Fredericksburg Features

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History calendar


 Author’s talk   on  the Battle of New Market Heights, with student art contest. 7:30–8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22. Sealy Auditorium, Fredericksburg Area Campus, Germanna Community College. James S. Price, an associate professor of history at Germanna, will share highlights from his new book about a defining Civil War battle in Henrico County near Richmond in which black soldiers earned 18 Medals of Honor. Germanna student artists’ works will be displayed.  Limited seating  available. Free. Public  invited.

“The Civil War in Missouri.”  Wednesday, Feb. 22. Stafford County resident Dino A. Brugioni,   author and former U.S. intelligence analyst, addresses the Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg. At University of Mary Washington’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center, 1119 Hanover St. Bar opens  5:45 p.m., social 6 p.m., dinner 6:45 p.m., program 7:30 p.m. Advance reservations   required; 540/361-2105.  Men should wear coats and ties;  equivalent attire for ladies.

 Clarence Darrow: Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series. 7:30 p.m., Thursday Feb. 23. John Farrell, author of “Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned” and senior reporter at The Center for Public Integrity, will speak at George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium at UMW.  Free;;  540/654-1065.

 “Bridging the Chasm:  A Public Conversation About Freedom, the Civil War, and Its Complicated Legacy.” Noon on  Saturday, Feb. 25.   John Hennessy, chief historian and chief of interpretation at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, will close  the Black History Month celebration at John J. Wright Educational Center in  Spotsylvania County with a  keynote speech on  the  impact on area residents of President Lincoln’s signing of the District of Columbia Emancipation Act  in April  1862. Followed by a question-and-answer session. Prizes,  refreshments.  7565 Courthouse Road. Free;; 540/582-7583, ext. 5545.

Reflections on Black History: “Telling One Story” Series.  3–5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Armistead Tasker Johnson High School Museum, 18849  Kings Highway, Montross. The A.T. Johnson Museum, one of the first high schools in the Northern Neck to educate students of African descent,  presents the first of two seminars  chronicling the evolution of white and black educational opportunities in Westmoreland County from 1653cq to 1958. Family-oriented program,  in partnership with the Westmoreland County Museum and Stratford Hall, is free to the public. Children are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments. In the program’s second part, a  panel  of black and white teachers  will discuss the era of “separate but equal” county schools. Virginia Department of Education Continuing Education Units   available. A second seminar on June 30 will  focus on events from 1958 to the present. Details? See Contact Marian Ashton at or 301/520-6796, Alice French at or 804/493-8440, Joyce Clayton at, or Jon Bachman at or 804/493-1972.


Artifact Roadshow. 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Saturday,  Feb. 25. Bring your military antiques to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, learn how to maintain and care for them. Free; all ages. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle.; 703/784-6116.

Historic Ellwood Manor seeks interpreters.  Love history? Enjoy people? Able to commit a few hours a month in April through October? Ellwood, the circa-1790 plantation house that welcomes visitors to the Wilderness battlefield in Orange and Spotsylvania counties, is accepting applications for   new volunteers. The first training date is Friday, March 9; candidates will be treated to a half-day tour of the battlefield from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 10. The all-volunteer, nonprofit friends group manages Ellwood for Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. The historic site begins its 15th season on Saturday, April 28. An interpretation post comes with     privileges. Space is limited. Contact Carolyn Elstner at 540/373-6240 or Get an  application   at; select “volunteer,” click “request more information,” print and mail to Carolyn Elstner, 2 Commonwealth Place, Fredericksburg, Va. 22405.


Rappahannock Colonial Heritage ensemble performance.  12–2 p.m., Saturday, March 10, St. Margaret’s Dining Hall in Tappahannock.  Cutoff for reservations: March 1. Rappahannock Colonial Heritage ensemble from Fredericksburg will perform at  Essex County Museum and Historical Society’s annual high tea luncheon, with vignettes depicting noted people from the 1770s associated with Tappahannock and Fredericksburg. $38. Seating  is limited, make paid reservations as soon as possible. Directions or details, 804/443-4690. Email reservations   to Write checks  to ECMHS; mail to  Box 404, Tappahannock, Va. 22560. Attn: High Tea.

“From the Sahara to the Shenandoah.”  Opens March 1. Mansard Gallery, Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. Third exhibit in museum’s Community Artist series features landscape paintings from the Shenandoah Valley and the Sahara by local artist Kathleen Walsh.  On public view through May 31. 1001 Princess Anne St.;; 540/371-3037. 

“Dinosaurs in Stafford!” 7 p.m., Thursday, March 15. Paleontologist Jon Bachman will share recent discoveries about dinosaur fossils found locally, during meeting of Stafford County Historical Society, in  Board of Supervisors Chambers, George L. Gordon Jr. Government   Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford. Free. staffordcounty

“Sacred Scars, Shadowed Ground: Images of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields.”   On exhibit through March 16.  In the fall of 2011, designer and photographer Larry Stuart of Anderson, Ind., took up residence in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.  He spent a week exploring the battlefields with his lens, at all hours of day and night, looking for images that capture their power and essence. Stuart’s  show  is  the first temporary exhibition in Chatham’s history. Built in 1771, the  plantation and manor house overlook the Rappahannock River and Fredericksburg.  120 Chatham Lane,   Stafford.; 540/654-5121 or 540/373-6124.

Guided Tours of the Galleries.  1:15 or 3:15 p.m., Saturdays during February and March. The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center  announces new, guided walking tours of its galleries. Free with paid admission. Volunteers will  guide   20- to 30-minute tours, focusing on the history of the Fredericksburg region and its people.  Museum open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays. 1001 Princess Anne St.; 540/371-3037;

“Greetings From the Past.”  Changing exhibition in the Documents Gallery of  the Catherine W. Jones McKann Center of the   Fredericksburg Area Museum   features greeting cards—for Valentine’s Day, Christmas  and other holidays in the 1930s to 1950s—chosen from the collection of the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.  Ends July 31. 1001 Princess Anne St.;; 540/371-3037. 


Special tour, “Virginia Through Women’s Eyes.” 10:30 a.m.–noon Tuesday, March 13. The first gift of manuscripts to the Virginia Historical Society included a transcript of proceedings against Grace Sherwood, who was accused of witchcraft in 1706. In honor of Women’s History Month, the society will explore objects, books, letters, portraits  and broadsides associated with 400 years of Virginia women. Behind-the-scenes tour will be led by L. Paige Newman, assistant archivist. Buy tickets online, $10/VHS members; $17, nonmembers.; 804/342-9676 or email 428 N. Boulevard, Richmond.

Please enter information at; select “History” category. You may also email tandc@freelance (subject: History Calendar), or fax to 540/373-8455. Deadline: Noon Thursday preceding   the section’s Tuesday publication. Questions: 540/368-5029.