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Central Rappahannock
Heritage Center Newsletter
A place that loses its history loses it soul
Volume 7, Issue 7
July 2017
In This Issue

The Heritage Center gladly provides research services.  Please contact the center for rates.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m., the first Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or by appointment
900 Barton Street #111 Fredericksburg, VA  22401
(540) 373-3704
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Message From The Chairman

SAVE THE DATE!  I'm happy to announce that the 7th annual "Rappahannock Repast" will be held on Sunday, October 8, 2017, on the grounds of historic Braehead Manor.  For those of you who attended the event last year, I'm sure you will agree that the venue was truly lovely.  For those of you who missed the fun last year, please don't miss out this year! Tours of the house will be available and the terraces and grounds are beautiful and perfect for strolling.  More details will follow as we get closer to the event but do mark your calendars now and plan to attend.  Tickets will be available for sale in August and will be limited to 150 people.
The Repast is a significant fund raising event for the Center.  The funds raised allow our all-volunteer staff to continue its work of preserving our local history and making it accessible to researchers.  To that end, the Repast Committee is currently seeking sponsors at the $500 level to underwrite the expenses of the event so that the money raised from ticket sales will go directly to supporting the Center. A sponsor, either individual or corporate, will receive public acknowledgment of sponsorship and a pair of complimentary tickets.
If you, or anyone you know, is willing to be a sponsor, please contact me at or call the Center at 373-3704.  We would be so grateful for the support!
In closing, please note that in observance of the 4th of July holiday, the Center will be closed on Saturday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 4.  We will reopen on Wednesday, July 5.
Happy Birthday, America!

Meredith Beckett
CRHC Chairman  

Welcome New Members   
 Thomas Duckenfield

CRHC memberships support the important work done by the Center.  The Center fills a unique role in the region, the preservation of our people's history, which we make available for research.  We are a 100% all volunteer, non-profit organization.

Please join us as part of the Heritage Center's preservation team!  As a CRHC member, you will be helping to preserve our priceless local history.  Click here to become a member today! 

Thank you for your support,

The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center


Modes of communication are changing with the times.  Nowhere is this more apparent than at the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.  Cursive writing is not taught in most schools.  Many people under the age of forty cannot write or read longhand.  We no longer keep in touch by writing letters and notes, we send emails, texts and tweet.  A fading tradition is the postcard.  Have you tried to buy a postcard lately?  Once they were souvenirs of a trip, available in stores. Postcards also advertised restaurants and places to stay and visit.

The Center has a large collection of postcards, some dating back to the early twentieth century.  Postcards peaked in the mid-twentieth century.  One group of postcards showcases the motels, motor courts and tourist homes on the major traffic routes on Highway One and Route 301.  These once busy roads (before Interstate 95) led travelers north and south; Florida was often the destination. One hotel postcard stated "On Route 1, the shortest Route to Florida. All paved."

The most humorous and strangest collection of postcards are linen textured cards identified as "No. 926 Freak Vegetables".  They called attention to Marye, Virginia, an unincorporated farming community in southeast Spotsylvania County.  Apparently Marye had extremely rich soil and phenomenal growing conditions.  The postcards depict enormous vegetables - a stalk of celery, an ear of corn and a cucumber stretch the entire length of railroad flat cars.  Two onions, an apple and two cabbages fill three other flat cars on the postcards. The cards date from 1943 and 1944 and were sent to Lieutenant Druid Mills from Spotsylvania, an Army officer, by his sister Ida Mills Chewning and her daughter.

These cards were available from a distributor who printed the name of any community on the card.

Do you have postcards of the Central Rappahannock area?  If you do, please consider donating them, they tell many stories.  Consider visiting the Center to see the collections that tell our local history.


Click on image to enlarge

Beth Daly 
CRHC Member

Newly Acquired Collections

Acquired collections for the month include:  
  • Approval documents allowing slaves to join the White Oak Primitive Baptist Church, beginning about 1802
  • School records for Carolena E. Yates granting a teaching certificate, 1919.  Photographs
  • Check from the Bank of King George, 1928
  • United Daughters of the Confederacy correspondence, photos, receipts, and account statements
  • DeBaptiste Family information brochure
  • Five scrapbooks added to Ann Page Garden Club collection
John Reifenberg
CRHC Collections Manager
Can you help identify this photo?

The Woman's Club raft, Rappahannock River Raft Race, July 4, 1980
Courtesy of the Woman's Club of Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. collection.
(click on photo to enlarge) 
Please contact Sharon Null at

The Circle Unbroken: Civil War Letters of the Knox Family of Fredericksburg

On sale now at the Heritage Center 
$29.70 for members 
$33.00 for non-members 
You can also purchase the book online from the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation
   (click on image to order online) 
Daisy Turner's Kin
An African American Family Saga
Jane C. Beck

On sale now at the Heritage Center