Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

RSS feed of this blog

County’s former Civil War Life Museum expands in the city

In November 2009, the county and the Civil War Life Museum ended a lease agreement for office space in Southpoint I shopping center. The museum essentially operated for free in the space.

The museum closed in the county and opened a gift shop at 829 Caroline St. in historic downtown Fredericksburg.  Terry Thomann, the director of Civil War Life, showcases some his extensive collection of Civil War items.

The museum today issued a press release announcing its new 3D show designed by the Center for Civil War Photography that opened in July.

“The nearly 16-minute-long show begins with Fort Sumter and ends with the Grand Review in Washington, DC.  There is a special emphasis on Fredericksburg images, and the show includes an original score composed and performed by Jody Richter.”

While at the downtown location, CCWP designed a new digital anaglyph 3D show that uses the “pan and scan” technique “which immerses the viewer into the image.”

“The 3-D show has been very popular with everyone who has seen it. In fact the Superintendent of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Battlefield was in recently and was very impressed with it and is recommending that all his people come by to see it,”  Thomann said.

The new large screen display screen and the computer to run the program was donated by the Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority through the “Jump Start” program.  Spotsylvania supervisors met with the EDA recently and they discussed copying the city’s grant program for county small businesses.

Thomann was originally going to open what he said would have been a nationally acclaimed museum at the W.J. Vakos Courthouse Village. The National Civil War Life Foundation established to raise $14 million for this museum. In November 2009, Thomann said the location in the mixed-use development wasn’t as good as downtown Fredericksburg.

A Civil War museum is still on the wish list of the Spotsylvania supervisors, was the headline of a story I wrote in November 2009.

Supervisor Hap Connors recently hintedt to the press about how there is still optimism a Civil War museum will open in Spotsylvania County, but he couldn’t discuss the potential economic development deal.

The Civil War Sesquicentennial is next year. At this point, a building will have to already exist if a Civil War museum is going to open in Spotsylvania, right?


  • LarryG

    I was seriously disappointed when the Vakos CH complex and the 208 bypass was built and no master planning seemed to acknowledge their location adjacent to Bloody Angle – and no sidewalks or trails to the park and precious little additional signage.

    Perhaps things are afoot in that realm….

    I visit Bloody Angle several times a week and it gets steady out of state visitors on a regular basis….

    That’s people in cars with wallets – one mile as the crow flies from the Vakos Complex ( which has vacant space) ……

    I think the “Gateway” to the county’s Battlefields should NOT be through the Route 3 congestion but rather Massaponax direct to the CH and from there to Chancellor, Wilderness, etc…

    Massaponax would be the logical place to stay at a hotel and the only major campground in south on Route 1.

    I guess it just takes time…eh?