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

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Message From The Chairman
I am so happy to announce that the Center's participation in this year's Community Give fundraising event was a resounding success! Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful donors, the Center raised $13,385! On behalf of the Board of Directors and our all-volunteer staff, I'd like to express our sincere appreciation for your support of the Center, as it continues its efforts to preserve our local history. And many thanks, too, to the sponsors and staff at the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region for an outstanding job in promoting this event for local non-profits!
As promised in last month's newsletter, the winner of the $50.00 VISA gift card for participating in the survey questionnaire sent out by MABU, as part of preparing a marketing plan for the Center, is Connie Mullis from Monticello, AR. Connie's mother was born and raised in Spotsylvania and Orange counties and her father was born and raised in King George county. Connie has used the Center's on line records for genealogical research on both sides of her family: her mother's family lines include Hairfields, Hicks, Sullivans, Davenports, Carters and Tylers and, on her father's side, there are Inscoes, Fosters, Staples, Coakleys and Rollins. Congratulations, Connie!
On a sad note, Lee Artman, the Center's Volunteer Coordinator and outgoing Board Secretary, will be leaving in mid-June to move to Asheville, NC, to be closer to her family. Words cannot express how much Lee has meant to all of us here at the Center. For the past 5 years, she has put in literally thousands of hours at the Center, not only assisting researchers but doing whatever needed to be done to keep the Center going. And, as Volunteer Coordinator, she has been the friendly face who has welcomed so many of our volunteers and showed them "the ropes" at the Center. Lee deserves so much of the credit for the cohesiveness of our wonderful volunteer family and will be truly missed. I know her family, and especially her two dear grandchildren of whom she is so proud, will be thrilled to have her nearby and Lee has promised to come back often to visit. All of us wish you the best, Lee, in this next adventure of your life!

Meredith Beckett
CRHC Chairman

Welcome New Members  

Mr. & Mrs. Dave Kingsbury
Mr. Michael Colangelo

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


Styles change through time. The evolving styles of writing, music, dress and hair are all reflected in the Heritage Center's collections.

Styles of writing, both character formation and word usage indicate the periods when they were created. Those of us who work with written documents of different eras have become familiar with the different forms of cursive writing. For example, early cursive writing appears to use an "sf" to represent "ss", as in "misfion" (mission). It takes a while, but soon readers adjust and recognize these words. Cursive from the 18th and 19th century tends to be rounded and ornate than modern standards. Today, cursive writing is not taught in most states, students print or type. The meaning of words evolves over time as well. In the past, a word like "anxious" was used with a slightly different tone. It conveyed a situation or person as less serious and more curious rather than the seriously, worrisome meaning we associate with the word today.
Art and music have different styles which also evolve. The Center has collections which reflect people's taste in art and music. Most notably are the many files on local orchestras and music. Post Civil War, military and religious music were popular. War veterans continued to perform. One local musician, A.B. Bowering had been the bandleader of the 30th Virginia Infantry. It is said he organized the music played at Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's funeral procession. In 1890 he wrote that he had played the last music that General Robert E. Lee heard as he left Appomattox after the surrender in April 1865. Music lesson s were an acceptable way for unmarried and widowed women to earn a living. Concerts, plays, poetry readings and recitals were also popular. There was an emphasis on the classics. Several collections at The Center contain programs of these events, performed by local citizens.
Style is most evident in the photographic images. It is possible to determine a reasonably accurate date of a photo based on the clothing, jewelry and hair styles of the subjects. Most people dressed up in their best for formal photographs. This was true for not only women, but men as well. Early images show women in dark, most likely black, dresses. Photography became more prevalent in the second half of the 19th century, a time heavily influenced by Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) of Great Britain. The Queen wore only black mourning attire for the rest of her life after the death of her husband, Albert, the prince consort (1819 - 1861). Necklines were high and ruffled; sleeves were long, puffed and full at the shoulder, narrow at the wrist. Hair was pulled up or back with curls or braids, often augmented with wigs and falls. They wore dangling earrings and large broaches. Often the jewelry was mourning jewelry. Men mostly wore dark suits, collars, and narrow ties or bow ties. Men's hair was usually short and often parted in the middle. Mustaches were popular as were neatly trimmed beards.

Children were another matter. Children of both sexes wore frothy white dresses for their formal pictures until they were three or four years of age. Many had long curly locks. It is often difficult to determine whether the photo is of that of a boy or a girl. The "Bo Peep" look also appeared to be popular as evidenced in bridesmaids' and little girl dresses. The "Grecian or Roman" look appeared in the early 20th century. The photos below illustrate some of these styles.

Please contact The Center if you can help identify any of the people in the pictures; they are from our collection of unidentified photos.

Click on photos to enlarge






Beth Daly

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)