburg Memories
A Pictorial History of the 1800s through the 1930s

On sale now at The Heritage Center

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