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History Calendar

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History Calendar for week of Sept. 2, 2012

Please enter information at Select “History” category. You may also email (subject: History Calendar), or fax  540/373-8455. Deadline: noon Thursday preceding Tuesday publication. 540/374-5461.


“Glimpses of Holland from the Portfolios of Gari Melchers.” New exhibition of the artist’s sketches and studies from his career-founding, late 19th-century days in the North Sea’s coastal villages, in the Pavilion Gallery of the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, 224 Washington St., Falmouth. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Wednesday. $10 general admission. Free to students, youths and Friends of Belmont.; 540/654-1015.

“Picturing the Civil War.” Brand-new sesquicentennial exhibition at Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center explores visual depictions of the Civil War and its aftermath in Fredericksburg, through period photography and paintings from private holdings and the museum’s collections.  Documents Gallery of  Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. Through Dec. 31. Funded by grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services.; 540/371-3037; admission fee. Discount to military, seniors and students. Free to museum members.

Belmont Excurison to Newport, R.I. The Gari Melchers Home and Studio historic site in Falmouth, Va., is sponsoring an Oct. 5-8 trip to Newport, the Gilded Age residence of the Vanderbilts and their contemporaries, their incredible “cottages” and the beautiful oceanfront Cliff Walk. Participants will tour several Newport mansions and stay in harborside lodgings. For more information, call Betsy Labar of Belmont’s staff at 540-654-1848 or email her at by Sept. 5. (And for a taste of what you might see, visit The Preservation Society of Newport County here.

Somerset Steam & Gas Pasture Party. Friday–Sunday, Sept. 7–9. Fairfield View Dairy Farm, Somerset, Orange County. 540/672-2495;

Annual Book Sale, James Madison Museum, Orange. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sept. 8 and Sept. 9. 540/672-1776;

“The Forgotten Battle” walking tour. 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. Stroll Spotysylvania’s Smith Run Nature Trail with local Civil War historian Erik Nelson, as he narrates May 4, 1863, between Gen. John Sedgwick’s retreating Union troops and Confederates of Gens. Richard Anderson and Jubal Early, who were trying to prevent Federal forces from escaping across Rappahannock during Chancellorsville Campaign. Sponsored by Fredericksburg Pathway Partners. Trailhead is at end of Hugh Mercer Elementary maintenance road, off Cowan Boulevard. Park in school lot. Email Dennis Braiden, Rain date: Sept. 22.

“Mysteries and Conundrums: Civilians.” 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10. In a new series at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library headquarters, National Park Service historians Noel Harrison and John Hennessy will reveal some of the more curious things that emerge from Civil War period photographs, art and documents. What they tell us about the civilian landscape and the people who lived there. Free. 1201 Caroline St., Fredericksburg. See and

“Grant and His Memoirs.”  Monday, Sept. 10. Chris Mackowski, “Emerging Civil War” blogger and author of , addresses the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table.  Brock’s Riverside Grille, 503 Sophia St. Social 6 p.m., dinner 6:45 p.m., program 7:30 p.m. Dinner reservations at

“Culture and Cocktails: Back to School.” 6–8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 13. Join Christopher Uebelhor, the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center’s director of collections and exhibitions, to see never-seen school-related items (yearbooks, report cards, diplomas and more) from the collection. Light fare, open bar. Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. For museum members; registration required. Contact Melanie Johnson at or 540/371-3037, ext. 400.

Community Artist Series: Fiber Art. Opens Friday, Sept. 14, at Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center’s Mansard Gallery, and displays the work of several local fiber artists. Quilt National, a traveling exhibition on loan from the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio, opens in the museum’s historic Council Chamber on Friday, Oct. 5. Show features selections from a biennial, juried competition dedicated to promotion of the contemporary art quilt. 540/371-3037,

Lafayette reception, Spotsylvania County Museum. 11 a.m., Saturday,  Sept. 15. Mine Run Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution hosts gathering and invites the public to celebrate unveiling of a Virginia historical marker to Marquis de Lafayette, Revolutionary War patriot, at Corbin’s Bridge in Spotsylvania (see Reception will feature remarks by Lafayette biographer Marc Leepson; exhibit new Lafayette artifacts; and honor Spotsylvania resident Conway Richardson. Spotsylvania Courthouse Village. 9019 Old Battlefield Blvd.; 540/507-7278;

“The Effect of the Death of Augustine Washington Upon His Family and Slaves.” 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17. Join Dave Muraca, director of archaeology at Ferry Farm–George Washington’s boyhood home in Stafford County–as he presents a talk about the Washington family. Headquarters Theater, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St. Please sign up by calling the library’s Adult Reference Desk at 540/372-1144, ext.232.

Constitution Day celebration. Saturday, Sept. 22. Celebrate at James Madison’s Montpelier, Orange County as dignitaries and living historians mark the anniversary of the adoption of the United States of America’s founding documents in 1787. Madison is known as the “Father of the Constitution.”, 540/672-2728.

“The Testing Time: Six months that would have lasting effects on the Civil War in the East.” 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25. Former U.S. Army Chief of Military History John W. “Jack” Mountcastle addresses the Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg. Brig. Gen. Mountcastle, U.S. Army (retired), is kickoff speaker for the Round Table’s survey of the 2012–2015 sesquicentennial years in the Fredericksburg region. A Vietnam War veteran, this Richmond native  instructed at West Point and directed heritage tourism development at the Virginia Tourism Corp., is president of the Richmond Civil War Round Table  and teaches at the University of Richmond. 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; similar attire for ladies.

Taming the Wilderness, Ellwood Manor, Orange. Sunday, Sept. 30. Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, with Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, celebrates history of Ellwood Manor, a late-18th-century plantation seat. Period music, children’s games, more. Learn about a frontiersman’s life, tavern etiquette, domestic skills and buildings trades. New exhibitors wanted;

“We Can Never Go Back.”  Signature show of Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center for statewide celebration of Civil War sesquicentennial.  At Fredericksburg’s Old Town Hall/Market House, the museum  partnered  with National Park Service to create vignettes that help tell stories of Fredericksburg’s residents during four years of war;

“Bricks and Boards in the ’Burg.”  Join Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center and Hallowed Ground Tours on Saturdays for architectural walking tours. Hourlong tours depart Market Square  at 10 a.m.  $4/adult, $1/child.  Discounted museum admission for  participants; Hallowed Ground Tours: 540/809-3918.

Taste of Stafford. 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Clubhouse Restaurant, 204 Bow Cove, Aquia Harbour in Stafford. Aquia Evening Lions will partner with local restaurants for an afternoon of generous food samplings: Italian, salads, German, Mexican, deli selections, desserts and much more. Live music, cash bar and door prizes. The public is welcome; tickets $15 now or $20 at the door. Contact Bea at 540/659-6124. All proceeds go to sight, hearing and community needs.

“Henry Box Brown: Famous Fugitive, Trans-Atlantic Performer.” Art historian Jeffrey Ruggles will present the free lecture at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28 at Gari Melchers Home and Studio. Ruggles, author of “The Unboxing of Henry Brown” and former curator of prints and photographs at the Virginia Historical Society, will retrace the journey of escaped slave and antislavery speaker Henry Brown. The program is organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is supported in part by the Paul Mellon Endowment and the Jean Stafford Camp Memorial Fund.

“Mysteries and Conundrums: Killing Fields.” 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1. Noel Harrison and John Hennessy, historians at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, will look intensively at period images of battlefield landscapes—including some taken while fighting was under way—as well as postwar and even aerial imagery of the fields.

“Mysteries and Conundrums: Building a Battlefield Park.” 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19. Eric Mink will explore his compelling work on the evolution of the park, touching on the Civilian Conservation Corps, segregation and some of the more curious episodes in the history of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.