‘The finest collection of its kind in the country’
National Park Service historian Eric Mink has written a great blog post over at “Mysteries & Conundrums.”
Mink, the cultural resources manager at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, describes a long-forgotten piece of Fredericksburg’s past–the area’s first Civil War museum, right on Caroline Street in the city’s Historic District.
Much-visited in 1887, Messrs. Cotton & Hills ‘Museum’ in the Exchange Hotel featured relics from the battlefields of Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Court House and Chancellorsville.
Today, you can still admire the old hotel’s handsome building–and enjoy your choice of frozen yogurt, ice-cold beer or fresh tabouli at eateries within a few paces of the historic site.
Mink’s post includes a number of interesting images, including this period advertisement for the “Museum of War Relics,” kindly loaned to M&U by collector Jerry Brent of Fredericksburg.