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Central Rappahannock
Heritage Center Newsletter
A place that loses its history loses it soul
Volume 6, Issue 7
July 2016
In This Issue

The Heritage Center gladly provides research services.  Please contact the center for rates.
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4:00 p.m., the first Saturday of each month, 9:00 a.m. to noon or by appointment
900 Barton Street #111 Fredericksburg, VA  22401
(540) 373-3704
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Message From The Chairman
Save The Date!  I'm pleased to announce that the 6th annual "Rappahannock Repast" will be held on Sunday, October 2, 2016, on the grounds of beautiful Chatham Manor, overlooking the Rappahannock River!  This annual event has been a fun time for all who have attended in the past and this year's should be equally enjoyable.  More details will follow as we get closer to the event but do mark your calendars now and plan to attend. Tickets will be available for sale in August and will be limited to 150 people.
The Repast has been a significant fund raising event for the Center over the past several years.  The funds raised allow our all-volunteer staff to continue its work of preserving our local history and making it accessible to researchers.  Consequently, the Repast Committee is currently seeking sponsors at the $500 level to underwrite the expenses of the event so that the money raised from ticket sales will go directly to supporting the Center.  A sponsor will receive a public acknowledgment of sponsorship and a pair of complimentary tickets.
If you or anyone you know believes in our mission of preservation and are willing to be a sponsor, please contact me at, or call 540-371-9232.  The Center would be so grateful for the support!
In closing, I wish you all a very Happy 4th of July.  Be safe if you have travel plans, and let's all celebrate the 240th anniversary of our nation's independence!
Meredith Beckett
CRHC Chairman

Welcome New Members  

Mr. & Mrs. Ed Overton
Ms. Bonita LaRonde
Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Jones

CRHC memberships support the important work done by the Center.  The Center fills a unique role in the region, the preservation of our people's history, which we make available for research.  We are a 100% all volunteer, non-profit organization.

Please join us as part of the Heritage Center's preservation team!  As a CRHC member, you will be helping to preserve our priceless local history.  Click here to become a member today! 

Thank you for your support,

The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center

National Ice Cream Month    

July is National Ice Cream Month. Ice cream is a modern invention, but there are reports of frozen food back to 500 B.C. These were more ices than creams, chopped ice mixed with fruits. Until refrigeration became commonplace ice cream was a rare treat, made by churning a mixture of eggs, cream and sugar in a tub immersed in salt. George Washington ate ice cream; Dolley Madison served ice cream at the 1813 Inaugural Ball. Even in modern times, "ice boxes" and early refrigerators could not freeze food. By the 1930s technology had advanced, it was possible to freeze and ship large quantities of food. During World War II ice cream was sent to Allied troops to boost their morale.
Ever wonder about Eskimo Hill Road in Stafford? It was named for Luther "Eskimo" Hodge who sold Eskimo pies, the chocolate covered ice cream bars, in Richmond, as a child. Mr. Hodge operated a 24-hour diner on the Jefferson Davis Highway.
In 1947 Carl Sponseller brought frozen custard to Fredericksburg. The special mix and "secret" ingredients are whipped by Electro-Freeze machines. Carl's was included in a PBS documentary, "An Ice Cream Show." The mid-century modern structure was built in 1953 by Ashton Skinner and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Generations of devotees have stopped at Carl's on their way up and down the East Coast. Mr. Sponseller always closed Carl's for hunting season. To this day, Carl's closes the Sunday before Thanksgiving and reopens the Friday of Presidents' Weekend. Many families stock up on the frozen custard, chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, for the winter holidays. Mr. Sponseller died in 2005, but Carl's remains in the Sponseller family
The Heritage Center has a copy of the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc.'s oral history with Carl and Margaret Sponseller in 1997. We also have a copy of De'Onne C. Scott's book, "Stafford, Images of America," with a photo of the Eskimo Hill Dinner.

Beth Daly

Newly Acquired Collections

Here are a few of our recent donations: 
  • a series of correspondences directed to State Delegate Thomas Moncure, re: a new rendition of the state song, 1978
  • all past issues of the Front Porch, 1997-2011

  • a large, eclectic collection from Louise Thornton Brent

  • a photograph of Fredericksburg firemen, circa turn of the century, taken in front of the court house
  • a varied donation presenting material on the formation of Crow's Nest
  • a cultural/archeological report on the Sunken Road, 1991
  • photographs of the Chatham Bridge construction, 1940
  • a photo copy profiling the donor with her dog at the 1937 Dog Mart
  • a book delivering a short history on the USCT (United States Colored Troops)
  • a book with an inscription on the front leaf written by Dr. James Whil(l)den, Assistant Surgeon for the 145th Pennsylvania Infantry. The inscription further reveals that the book was taken from a Lt. Maury's private collection.
We would be pleased to accept any donations of documentation that highlights the heritage of the Central Rappahannock region.

John Reifenberg
CRHC Collections Manager
Can you help identify these photos?

American Viscose Corp. Oct 23, 1959. 
First Softball Banquet
L to R: Unidentified, Unidentified, Herndon Bullock, Tom Lamont and Leroy Freeman. From the Sue Bullock Eley Collection.
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Lion's Club Dance 1962. Herndon Bullock located first left back row in front of the Princess Anne Hotel. All others are unidentified. From the Sue Bullock Eley Collection.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)
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 
You can also purchase the book online from the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation
   (click on image to order online)