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Central Rappahannock
Heritage Center Newsletter
A place that loses its history loses it soul
Volume 7, Issue 9
September, 2017
In This Issue

The Heritage Center gladly provides research services.  Please contact the center for rates.
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4:00 p.m., the first Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or by appointment
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Message From The Chairman

On Wednesday, September 27, at 6:30 PM, The Heritage Center will hold its annual meeting in the auditorium of the Fredericksburg branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, located at   1201 Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg. At 7 PM, immediately following the meeting, there will be a program by guest speaker Walter Sheffield. Mr. Sheffield is currently a practicing attorney in Fredericksburg, a member of the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution, a former City of Fredericksburg vice-mayor, as well as a former City attorney. Mr. Sheffield's presentation will be "Jack Jouett vs. Paul Revere". The presentation will focus on Jack Jouett, "the Paul Revere of the South" and his late night ride from Cuckoo in Louisa County to Monticello to warn Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virginia, and the Virginia legislature of the approach of British cavalry, which had been sent to capture them. Members, please plan to attend the annual meeting, as we need a quorum to conduct business, and plan to stay afterward for Mr. Sheffield's presentation. You won't be disappointed!
Tickets are now available to this year's "Rappahannock Repast" at Braehead Manor on Sunday, October 8.  Sales are brisk and limited to the first 150 people, so please plan to purchase your tickets soon.  For more information, please contact Meredith Beckett at, or call 540-371-9232.
Please note that The Heritage Center will be closed on Saturday, September 2, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.
Speaking of which, if you are traveling during the Labor Day weekend, please be safe and enjoy the holiday!
Meredith Beckett
CRHC Chairman  

Become a Member Today    
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

Sharing Our Resources

Sometimes research projects just happen. Several volunteers from Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. have been assisting the Fredericksburg Area Museum in identifying and documenting items in their textile collection. Some with the provenance. Two dresses and a coat were identified as belonging to people who lived in the area. The names were familiar because the Heritage Center has information on both women.

The first dress, described as a second-day wedding dress, belonged to Frances Edna Whitmire (1843 - 1912) of Greenville, South Carolina.  Miss Whitmire married Jeremiah Malcolm Harris of Culpeper County on June 13, 1869. Mr. Harris was a professor at Furman University where Frances' father was a dean. It is beautiful lavender silk dress embroidered with tiny flowers. The new Mrs. Harris wore the dress on the day after her wedding. She, or someone else, may have worn it many more times as it shows some signs of wear. From the Willis Collection at Heritage Center, we learn that the Harrises eventually returned to Culpeper County and had a daughter, Edna Elizabeth who married Benjamin Powell Willis, the grandparents of Judge J.M.H. Willis, Jr.

Frances Edna Whitmire and her second-day wedding dress
Click on image to enlarge

The second dress is a formal black silk dress with lace and tassels. It belonged to Blanche Russell Sabetty (1908 - 1976). Mrs. Sabetty, whose husband Lawrence was killed during World War II, taught dance. She was on the faculty at Mary Washington College and later owned and operated her own dance studio, Sabetty School of Dance Arts at 622 Kenmore Avenue. She lived at her grandparents' home at 300 Princess Anne Street, later home to Pelham Felder, a local pewter smith. The coat is made of heavy black silk and trimmed with white lace. Mrs. Sabetty was a patron of the arts and likely wore these garments when attending performances and concerts.
Pooling the resources of several historical organizations benefits all of them and provides a more complete picture of our local history. For more information on these residents and others who lived in the central Rappahannock area, visit the Heritage.

Beth Daly
CRHC Member


Newly Acquired Collections

Acquired collections for the month include: 

  • Mahon Family portraits
  • Additions to the Lost Wills of Caroline County
  • 1857 ledger of Thomas Valentine's tailor business
  • Photographs.
As one can see by reviewing the acquired donations collected over a short period of time, there is a vast array of information types that are of interest to the Center and therefore the community.  I cannot stress enough that what may appear mundane, unimportant, or insignificant today may have enormous value later in time.  Part of our job is not to judge future value by looking at it through the eyes of the present.  So scour your attic, basement, or garage and please consider a donation today.
John Reifenberg
CRHC Collections Manager
Can you help identify this photo?

The Stafford County Offi cer was identified as retired VA State trooper Michael Dailey.
  Thanks to Nat who put the picture on Stafford Talk, and to Doug Green and Terry Decatur who identified Officer Dailey.
Click on photo to enlarge

Can you identify the staff of the 1982 Fredericksburg Savings and Loan Aquia Branch?
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