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
Throwback Thursday on November 7 at Kybecca's in downtown Fredericksburg was a fun event and a successful fundraiser for The Center. Thanks to all the sponsors and participants for making it so!  And special kudos to CRHC volunteer staff Amy Olney and Meredith Beckett for creating the idea and executing it so well.

The Center is again partnering with Pediment Publishing in its production of a second book of Fredericksburg area photos dating through the 1960s. Pediment seeks original photos showing people and events in the City and Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties. If you have such photos, bring them to The Center on Thursday, December 12, from 2-4 PM to be scanned. Your originals will be returned to you immediately and may be among those included in the book. (Street parking is available next to The Center. Note: Pediment asks you to fill out a form for each photo submitted to identify what/who is pictured and when. Download the form at FredericksburgArea.PictorialBook.com.)

The Center will be closed from December 24, 2019 (Tuesday) through January 2, 2020 (Thursday). Few if any visitors drop in during this 2-week period; closing will allow our staff to enjoy their own family get-togethers and holiday festivities.

Remember, The Center follows the schedule set by the Fredericksburg Public Schools for weather closings and delays. Please check www.cityschools.com in case of inclement weather. Our website, however, is always open for business.

May you have a joyous holiday season!

Barbara Barrett, Chairman
The Heritage Center 
Welcome New Members
Timothy Manley
Gwen Piatt

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

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.

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 Meredith Beckett.


What makes a tradition? The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines tradition as an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious practice or a social custom).

Holidays are all about traditions. In the fall, we start with Halloween which has grown from a night of costumes and candy collection to weeks of decorating, parties, cemetery walks, ghost tours and zombie parties. Then we almost skip over Thanksgiving and go onto Christmas. In Fredericksburg and at the area malls, Christmas trees sprouted in the flower barrels, tinsel, ornaments, wreaths and lights appeared right after Veterans Day. Yet, families and friends still do celebrate Thanksgiving. Food sections in the newspapers are full of Thanksgiving fare, special ad inserts offer traditional foods - turkeys and all the fixings, yams, green beans, pumpkin pies; and harvest decorations are on sale. Once into December, it is all Christmas trees, poinsettias, ornaments, decorations, lights, Santas, snowmen, reindeer, sleighs, parades, Christmas markets, craft fairs, musical performances, gifts and wrapping.

Over time, traditions do evolve. Holidays used to be associated with families. Now that people are much more mobile, gatherings with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents may not be possible. People celebrate with friends and neighbors. Thus the relatively new tradition of Friendsgiving, begun about 2007, where friends gather and eat a large meal.

Many of us still celebrate the "traditional" events. The first weekend of December brings the annual Fredericksburg Christmas Parade, Handel's Messiah 50th Anniversary, and the 41st Spotsylvania Christmas Parade. The second weekend brings the National Park Service's annual observance of the Battle of Fredericksburg, Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Inc.'s 49th Candlelight Tour, and the Stafford Christmas Parade. There are countless markets, craft shows, decoration workshops, parties and concerts between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.

If you want to know more about Aunt Elsie Lewis's angels, Harold Ballard's Santa Claus, or Lem Houston's holiday social calls, come to the Heritage Center.

Kay's Kindergarten float in the Fredericksburg Christmas Parade 1970.  Click on picture to enlarge.

Beth Daly
Volunteer, The Heritage Center

Collections Report

The Giving Season is here and this seems like an appropriate time to highlight a few of our collections. Besides Caroline and Spotsylvania County court records, which provide a wealth of genealogical information, some of the other valuable items housed in The Center are the Free Lance-Star newspapers. Every paper from January, 1933 to December, 1969 is available for research. This allows for not only preliminary searching, but also gives one the ability to cross reference or corroborate information from other sources.

In 2007 a series of aerial photographs of Spotsylvania County came to The Center. Taken in 1937, they remind us of the rural roots that surrounded Fredericksburg and are rather fascinating to examine, i.e. Lafayette Blvd. was still the southern entrance into the city, Lake Anna was still the North Anna River, and Salem Church was a voice in the countryside.

A more recent addition to the archives was a series of letters, among many other items, that reflect the life of a sailor during WW II. 

The photograph below references the state the letters were found in. Please don't let this happen to your family records.

The archives give us so much, why not consider a donation?

John Reifenberg
Collections Manager, The Heritage Center
Can you identify this photo?

Click on picture to enlarge
Update:  Can you identify the three gentlemen celebrating the successful move of the Gothic Revival House? The house was moved from 408 George Street around the corner to 804 Charles Street in 1984.

The gentlemen celebrating the successful move of the Gothic house are Lawrence McMurtry, Hunter Greenlaw and Roland Gray. Thank you to Carrol Cox Sr. and Kathy Wirtala for their help.

From the Stearns Collection.  Click on picture to enlarge.

Can you identify this building and its location? In December, a local garden club will decorate the building for the holidays.

Please contact Sharon Null at snull@crhcarchives.org with any information concerning this picture.
Holiday greetings and many thanks to the following people who helped identify the 2019 monthly photographs.
Jeanette Cadwallender, Barbara H. Cecil, William Cooper, John Cowan, Carrol Cox Sr., Dot Curtis, Teresa Patton D'Orazio, Lynda Chilcott Hammel, David Kingsbury, Jerrilynn MacGregor, Shirley Onderdonk, Jeryl Rose Phillips, Ellen Richardson, Florence Ridderhof, Dennis Sacrey, Michael Spencer, Janet Sullivan, Susan Tyler, Barbara Willis, and Kathy Wirtala.
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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