Fredericksburg's Past is a Present

21 Apr
April 21, 2011

Avery-Hess Realtors’ Fredericksburg office recently posted its 365th “Thing to Do” in Fredericksburg VA, completing a year-long blog aimed at giving Fredericksburg residents something to do every day for 365 days straight. But the fun isn’t over yet!

To celebrate, the blog is hosting a contest open to the general public that’s easy to enter. Simply submit an original photograph involving something you did in the past 365 days in the “Burg” and send it to fredericksburg@averyhess.com. Entries being accepted April 16th – May 31st and the public voting to be held the first week in June. Winning contestants will receive some incredible prizes, like an overnight stay at a downtown Fredericksburg hotel!

In honor of the contest, MyLifestyle is taking a closer look at some of the enjoyable things to do in the Fredericksburg area.

Fifty-two miles south of Washington, DC lies the small town of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Though only 22,000 people strong, the community is vibrant and alive. Located on the banks of the Rappahannock River, Fredericksburg offers old world charm less than an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C.

The town has been around since colonial times and has played a significant role in United States history, especially during the Civil War. In the 1860s, the city sat directly between the Union capitol of Washington, D.C. and the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia and became of strategic importance.

Fredericksburg proudly displays its historical importance with a large historic district in the middle of town. It is filled with numerous building that date back to the 18th century and is a great place for fans of the Colonial times to visit.

The Risking Sun Tavern and Kenmore Plant are two of the areas most famous Revolutionary-Era buildings in the 40-block historic district.

George Washington’s brother, Charles, built the Rising Sun Tavern in the 1760s. The white clapboard building, on the corner of Caroline and Fauquier Streets, was originally Charles’ home. In 1792, the house was converted into a tavern. Though alcohol’s no longer served there, visitors can see the restored bar where “tavern wenches” and “indentured servants” replicate what the tavern experience would feel like.

Kenmore Plantation was also built by one of George Washington’s relatives and is just five blocks away, down Fauquier Street. This house was built by his sister Betty and her husband. It is a brick, Georgian-style mansion, both opulent and elegant. The plaster ceilings feature intricate designs and many rooms still have their original wallpaper.

If it’s the Civil War interests you, there are numerous famous battlefields near the city’s center. Two sites near Fredericksburg are the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse and the Battle of the Wilderness.

The two battles were fought just days apart, in the spring of 1864, and were some of the deadliest campaigns in the entire Civil War.

Both battlefield sites are within reasonable distance of Fredericksburg. Spotsylvania Courthouse, is a scenic trip, just ten miles away.  The battle occurred inside the city limits,  so visitors can easily visualize where Union and Confederate soldiers set up and waged their campaigns.

The Battle of the Wilderness is much closer to Fredericksburg and offers a treat for true history buffs. Somewhere in the massive state park lies a small stone marker. Under it, buried, is the arm of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. In the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863, he was shot twice in the left arm and it had to be amputated. Jackson died of pneumonia several days later. The arm, though, never left the field hospital and is buried in the park.

With all the causalities that occurred around the city during the war, Fredericksburg is considered one of America’s most haunted cities, and ghost tours abound. At nighttime, guides will take you down the darkened streets of the historic district of Fredericksburg and regale you with stories of buildings whose owners, though long passed, still lord over the places. There are many companies offering tours, a good provider to check out is Ghosts of Fredericksburg. They offer tours starting at just $11 a person.

And whether you’d like to experience your history by day or in the dark, Fredericksburg is the perfect place to visit…365 days a year.

Visit the 365 Things to Do in Fredericksburg blog for more information on the photography contest and then be sure to “like” it on Facebook to get daily updates on all the great things to do in the area!

-David

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