On Sale:   
Daisy Turner's

On Sale:
The Circle
On Sale:
Fredericksburg Memories

Central Rappahannock Heritage Center 
A place that loses its history loses its soul
Message From The Chairman
The Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region last month awarded CRHC a Duff McDuff Green Fund grant for a new copier. It will replace an 8-year old copier funded by a previous Duff Green Fund grant. We are very grateful for this money that will provide a more reliable copier with enhanced features!
Bill Shorter, a long-time CRHC volunteer, received Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc.'s President's Exceptional Service Award for "... notable leadership and initiative in support of preservation in the Fredericksburg area." Among his other contributions, Bill conducts extensive research at the City archives on historic properties. Congratulations and thank you, Bill. We all benefit from your time and expertise!
The Heritage Center closed March 17, joining many other entities to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Our tentative reopening date is May 5. CRHC volunteers work at different times on different days, sharing computer equipment, workstations, work tables, copiers, etc. Processing collections and responding to research requests requires handling archival documents. It simply is impossible to sanitize all these surfaces after each use. So no volunteers will be at the Center to answer research requests and telephone calls. We ask for your patience and understanding. In the meantime, our website is available for research 24 hours a day every day of the week.
The most important thing now is to observe reliable medical guidelines, stay connected with family, friends, and business associates via telephone, social media, and the internet, and safeguard your health!

Barbara Barrett, Chairman
The Heritage Center 
Welcome New Members
Kenneth Snellings
Patricia Reedy Carol Walker

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

Jon and Meredith Beckett

Lucy and Wayne Harman

Donna and Nat McCague

Kitty Farley and Vic Ramoneda

Jim & Betsy Greene

Barbara H. Cecil

Barbara Barrett

Ben Hicks

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


The Rappahannock region is resilient.  Since the first European settlers came in the 17th century, citizens of this area have been faced with overwhelming odds, which they have overcome.  Before those settlers, the native people survived wars, famine and disease. A rich tradition of oral history has passed those stories through the generations.

Often, several events occurred at once.  At the beginning of the Civil War, in 1861, the Fredericksburg area was flooded with soldiers from all over the South, like those from the 1st Arkansas.  Outsiders, meant to defend from invading Union forces, became ill with scarlet fever, measles, small pox and typhus.  Troops occupied low-lying, swampy areas of Stafford County near the Potomac.  For generations, locals had fled the heat, humidity and insects and moved to the higher and drier areas during the summer months.  Not possible for the Confederates who had to defend the river.  Then fighting came with many casualties.  Afterward, the residents pulled together and rebuilt their lives and businesses.

Life continued into the twentieth century.  America kept to itself until being pulled into World War I.  The War Memorial at George and Barton Streets gives testimony to those sacrifices.  When the soldiers came home, it is believed they brought the Spanish Flu.  It struck down the young and the healthy.  Family stories contain accounts of grandmothers, uncles and children who perished.

The area continued to grow and to prosper, thanks to the Sylvania Plant, which made cellophane.  It opened at the eve of the Depression.  Every family had a least one member who worked there.  It afforded jobs for chemists, clerks, drivers, mechanics, laborers - all skill levels.  Others worked at Fort A.P. Hill, Marine Corps Base Quantico and garment manufacturers.  There are few stories about poverty and deprivation due to the stability provided by these employers.

World War II brought more changes and challenges, including the Flood of '42.  Civilians and military members came to support war efforts at the local bases.  Finding the area pleasant, marrying into local families, many stayed on contributed to the growth and diversity of the area.  We have continued to prosper and now we are faced with another challenge, a world-wide pandemic.  Make no mistake, this will bring changes, but we are strong people, we will survive.

We can't invite you to visit the Center right now, but you can take this time to do many productive things at home.  Think of those family records, photos, genealogy research - all those things that you have put aside for a rainy day.  Now is the time to work on these projects.  And if you do have items you wish to share with the Center, please let us know.

Take care and we hope to see you soon.

Beth Daly
Volunteer, The Heritage Center

The Heritage Center gladly provides research services.  Please contact The Center for rates.
Temporarily closed.
There will be no volunteers available to answer the phone.

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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