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
Several years ago Arlene Rager, a Center volunteer, made and donated scarves for a CRHC fundraiser, but more volunteers than others bought them! At another volunteer's suggestion, Arlene is turning the remaining scarves into dozens of face masks. It takes her about an hour to make each mask, which she offers to grocery store clerks, friends, neighbors, and other CRHC volunteers. While the fabric is heavier polyester, not cotton, the masks provide some protection to those who may have none. Kudos to you, Arlene!
The Heritage Center's tentative reopening is mid-June; an exact date will be announced later. Depending on their area of responsibility, a few Board members separately go to the Center to check the facility, process checks or bills, conduct data management tasks, and perform other essential activities. The Center remains closed to visitors. We ask for your continued patience until resuming our usual schedule and services. Many CRHC volunteers are eager for this to happen, as they miss their colleagues and work.
We safeguard each other by following safe hygienic practices and physical distancing. To the extent possible, financially support local nonprofits and businesses to protect those in need and our community well-being. Our heartfelt thanks to those providing essential services!

Barbara Barrett, 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 archive 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.

Keeping Busy

Among the Heritage Center's many collections, one has tremendous implications for African American history in the area. Ruth Coder Fitzgerald, a come-here and former Peace Corps volunteer and her husband, Barry, realized there was a void. There was no definitive history of the local African American population, even though African Americans had been in the area as long as European settlers. Most were brought as slaves, although by the Civil War, Fredericksburg had nearly an equal number of free men and women.

Mrs. Fitzgerald sought to rectify this omission. For nearly ten years, she researched, studied and interviewed to gather information. In 1979, she published A Different Story. Before she died in 2013, Mrs. Fitzgerald donated her research and her husband's photographs to the Heritage Center. Recently, the Center has had some of those tapes converted to digital format.

This time of self-isolation or quarantine seemed to be the perfect time to do some transcription. Mrs. Fitzgerald recorded James Randall Montague (1888 - 1979) and his wife, Rosa (or Rose Bud) Juggins Montague (1900 - 1980) on 15 February 1978. Mr. Montague's father, Thornton, was born a freeman, but his grandfather, Edward, was born in slavery. Mr. Montague had some memories of his grandfather, but had not discussed slavery with him. Mr. Montague only had a little schooling, typical for the time; he had to work. He worked in Washington, DC, Amherst, NJ, Indian Head, MD and finally for the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad in the Brooke area. In 1921, he married Rosa; they were married until Mr. Montague died in 1979. In the interview, they reminisced about going to school. Mrs. Montague went to school until she was 10, and only a few days a week because she was needed at home. As an adult, she did domestic work, recalling the names and temperaments of her employers. They both spoke of their teachers, Bettie and Naomi Lewis, Annie Morton Hamn and Mrs. Richardson. Both were long-time members of Mount Hope Baptist Church (near Brooke and Andrew Chapel Roads). When he was 12, Mr. Montague recalled being baptized in Silk Worm Pond. The church was built on land donated by Armistead Dishman, a successful African American.

There are more tapes and more history. When the Center reopens, we hope you will visit the Center and take advantage of our research material.

Beth Daly
Volunteer, The Heritage Center

Collections Update

We have all raided, emptied, cursed, or otherwise abused our refrigerators, garages, closets, attics, and basements. Many products and materials have found their way to the areas landfills. Hopefully certain items such as old photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, business records, or any number of other paper records survived the first onslaught of "so much time at home"! 

The Heritage Center is always interested in preserving paper records from the Central Rappahannock Region. And in this time of relative confinement, the opportunity exists to uncover or rediscover family records. And if donated, these records will be professionally preserved; and they are always accessible. Indeed, one of our stated goals is to make the information contained in The Center archives available for research. 

The Center is in position to assist homeowners wishing to save their family or business records. We will work with you and look forward to hearing from you. Consider a donation today.  We care for all records. Please contact me at Jreifenberg@crhcarchives.org for more information.

John Reifenberg
Collections Manager

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
See what's happening on our social sites: