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Central Rappahannock
Heritage Center Newsletter
A place that loses its history loses it soul
Volume 7, Issue 3
March 2017
In This Issue

The Heritage Center gladly provides research services.  Please contact the center for rates.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m., the first Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or by appointment
900 Barton Street #111 Fredericksburg, VA  22401
(540) 373-3704
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Message From The Chairman

Week after week, our faithful volunteers come into the Center to process and archive collections from Fredericksburg and the surrounding region that are loaned or donated to Center.  In addition to this important work, and just as vital, is the work done by staff members who assist researchers in their quest for information.  Some researchers are local; some of them, recently, from as far away as Montana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Texas and Massachusetts.  Often they arrive in person but many times research requests are made by phone or e-mail.
Just two weeks ago, the Center had a request from a prospective DAR member from Danville, KY.  She was gathering the necessary documentation for admittance to her local chapter and needed to find her great-grandparent's marriage record from 1843.  She also wanted to find the will of a distant grandmother, as well as court records regarding a lawsuit between her husband's side of the family and her mother's side.  All the records were from Caroline County, archived at the Heritage Center.
With diligent and painstaking research, a seasoned volunteer was able to find all the documents except the marriage record. She was sure it was at the Center but her eyes were starting to cross in her search.  Enter a new volunteer.  He was asked to please have a go at trying to find the document, as a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective never hurts!  After hours of looking through Caroline County records, he spotted the document in the last ten pages of the marriage book.  The document was found, the volunteer team was elated and the Center has a new, happy customer!
This is just one example of the dedication and the team work among volunteers at the Center and the happy results that ensue!

Meredith Beckett
CRHC Chairman  

Welcome New Members 
 Tony Reichhardt 

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

Filing In The Gaps

What happens when a researcher runs into a brick wall?  This is particularly a problem in the 1890s.  Nearly the entire Federal census of 1890 was destroyed in a 1921 fire in the basement of the Department of Commerce.

What are other sources?  To name a few: city directories, church records, yearbooks, membership lists of patriotic, social and fraternal organizations, maps, court records, tax records and real estate records.  Some online sources require a subscription fee. Courthouses, public libraries and archives usually charge only for copies.

City directories were developed as an aid to find residents and businesses.  Said to have originated in England in the 1830s, a list of tradesmen and merchants was first published in the United States in Boston, Massachusetts in 1789.  The earliest known directory of Fredericksburg and the surrounding area is
Chataigne's Fredericksburg and Falmouth City Directories 1888-1889 online at
The Center has a 1910 - 11 directory published by R.A. Kishpaugh, local agents for the Piedmont Series, compiled by Ernest H. Miller of the Piedmont Directory Co., Ashville, N.C. and Fredericksburg, VA.  The Center also has a 1921 directory and others from1953 and through 1991. Some include listings of government offices, elected officials and even the location of fire alarm boxes.

Directories contain names, addresses, phone numbers and occupations.  Some directories list marital status, where a "w" stands for widow or widower.   Early directories indicated race, with an asterisk (*) denoting "colored."  The advertisements which paid for the directories show the styles, products, fashions and the types of businesses of the time.  Occupations in the 1910 directory include - clerk, cupola tender, harness manufacturer, cigar maker, spinner, telegraph messenger and blacksmith.  Individuals were identified as student, boarder, roomer.  By comparing the information from year to year it is possible to see patterns and histories.

Come to the Center, explore the past, fill in the gaps and get through that brick wall.
click on photo to enlarge
R.A. Kishpaugh 1910 Fredericksburg City Directory

Beth Daly 
CRHC Member

Newly Acquired Collections
Acquired collections for the month include: 
  • A 1990 Fredericksburg calendar entitled, The Other Calendar.
  • Lions Club newsletters, event flyers, and photographs spanning the years 1966-2014.
  • CD of the Mysteries of the Museum series episode that features the Loving case and highlights the documents in the Center's collection.
  •  News articles, movie flyers, and a movie pass from the Colonial Theatre, 1938.  Letter from Benjamin Pitts to Mr. Roberson, asking for his support in an upcoming senatorial election, 1943.
  • Ledgers, visitor logs, minute books, account books, architectural drawings, and other documentation from the Masonic Lodge # 4, Fredericksburg, VA.   

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

Update 1940's Falmouth High School boys' basketball team from the Amy Johnson collection.  From left to right: Scottie Fulford, Dick Chilton, Bobby Resio, Robert Burton, Julian Payne.  Thank you Dot Curtis!

 (click on photo to enlarge) 

Update 1940's Falmout h High School girls' basketball team from the Amy Johnson collection.  From left to right:  Alma Allen Marsh, Glena English, Mary Monroe, Marian Mastin, Cora Verburg, unknown.  Thank you Dot Curtis!

(click on photo to enlarge) 

Cast members of 1963 Hugh Mercer third grade play.

(click on photo to enlarge)

Please contact Sharon Null at

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)