On Sale:   
Daisy Turner's   Kin

On Sale:
The Circle
Newly Acquired  Collections
Can you help identify this photo?
Central Rappahannock Heritage Center 
A place that loses its history loses its soul
Message From The Chairman
Last Sunday the CRHC Board of Directors honored CRHC volunteer staff at an Appreciation Party hosted by Board member Alma Withers and her husband Billy at their home. This annual event recognizes and honors the dedicated people who keep The Heritage Center in operation. It was an enjoyable get-together in lovely surroundings -- a time to socialize with others whose work schedules rarely overlap, a time to visit free of work duties-processing collections, entering data in the Past Perfect database, responding to researchers' requests, ordering archival and other supplies, monitoring dehumidifiers, etc. Thanks to the Withers for inviting us to their home!
Volunteers have been the mainstay of The Center since its founding in 1997. There has never been a paid staff or Board. Individuals contribute their time and energy because they believe in CRHC's mission. How fortunate we are to have over 50 volunteers-some who come on a daily or weekly basis when The Center is open and others who come for a few hours each month. We welcome new volunteers interested in our work.
I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to my predecessor, Meredith Beckett. She served ably for three years as the Board's Chairman. Her leadership, organizational abilities, and interpersonal skills proved indispensable in maintaining and improving Center operations. Fortunately, she continues to be active at The Center and on the Board.
There are others whose steadfast dedication ensure The Center's continuity. To them, my deep appreciation-and that of the larger community!

Barbara Barrett, Chairman
The Heritage Center 
Welcome New Members

Brian Magee

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

The Green Book     

Besides being the title of a Golden Globe-winning movie (Best Musical or Comedy, and Best Supporting Actor), what is The Green Book?   The Negro Motorist Green Book was a guide for African Americans traveling throughout the United States.  It was first published in 1936 by Victor Green, a New York postal employee who saw the need.  Newly affluent people of color were purchasing automobiles, providing them with a means of travel, often back to their family homes in the South.  Jim Crow laws had created hostile and dangerous conditions.  The guide was published , "to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trip more enjoyable."  The first edition, which covered only New York, was available at Esso Gas Stations for seventy-five cents.  Eventually The Green Book covered all 48 states, because segregation, though not mandated by law, was prevalent everywhere.

What about the central Rappahannock area?  Fredericksburg had Hotel McGuire, the Rappahannock Hotel, and a tourist home owned by Mrs. B. Scott, listed in The Green Book.  Larger towns offered more listings - restaurants, roadhouses, beauty parlors, barbershops and automobile services.  

Hotel McGuire
click on photo to enlarge

The hotels in Fredericksburg were on the 500 block of Princess Anne Street/US Route 1.  The larger, brick Hotel McGuire was next to Shiloh Baptist Church (New Site).  It was torn down by the Church and the space was used for an addition to the church.

Rappahannock Hotel
click on photo to enlarge

Across the street, the 
Rappahannock Hotel was a frame structure built by Arthur Brown, who was a carpenter, and his sons.  It too has been torn down.

A sign greeting travelers at Hotel McGuire said, "Colored Tourists, Stop at the Hotel McGuire, Best in State, Reasonable Rates, Steam-Heated Rooms, Hot & Cold Running Water, Private Bath, US Route No. 1 Fredericksburg, VA."  It was impossible to list all Negro-safe havens in The Green Book.  Signs like the Hotel McGuire's, or smaller signs with just the word "COLORED", were used by other businesses to identify themselves.

Sign advertising Hotel McGuire
click on photo to enlarge

Segregation was no longer legal after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, fulfilling Victor Green's hope.   "There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published."

Does anyone have a copy of The Green Book to donate to the Center?

Beth Daly,  Volunteer, The Heritage Center
Frank White

Newly Acquired Collections
  • New and updated Marker Reports from Historic Fredericksburg Foundation
  • University of Richmond yearbooks that contain local resident information, 1924-25
  • Marshall High School yearbook, 1919
  • A varied collection of Herbert R. Collins materials; correspondence, and photographs
  • Records of Maury Center revitalization
  • Copies of the roster of burials at the Fredericksburg Cemetery; photographs
  • Records concerning the Salem Church Dam Project

John Reifenberg
Collections Manager, The Heritage Center  
Can you identify this photo?
click on picture to enlarge
In 1920 this was an automobile agency.  What is it today?  

Today, Hugh Mercer Apothecary occupies the 1920 location of Thompkins Motor Co.

click on picture to enlarge

Thank you to J errilynn MacGregor, Jeanette Cadwallender, J. Sullivan, Michael Spencer, Dot Curtis and Brad Cooper for their  help in identifying this photograph.  Also, thank you to Brad Cooper for providing a postcard of the same corner.


click on picture to enlarge 

The Billingsley Collection, 1961
Please contact Sharon Null at [email protected] with information on this picture.  
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 

Central Rappahannock Heritage Center | [email protected]  540.373.3704 | crhcarchives.org
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