Fredericksburg Features

Columns and stories of life from the Fredericksburg area.

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History calendar

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.


Community Artist Series: Fiber Art.  Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center’s Mansard Gallery is now displaying work of local fiber artists. Quilt National, on loan from the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio, opens in the museum’s Council Chamber on Friday, Oct. 5. It features selections from juried competition promoting the  contemporary art quilt. 540/371-3037,

Fiber art demonstrations. Fredericksburg Spinners and Weavers Guild members will demonstrate in the Museum Store from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on selected days: Oct. 6, Rita Brown, tapestry weaving; Oct. 20, Susan Tyler, basket weaving; Oct. 27, Barbara Posey, needlefelting, and Lynette Reed, silk scarf painting.  The artists will have work for sale and also on display in the Community Artists Series: Fiber Art (see previous entry).


This Ol’ Town: the History of Our Homes walking tour.  11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6. The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, with Hallowed Ground Tours, will explore homes and history of one of city’s oldest neighborhoods—Washington Avenue.  Departs 11:30 a.m. from the median at the Clark Memorial  in front of the Kenmore mansion’s front gates, and lasts approximately 75 minutes.  $4/adult, $1/child, free for museum members  Participants will receive  discounted museum entry. Museum, 540/371-3037; Hallowed Ground Tours, 540/809-3918;

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

“The Role of the Pony Express in the Coming of the Civil War.”  Monday, Oct. 8. Gary Castellino, a seasonal historian with the National Park Service, will address  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

 Volunteer Interest Night and Open House. Coordinator Janelle Kennedy will lead a tour of FAMCC’s Catherine W. Jones McKann Center and current volunteers will discuss opportunities. Free,  no preregistration, 540/371-3037, ext 142, or jkennedy@famcc .org.

Second Saturday at the Museum.  1–3 p.m., Oct. 13, Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. To celebrate the season and the museum’s newest exhibit, Quilt National, children and parents are invited to draw inspiration from quilts in gallery and create their masterpiece. Free, no reservations required;

“Benedict Arnold in Virginia.”  6:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 22. National Park Service historian Bert Dunkerly will address  first meeting of  new American Revolution Round Table of Fredericksburg. Central Rappahannock Regional Library headquarters theater, 1201 Caroline St. Free. Light refreshments.  Contact Jim Davis at or 540/899-3836.

“Henry Box Brown: Famous Fugitive, Trans-Atlantic Performer.” 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28. Art historian Jeffrey Ruggles will present a free lecture 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 Virginia slave Henry Brown, later a world-famous antislavery speaker. Organized by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Melchers’ historic estate, Belmont, is at 224 Washington St., Falmouth. 540/654-1851;

Civil War Medicine symposium at Stratford Hall. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday,  Nov. 3. Topics include emergence of modern emergency-room methods, post traumatic stress disorder and the Civil War soldier, African–Americans in medicine during Civil War era, and an overview of Civil War medical practices. Produced in partnership with National Museum of Civil War Medicine. $75. Early registration recommended. Free to Friends of Stratford. 804/493-8919, membership information only. Register/details,; fax 804/493-0333; Jon Bachman, 804/493-1972.

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

“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.

“Picturing the Civil War.” New sesquicentennial exhibition at Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center explores visual depictions of Civil War and its aftermath in Fredericksburg, through period photography, paintings from private holdings, museum 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, students. Free to museum members.

 “Glimpses of Holland From the Portfolios of Gari Melchers.” New exhibition of artist’s sketches, studies from his career-founding, late 19th-century days in North Sea’s coastal villages. Pavilion Gallery of 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, Friends of Belmont.; 540/654-1015.

“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;


Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City on fall schedule. it has begun  Mondays: “Revolutionary City: Building a New Nation” includes a visit by Martha Washington, Gen. Lafayette, a Founding Father who shares his hopes for the future of the new American republic, and a former slave—now pastor of an African–American church—who discusses his vision for his congregation. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays: “Revolutionary City: The Old Order Collapses, 1775–1776” re-creates profound change for  Colonial Americans, beginning with news of battles at Concord, Lexington. Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays: “Revolutionary City: Building a New Nation, 1779–1781” chronicles critical moments in Williamsburg during war for independence. Ticket required. Free:  “Storming the Palace,” response to  royal governor’s theft of colony’s gunpowder from the Magazine, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays on Palace Green.  “The War Comes Home,” at 10:30 a.m.  Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at Courthouse as residents learn that a British fleet has invaded Chesapeake Bay, destroying a Suffolk supply depot and 2 million pounds sterling worth of supplies.


“Waging War.”  The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley  presents second half of  landmark Virginia Historical Society exhibit “An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia,” through Dec. 2. 901 Amherst St., Winchester. 888/662-1473; shenan

Holiday décor, festivities as  Colonial Williamsburg’s holiday season  begins Nov. 23. or 800/HISTORY.

“Drink Your Apples! Roeder’s Tavern Cider Making 1860.”  11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3–4. Join Harpers Ferry National Historical Park living-historians and volunteers to make cider, most popular 19th-century beverage for adults, children, at White Hall Tavern on Potomac Street. Enjoy fruits of your labor. 304/535-6029;