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 Board of Directors meets later this month to discuss The Heritage Center's reopening and ways to keep our volunteer staff and visitors safe. The Governor's executive order to wear masks indoors, while prudent, presents a practical concern for those who wear glasses that fog up while reading documents and keying data into our database. Hard to sustain that effort for long!  Disinfecting computer equipment, work station, and telephone between use by each volunteer requires utmost care. Most volunteers are in the age group deemed most vulnerable to the coronavirus. These and other issues will shape the Board's decision about when and how to reopen.
Several Board members deserve special recognition for their work during this time. Diane Ballman, Meredith Beckett, Kitty Farley, Amy Olney, and John Reifenberg have faithfully checked the facility and separately performed basic management tasks during our closure. Thank you!
The Free Lance-Star recently featured an article about the preservation, transcription, and digitization of letters written by a Civil War soldier. Jerome Pierce left his wife and little daughter to join the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment in August 1862. He died at the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in May 1864. He wrote 210 of the 273 letters in the collection. The multi-year-efforts by local National Park Service staff and volunteers and University of Mary Washington students and staff have enabled widespread access to these documents via a recently created website. Thanks to all those involved. The preservation of and access to such rich historic materials resonate deeply with Center staff and supporters.

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.

One Thing Leads to Another - Down the Rabbit Hole

Last month's article introduced you to the Montagues, a couple interviewed by Ruth Coder Fitzgerald in 1978. Mrs. Fitzgerald was collecting information for her book, "A Different Story," published in 1979. It was the first definitive history of African Americans in the central Rappahannock area.

The interview was taped and recently converted to digital media. Although some of the interview was clear, quite a bit was hard to understand and raised more questions. One was, where did the Montagues live? And this brings into play why the Heritage Center's collections are invaluable.

Several years ago, Scott Mayusky, Commissioner of the Revenue, Stafford County, was updating his office. He had inherited from his predecessor, the late George Gordon, several file cabinets of 4 x 6 cards. On these cards, Mr. Gordon, who had been in his job for over 40 years, made notes about each piece of property in Stafford. They are handwritten, mostly in pencil. Notes that say things like, "subdivided in 1965; lots given to daughter and son-in-law." With these notes, a researcher at the Center was able to determine where the Montagues had lived. Until 1985, Stafford mailing addresses were rural route numbers; having nothing to do with Stafford road numbers. In the early 1980s, Stafford set about naming and numbering the roads. Residents were able to name their own roads, or when the road had a traditional name, like Brooke, Eskimo Hill, Ramoth Church, or Widewater Road, it was formally adopted. The County assigned the numbers and thus Stafford has the system of road names we have today. The Montagues lived at Route 2, Box 547. This part of Route 2 turned into Montague Loop, off Eskimo Hill Road. Other parts of Route 2 became Brooke Road and other nearby roads. From the information on Mr. Gordon's invaluable cards, we could determine the neighborhood where the Montague family lived. There were several Montague houses on the Loop and to this day, there are descendants who live in the area.

Live or own property in Stafford and want to know more about it? A search of Mr. Gordon's carefully maintained records may provide that information.

Beth Daly
Volunteer, The Heritage Center

Collections Update

As we enter another phase of safe practices, many people may be on their third or fourth "clean-up".

Perhaps some photos survived, or maybe some old correspondence. Maybe business records or other depictions of times past may have initially escaped the rubbish bin. 

It is important to remember that The Heritage Center is still accepting collections. And we will work with donors to make as seamless a transition as possible.

Additionally, we have stepped up our research capabilities and offer those services too. Please consider a donation of and to history or take advantage of the time at home to explore your roots through our archives.

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
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