Town & County

The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.

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

Moncure Daniel Conway and Anthony Burns. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 17. Historian Al Conner will give a Power-Point presentation on two unlikely Falmouth friends, Moncure Daniel Conway and Anthony Burns. The latter escaped from enslavement in Stafford only to be discovered and returned to the South by the U.S. government under the Fugitive Slave Act, prompting Bostonians to riot. Conway, whose boyhood home still stands on the Rappahannock River, parted with his father to become the South’s most famous abolitionist. Conner will discuss how their lives were intertwined and changed the face of America. His free talk will be part of the Stafford County Historical Society meeting, open to all, in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers.

“History Revealed: Civil War Secrets on the University of Mary Washington Campus.” 7 p.m. Friday, July 18. Walking tour led by National Park Service historians Beth Parnicza and Andrea DeKoter. Park at corner of William Street and Sunken Road, meet at 1004 William St. Part of this summer’s History at Sunset series by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. 540/654-5121;

Sounds of Summer concert series. 7 p.m. every Friday through Aug. 29. Local and regional performers of various musical genres, in Market Square at Princess Anne and William streets. July performances include Andy Vaughn and the Driveline on July 11, Joe Vex Band on July 18, and The Believers on July 25. Activities for children and reception for Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center members. Free, extended hours at museum, 5–9 p.m. 907 Princess Anne St. 540/371-3037, ext. 135, or visit

Summer Kids’ Programs at Fredericksburg Battlefield. 11 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Now through Aug. 9, National Park Service ranger-led

children’s programs are offered at Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, lasting about an hour. Recommended for kids ages 6–12.

Junior Ranger Walk: Earn a patch by completing several activities along the Sunken Road. Aug. 8–9.

National Cemetery: Explore and discover the stories hidden behind the brick walls of the cemetery and of the soldiers buried there. July 25 and 26.

Flags and Signals: Learn why these banners were so important as symbols and for communication—also make your own flag! Aug. 1–2. No registration necessary. Groups should sign up in advance: Peter_ or 540/373-6122. 1013 Lafayette Blvd.

“Always … Patsy Cline” by Ted Swindley at the University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre & Dance’s Klein Theatre in Fredericksburg. Performances will be July 16–19 and July 23–26 at 7:30 p.m., and July 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $40 for standard admission, $35 for students, senior citizens, UMW alumni, and the military and $25 for groups of 10 or more. The musical features many of Cline’s hits, including “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” and “I Fall to Pieces.” Tickets on sale at

Civil War dance lesson. 7:30–10 p.m. Friday, July 18. No special dress or partner needed for lessons, but wear slick-bottom shoes. Lessons are given on third Friday of every month. Suggested donation is $1. The Marshall Center, 8800 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania.

“Medical Practice in the Colonial and Early National Era.” 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19. Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, 1020 Caroline St., Fredericksburg. Enjoy a colorful first-person tour of the reconstructed Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop. Dr. Mercer served local residents with medicines and treatments of the time, including leeches, lancets, snakeroot and crab claws, treatments that James and Elizabeth Monroe would have received. A reception hosted by “President Monroe” will follow at 7:30 p.m. at the James Monroe Museum, during which curator Jarod Kearney will show some of the medical artifacts from the museum’s collection—including some related to Mrs. Monroe’s mysterious illness. Reception is $10 per person; free for Friends of James Monroe Museum or Washington Heritage Museums members. Reservations required; call 540/654-1123 or Events co-sponsored by the Monroe and Washington museums.

“An Evening of Silent Comedy Shorts.” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19. State Theatre at 305 S. Main St. in downtown Culpeper. Washington D.C.-based Snark Ensemble will perform its original scores for a program of silent comedy shorts. Included are “There It Is” (1928), a surrealist live-action, stop-motion animation “haunted house” spoof; “The Hansom Cabman” (1924), a hangover comedy with Harry Langdon, Marceline Day and Andy Clyde; “Married to Order” (1920), directed by and starring Charley Chase with Oliver Hardy; and Charlie Chaplin’s “Behind the Screen” (1916). Admission is $6 and tickets are available at the door.

“Culture and Cocktails: New Acquisitions.” 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 24. Christopher Uebelhor, Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center’s director of collections and exhibitions, will display some of the museum’s newest items. Light fare and open bar in the Mansard Gallery of the Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. This event is for museum members only. Advanced registration is required.

To register, contact Anne Marie Paquette at or at 540/371-3037, ext. 400.

“Steamships, Slaves, Railroads, and Armies: Aquia Landing.” 7 p.m. Friday, July 25. See this important, antebellum transportation hub and Civil War supply depot with John Hennessy, chief historian of Fredericksburg and Spotsyvlania National Military Park. 2846 Brooke Road, Stafford. A Stafford 350th Anniversary program. Bring a lawn chair.

“Archaeology: The Science of History” Educator Workshop at Ferry Farm. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 28–31. Teachers will engage in scientific and anthropological methods used by archaeologists and historical researchers to understand artifacts and how they inform us about everyday life at the Washington family’s home farm. Educators will work with George Washington Foundation staff to dig and analyze artifacts excavated here. Participants will even learn how to concoct 18th-century glues similar to adhesives Mary Washington might have used to mend her broken punch bowl. Cost: $75; 20 recertification points. To register, call 540/370-0732 ext. 15, or email

Guided walking tours, historic Fredericksburg. 10 a.m. Saturdays, through October, in conjunction with Fredericksburg Area Museum, Hallowed Ground Tours offers 75-minute walking tour through downtown’s Historic District. Eight- to nine-block walk begins in Market Square, the old city center behind museum’s Old Town Hall (900 Princess Anne St.). $4/adults, $1/students.

“Nobly Has That Little Band Worked.” New exhibit at Mary Washington House highlights preservation efforts behind the against-the-odds survival of the last home of the first U.S. president’s mother. 1200 Charles St., Fredericksburg. washingtonheritage; 540/373-1569.

From Prehistory to the White House. Port Royal Museum of American History and Gift Shop. 506 Main St., off U.S. 301 in Port Royal in Caroline County. Open Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Multi-themed museum, with White House, American–Indian and John Wilkes Booth artifacts, is a project of all-volunteer Historic Port Royal. For group or by-appointment tours, call 804/742-5406 or 804/742-5654.

“Magical History Tours” in Culpeper County. 4:30 p.m. on second Friday of each month through November. Visitors ride Culpeper Trolley for free, three-hour tours; each one visits two destinations. Space limited to 28 people. Reservations required; visit or call 540/727-0611 two weeks before tour date for details or to hold your seat.

“Fast Forward 2014.” New exhibition at Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center of selected works from studio art majors at University of Mary Washington: Rita Artinian, Travis Jarrells, Lula Ruggles Lambert, Sidney Mullis and Ashley Smith. They explore role of history in generation of creative ideas. Through Aug. 4. Other temporary exhibitions include “Woman Adorned: Transcending Time, Transforming Culture”; “Military Surplus”; and “George Washington and the Masonic Tradition.” 540/371-3037;

Summer hours, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Now through Sunday, Aug. 10, the four-battlefield-park’s various sites are open as follows: Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center: Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center: daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chatham: daily, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “Stonewall” Jackson Shrine, Guinea Station: daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wilderness Exhibit Shelter, State Route 20: Historian on duty, daily, 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Spotsylvania Exhibit Shelter, off State Route 613: Historian on duty, daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Old Salem Church, Spotsylvania: Saturdays and Sundays, 3–6 p.m. Ellwood, Locust Grove: daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Third annual Irvington Crab Festival. Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Irvington Town Commons. Steamed crabs, barbecue and music by Jumbo Lump Daddy & the Backfin Boys. $35 for adults, $10 for children 12 and younger. Prices may increase July 1 based on crab availability. Tickets at Steamboat Era Museum, 156 King Carter Drive, Irvington, or at Proceeds benefit museum. 804/438-6888.


“One Life: Grant and Lee.” Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant were the greatest antagonists in America’s biggest bloodletting. Having waged no-holds-barred warfare on Virginia’s soil 150 years ago this summer, they now share joint billing in this superb new show at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington. The gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, at Eighth and F streets NW, opposite Verizon Center.; 202/633-1000;

“Homegrown: The Music of America” concert series features traditional music and dance drawn from communities across the United States through September. All concerts are at noon in the Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington. On Wednesday, Aug. 6, “Blues Music From Maryland” will feature Phil Wiggins and Friends, an all-star blues and dance group including Phil Wiggins (harmonica), Rick Franklin (guitar and vocals) Marcus Moore (violin) and Junious Brickhouse (dance). Concerts are free and open to the public.

No tickets are required.

“Along the Rail: Andrew Morgan.” Exhibit features images captured as photographer traveled along railroad tracks between Culpeper and Remington. Through July 23 at Center for the Arts, The Candy Factory, 9419 Battle St., Manassas. Gallery hours 10 a.m.

to 5 p.m. weekdays and 1–5 p.m. Sundays. 703/330-2787;

Virginia in the Civil War. For a current, complete list of Civil War-related events, tours and programs through the commonwealth, visit virginiacivil, website of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.

“Painters and Paintings in the Early American South.” Art museums of Colonial Williamsburg exhibit 80-plus works created between 1735 and 1800; 40 objects on loan from other museums and private collectors.

“Paper Trail: Recording Rites of Passage in German-Speaking America.” Exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum celebrates highly decorative records created by early America’s German-speaking people. See 17 frakturs, colorful, fanciful watercolors and illuminated manuscripts that noted births, baptisms, marriages, deaths. Enter through Public Hospital of 1773.; 757/220-7724.


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