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Central Rappahannock
Heritage Center Newsletter
A place that loses its history loses it soul
Volume 7, Issue 1
January 2017
In This Issue

The Heritage Center gladly provides research services.  Please contact the center for rates.
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Message From The Chairman

Happy New Year!  As we welcome in 2017, we have so much to look forward to. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.  Founded in 1997 by a group of dedicated people who believed in the mission of preserving our area's rich local heritage, the Center has continued this mission with the help of an outstanding volunteer staff.  As the Center's document and photographic collections continue to grow, our staff tirelessly works to preserve them and make them available to researchers.

Speaking of collections, I'm pleased to announce that, through the generosity of the John T. Rector Fund, the Center was able to contract with Kofile Technologies of Greensboro, N.C. to have two important books in the Center's collections beautifully restored.  One is the McCoull Farm Journal (1795-1845) from Spotsylvania County and the other is the Hopewell Nursery Book (1833-1860), also from Spotsylvania County.  Kofile cleaned all the surfaces, removed damaging tape, de-acified the pages and repaired the tears. The results are three bound volumes that are splendid to see!
In my message last January, I mentioned that I considered it vital to increase awareness of the Center through a combination of marketing, technology and word of mouth.  To that end, the Center was able to hire a professional marketing agency this past year to develop a five year marketing plan, taking it through 2021.  Another key component of outreach is to develop a "brand", recognizable images that tell who we are and what we do.  I won't say any more right now but please "stay tuned" for more on this subject in the coming months.  I believe we will have some exciting news to share as the Center enters its 20th year!
In closing, please remember that Old Man Winter will be with us for the next couple of months, even though we may occasionally get fooled by temperatures in the 60's!  In case of snow, the Center follows the schedule set by the Fredericksburg Public Schools for weather closings and delays so please check in case of inclement weather.  Our website, though, is always open for business.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!
Meredith Beckett
CRHC Chairman  

Welcome New Members 
Ms. Jenny Guth 

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

Canwick - A House Divided

In 1794, Daniel Hyde became the owner of 736 acres with a dwelling known as Canwick.  The house had a wide center hall with double doors opening onto both front and back porches. Daniel was married to Sarah.  They had a falling out and unable to resolve their differences, Daniel divided the house in half, right down the middle of the center hall.  Sarah got the east half including half of the spring, Daniel lived on the west side and used the west side of the spring.  The division did not go away upon the death of Daniel in 1831.  He left his half and 495 acres to son Richard and to Sarah, 241 acres and her half of the house.  Richard inherited Sarah's half when she died in 1835.  But, Richard did not eliminate the division, he eventually sold the halves separately.  Mrs. C.M. Todd bought Sarah's half and 100 acres in 1850.  The property remained in the Todd family.  By 1893, Richard Todd owned Sarah's half and arranged to purchase Daniel's half, reuniting the house until 1910.  Upon his death, Richard left Daniel's half to his wife Robertine.  Finally, in 1919 Aubrey Haney purchased both tracts.  Mrs. Haney moved Sarah's half of the house, with the entire hall, to the front of the property on Catharpin Road.  It remains there today while Daniel's half has collapsed.

The Canwick house remains a curiosity.  Its history was documented by Mildred Barnum as part of the Virginia Historical Inventory Project of the Works Project Administration (1936).

Canwick is one of the stranger stories in the Heritage Center's collection and can be found in the November 1991 edition of the Fredericksburg Times.  The Canwick story was written by Virginia Wright Durrett, a Spotsylvania historian.  The Fredericksburg Times, edited by the late historian and writer, Barbara Crookshanks, was published monthly for 25 years.  The Center has a nearly complete collection.  Should anyone have copies that would complete the collection, please consider donating them. 
Beth Daly 
CRHC Member

Newly Acquired Collections
Acquired collections for the month include: 
  • Minute book from County Line Baptist Church, 1829-1856.  Both original and a transcribed copy
  • Photographs from a D-Day Party, 1988 near the Rappahannock River
  • News clippings of Fredericksburg
  • Assorted pamphlets and brochures
  • An invitation to an Investiture from the Court of Appeals of VA, 1989
  • An 1889 receipt for purchases of sundries
  • Postcard entitled "Leaving For Camp Life, Camp Lee, 1918"
  • Miscellaneous receipts, 1981
  • Book; Here Is The Church, A History of St. Mary Parish
  • Stafford student handbook, 1995-96; 1966 commencement announcement for Stafford High School; Gari Melchers "Paintbrush" newspapers, 1956-57
  • News articles and other memorabilia from the "Save Our Shelter" movement for the Thurman Brisben Shelter, 2001-2003
  • Miscellaneous collection of postcards, correspondence, and new clippings from former owner of 1129 Hanover St.

Family and friends come to mind easily during the last part of the season and the beginning of the new year. Many folks become nostalgic.  As anyone who has visited our Facebook page has seen, the placement of a lifetime of memories shouldn't be relegated to chance or the dumpster.  Please think about where your memories may end up.

John Reifenberg
CRHC Collections Manager
Can you help identify these photos?
The 1956 Miss Caroline County contestants from the Mayhugh & Campbell 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)