Tag Archives: Orange County

chilli

Orange County’s 4th Annual Chili Cookoff, Brewfest & Corn hole Tournament

Saturday, October 12th from 11AM – 6PM. Join the Orange County Chamber of Commerce as they host the 4th Annual Chili Cookoff, Brewfest and Corn hole Tournament! The festivities will take place at the Orange County Fairgrounds located at 14500 Old Gordonsville Rd, Orange VA 22960.

Chili festival is always delicious with many participants submitting their chili; there will be local and regional craft breweries to quench your thirst and of course, don’t forget to particpate in the East Orange Ruritan Club Corn hole tournament. There are CASH PRIZES for the corn hole tournament and chili cookoff.

Tickets range from $25 – $140. Get more ticket info here. The VIP experience is supposed to be IMPROVED, including: unlimited craft brew tasting, PLUS a $10 food truck voucher, exclusive craft brews and even a MEET & GREET with the WORX!

105.9 SAM FM will be broadcasting the festival from 11am – 1pm and the Worx will take the stage at 1:30PM for your afternoon music entertainment.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 12: Beef on the Hoof

Both Napoleon and Frederick the Great have been credited with the saying “An army marches on its stomach.”  Provisioning an army, especially one that numbered over 125,000 – the size of the Army of the Potomac at the beginning of General U.S. Grant’s Overland Campaign in May 1864 – would prove to be a monumental logistical challenge.

Fresh beef – 1¼ pounds daily according to the US War Department Army Regulations – was an important component of the Federal Civil War soldier’s ration.  The most practical way to furnish beef to campaigning soldiers was to have herds of cattle march with the army.

Exhibit 16 Cattle Crossing the Rapidan River

So how much beef was needed?  An estimate given by Lt. Colonel C. W. Tolles in 1864 stated “A bullock will furnish about 450 rations, so that an army of 100,000 men needs over two hundred beef cattle for its supply.”  Based on 450 rations per head of beef, an army of 125,000 men consumed 278 head of beef daily.

At least 6,000 head crossed the Rapidan River with the Army of the Potomac in early May of 1864.  These 6,000 documented head produced approximately 2.7 million rations, enough to supply an army of 125,000 for 21½ days.

The 6,000 head were gathered from holding pens in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C.  How did 6,000 head of cattle get to the Army of the Potomac for the Overland Campaign?

An excerpt from Feeding a Great Army ” in the United States Service Magazine in February 1880 by Brevet Brigadier General Thomas Wilson tells how:

“…to carry out my orders of supply, it would be necessary to have sent up to the front from Alexandria, some 50 miles distant, about 6,000 head of beef cattle, with the forage, corn in the ear, and hay necessary to subsist them until the march began, and this feat had to be accomplished between one Friday morning and the next Tuesday night; or, in other words… an average of 1,200 head of beef cattle had to be sent daily by me for five days, with the necessary forage for their maintenance.

The existing capacity of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in cattle cars was, at this time, for only 300 head daily…

The sudden call and the subsequent remarkable feat of shipping 6,000 cattle over this road of a single track, in the time required and with its limited resources was accomplished by the authorities seizing all the flat cars within reach and placing fences around them…  In this manner, 1,800 head were sent up in one day of twenty-four hours.  At one time during the shipment an endless train of cattle cars was in transit, most of the railroad sidings being filled with them…  We received all the cattle asked for before the time needed.

Three hundred men were kept constantly employed in unloading the cattle cars on their arrival at the front, so that the emptied cars might be sent back without delay.”

The herds and animals that we see today in the rural parts of Spotsylvania and Orange Counties are insignificant when compared to those that travelled with General Grant.  The Army of the Potomac had more than 50,000 horses and mules and at least 6,000 head of beef.  Big armies meant big numbers.

Author: Rod Lackey
Date: July 2018

Read Previous Chapter 11: the Unfinished Railroad in the Battle of the Wilderness

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 11: the Unfinished Railroad in the Battle of the Wilderness

Chapter 10 described the history of the “unfinished railroad.”  This article tells how it was used during one of the Civil War’s battles.

Exhibit 14 General Wadsworth Monument

May 6, 1864 was a day of changing fortunes as the Union fought the Confederates along Orange Plank Rd.  It began with a 5 AM attack by the Union II Corps, reinforced by divisions from V and VI Corps, under command of General Hancock.  The attack drove General A.P. Hill’s III Corps from its positions.  They fled west towards Parker’s Store.  The 7 AM arrival of General Longstreet’s I Corps stemmed the rout.  Longstreet’s counter attack at Tapp Field drove the Federals back toward their starting positions to the east.  By 10 AM the two armies were at a standstill facing each other astride Orange Plank in the vicinity of the monument to Union General James Wadsworth.

Exhibit 15: Unfinished Railroad Cut

General Lee sent his Chief Engineer, General Smith, to see if there was a way to break the stalemate.  Smith and his party walked east along the unfinished railroad, which lay south of the Union’s flank. Both armies were aware of the unfinished railroad about ¼ mile south of and parallel to Orange Plank.  In the chaos of battle, neither army had thought about using it as an attack route, or about defending it against such an attack, until Smith’s reconnaissance.  Smith found the railroad grade undefended.  He returned and reported his findings to Longstreet. 

Longstreet sent four brigades to attack the Union flank under the command of his aide Lt. Col. Sorrel.  Sorrel arranged the men along the railroad grade and, when all men were in position, began the attack shortly after 11 AM.  It burst upon the Union flank in total surprise.  In addition, as soon as the fighting started on the flank, Longstreet’s remaining troops attacked the Union’s front.

McAlister’s brigade on the Union flank was first to feel the Confederate onslaught.  It was quickly routed.  Soon all eight Union brigades south of Orange plank had collapsed like dominos.  Union General Wadsworth, in command of Union forces north of Orange Plank, heroically attempted to organize a defense on the north side of the road.  It was to no avail leaving him mortally wounded.  By 12:30 PM, all Union positions had been overrun with the defenders withdrawing east to Brock Road or north to the Lacy House (Ellwood Manor).

The Confederate’s success quickly turned to failure.  While riding to the front to direct a continued advance, General Longstreet was accidentally shot by soldiers of the 12th Virginia of Mahone’s Brigade. While he survived, it wasn’t until four hours later that the Confederates were able to reorganize and resume the attack.  By then the Union had strengthened its defenses along Brock Road.  The renewed attack failed.  In addition to the short term loss, it would be months before Longstreet recovered sufficiently to resume command.

Author: John Bell

Date: July 2018

Read Previous Chapter. Chapter 10: The Unfinished Railroad

Continue to Chapter 12: Beef on the Hoof

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 10: The “Unfinished Railroad”

The term “unfinished railroad” refers to the roadbed without track that existed during the Civil War.  This article will give a brief description of its history. Another article will discuss its use specifically during the Civil War period.

Exhibit 12 Standard Gauge (left) vs. Narrow Gauge

The “unfinished railroad” had a role in the Civil War, but later it was two different working railroads run on the same roadbed. Although incorporated in 1853 no track had been laid as the Civil War began. Running between Orange and Fredericksburg, it existed under several names and configurations existing operationally from 1877 until 1984. The first line was narrow gauge, best known as the Potomac, Fredericksburg and Piedmont Railroad (PF&P). It provided passenger and freight service for almost fifty years. The second venture was standard gauge. It also hauled freight and passengers under the name of the Virginia Central Railway between 1927 to1937 and freight within Fredericksburg until 1984.

Incorporated in 1853, the Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad Company’s (FGRRC’s) “purpose was to build a railroad between Fredericksburg and Gordonsville or Orange Court House in order to connect with the rail lines already running to Gordonsville.” The company failed by November 1857.  Road grading from Fredericksburg on 18 miles of the project had taken place by the time of the Civil War but no track had been laid, thus the “unfinished railroad” term. The project was resurrected in 1871. Some progress was made by the new company, however, after many delays, the State took possession of the railroad in December of 1873. It restored the property to the original owner, the FGRRC. In March 1876 the railroad was again reorganized and the name changed to the Potomac, Fredericksburg and Piedmont (PF&P), best known to locals as the “Poor Folks, and Preachers” due to its clientele. The first train to Orange arrived on February 26th, 1877.

PF&P showed a profit for many years. 1910 proved a banner year with 18,000 passengers and $56,000 in freight revenue. The high point for number of employees was 63 in 1920 but the decline was coming. The automobile and the truck “offered portal to portal service and substantial reductions in labor costs.” Furthermore the line could not interchange freight with mainline connections. In 1925 the line was sold and reorganized as the Orange and Fredericksburg Railroad but that was quickly sold to Langhorne Williams, a Richmond banker. The new name was the Virginia Central and the first upgrade was to install standard gauge track in 1926.


Exhibit 13 PF&P Engine and Tender

The line generally operated at a loss until it petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1937 to abandon the 37 miles between Orange and West Fredericksburg. It would continue to operate one mile of track in Fredericksburg as a switching operation for 15 industrial customers.  The Williams family continued to operate that line until 1967 when it was transferred to the city. The line was quickly recognized as a white elephant and although several schemes promised a profit, in March of 1984 the ICC approved final abandonment

Three excellent sources of reading are “Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad Historical Society, Inc.” Volume 5, Issue 4, Fall 2009, “The Virginia Central Railway,” Ames Williams, pages 18-28, Remembering: A History of Orange County, Frank S. Walker Jr., pages 252-256 and “Tracks Through Time; A Railfan Tour of Orange County, Virginia”, Frank S. Walker Jr., page 20, a pamphlet available at the Orange County Visitor Center.

Author: Bob Lookabill
Date: July 2018

Read Previous Chapter 9: Robinson’s Tavern

Continue to Chapter 11: the Unfinished Railroad in the Battle of the Wilderness

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 7: Jackson’s Flank Attack & Wounding

On the evening of May 1, 1863, during the Battle of Chancellorsville, General “Stonewall” Jackson and Confederate commander General Robert E. Lee held an historic meeting sitting on a “cracker box” near the intersection of Plank and Furnace Roads.

They agreed upon a plan for Jackson to maneuver around the Union army and initiate a flank attack.  The next morning Jackson and approximately 28,000 troops, nearly half of Lee’s Army, started their march.  Charles Wellford, owner of Catherine Furnace, and his son guided them along back roads for 12 miles ending up on the right flank of the Union Army’s XI Corp.  Around 5:15 p.m., rebel soldiers attacked, routing the Union troops and pushing them back until nightfall.  Jackson considered pressing the attack but decided to conduct his own personal reconnaissance before committing to an unusual nighttime attack. 

Exhibit 7: Arm of Jackson

Jackson set out around 9 p.m. with his entourage.  His guide, 19 year old Private David Kyle, took them down a narrow road passing through Confederate lines and riding to within a few hundred yards of the enemy when Jackson’s staff cautioned that it would be too dangerous to go further.  They turned around, retracing their path when they were fired upon by their own soldiers, mistaking them for Union skirmishers.  Jackson was hit three times – once in his right hand and twice in the left arm.   His staff rushed to his side, summoned his surgeon, Dr. Hunter McGuire, placed Jackson in an ambulance, and transported him to a field hospital – a large tent at Wilderness Tavern – near today’s Routes 3 and 20 Intersection; there, Dr. McGuire amputated Jackson’s left arm.  Jackson’s chaplain, Beverly Tucker Lacy, carried Jackson’s amputated arm to Ellwood plantation, a mile away and owned by Lacy’s brother, where he buried it in the family cemetery; it remains there today.  When Gen Lee heard of Jackson’s wounding, he exclaimed that “Jackson may have lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm!”  After his amputation, Stonewall Jackson was transported 27 miles to Guinea Station, near exit 118 on Interstate 95, where he died of pneumonia on May 10.

Visit the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center, off Route 3, to learn more about Jackson’s flank attack and even follow along the Jackson Trail.  Ellwood Manor on Route 20 offers an opportunity to view the burial site of Jackson’s arm and hike to nearby Wilderness Tavern.  Finally, Guinea Station is a shrine to Jackson and readily accessible off Interstate 95.                                           

Author:  Joanne Pino
Date: May 2018

Read Previous Chapter. Chapter 6: Relive the Battle of the Wilderness

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 6: Relive the Battle of the Wilderness

Next month marks the 154th anniversary of one of the largest and most significant battles in America’s Civil War, the Battle of the Wilderness.  Conducted around, and sometimes on, our community’s grounds during the first week of May 1864, the battle is often considered the beginning of the end of the Confederacy.   This year, during the weekend of May 5 and 6, the National Park Service (NPS), in conjunction with local living history re-enactor organizations and the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield, will offer to the public, free of charge, a full range of events and demonstrations commemorating this momentous battle. 

This event will be held on the grounds of Ellwood Manor, a restored plantation home located on Route 20, approximately a half mile from intersection of Route 20 and Route 3.   Participating in the weekend’s activities will be Confederate and Union infantry and cavalry re-enactors as well as individuals depicting key battle commanders such as Generals Ulysses Grant, George Meade, and Gouverneur Warren.   Each participating organization will set up a campsite near Ellwood that will allow you to view several demonstrations of camp life, including stepping into the life of a soldier or learning about the medical realities of war in the mid-19th century.

Exhibit 6 Ellwood Event Layout

Anyone who wants to learn more about this hallowed land where we live should not miss this event.  The activities will be held on the grounds of Ellwood each day on May 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; some will be ongoing and others scheduled at specific times, usually on the hour. 

There will be multiple infantry and cavalry battle demonstrations between the Confederate and Union re-enactors each day.  At 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. both days, the NPS will conduct live fire artillery demonstrations.  At 4 p.m. on Saturday, all of the infantry, cavalry, and artillery units will conduct a combined battle demonstration.  You don’t want to miss these!  Just prior to the midday firing demonstrations each day, you will be able to witness a major confrontation among Generals Grant, Meade, and Warren just as it may have occurred on May 5, 1863.  There will be opportunities to talk to each of the participants and plenty of photo ops in front of the manor house as well as with all re-enactors and horses.

Regardless of what you know about the Wilderness Battle or the Civil War writ large, you will leave Ellwood with a better understanding of and new perspectives about the events that occurred on this hallowed ground and how they affected the final outcome of the war less than a year later. 

For more information about this Living History event, you can visit the local NPS website (www.nps.gov.frsp) or the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield website (www.fowb.org).  They will provide you with additional details about the events and participants, as well as the timeline for specific activities and demonstrations.   Mark your calendars – this weekend is a must see!

Author:  Dick Rankin
Date:  April 2018

Previous Chapter 5: An Oral History (Continued)

Continue to Chapter 7: Jackson’s Flank Attack & Wounding

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 5: an Oral History (continued)

In April, 1875, the New York Sun reported that Anthony Smith, commonly known as Anthony Jones, died in New York at the age of 70. Smith was a former slave who had run-away from the Wilderness of Virginia. During his life in New York Smith had accumulated a considerable estate but had neglected to write a will. Lacking a legal heir, the New York Court System took control of his affairs.

On his death-bed interview, Smith told the story of his life. Once the property of William Jones, owner of the Ellwood Manor estate in the Wilderness of Spotsylvania, His master William Jones had become a widower in the 1820s and several years later William remarried Lucinda Gordon who brought with her to Ellwood Mansion a personal slave, Patsey.

Anthony eventually wooed Patsey and with the consent of their owners they took up housekeeping on the Ellwood Manor grounds. Four children were born to the couple, but only one, the fourth, survived. About the time of William’s death in 1845, Anthony ran-away from his then pregnant wife and the Ellwood estate. He was captured, returned to Fredericksburg and sold to a new owner. After a trip to the South with his new master, Anthony again escaped and made his way to New York City, where he lived out his remaining years. Following the Emancipation, Anthony attempted to restore contact with his family back in the Wilderness, but with limited success. Patsey did retain one of his letters and later cited it as proof of their marital relationship.

The story as related above was published in the New York papers sometime after Anthony’s death. It was soon picked up and published by Richmond, Virginia papers. As a result, two sets of claimants to Anthony’s fortune came forth to the New York Court. One, the remaining sister and brother of Anthony declared extreme poverty. They were represented by J. Horace Lacy, their former owner through his marriage to Betty Churchill Jones, William Jones’ second daughter and heir to Ellwood.

Exhibit 5 J. Horace Lacy

The second claimants were Patsey, his first wife, along with the sole living child who was born after Anthony’s first escape. They were represented by lawyers Alexander & Green of Fredericksburg. When interviewed by the New York court, Patsey explained that she had waited a number of years following Anthony’s departure before taking in a new partner. Though partnered, she claimed to have been the wife of Anthony (citing the letter she retained) and therefore a legal heir to his estate.

The New York Court wrestled with the judgment for nearly a year. They recognized that New York and Virginia laws on marriage differed considerably in the pre-war era. Numerous testaments and affidavits were heard or submitted. Many of the claimants appeared before the referee at least one time. In the end, based on Patsey’s proof of their pre-war marital relationship, the court sided with Patsey. She received the estate, then valued at $20,000, cash and property.

Author:  Bob Epp
Date: March 2018

Read Previous Chapter. Chapter 4: An Oral History of a Local Slave Family

Continue to Chapter 6: Relive the Battle of the Wilderness

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

22nd Annual Children’s Fishing Tournament at Lake of the Woods!

Only a few more days left to register!!!! Register before June 12th for your child at: lakeyouth.org

The Lake Youth Foundation’s 22nd Annual Children’s Fishing Tournament will be held on Saturday, June 15th from 9AM – 11AM. Children ages 4 to 14 years old may participate so long as they are registered to do so! There will be no registrations taken the day of tournament – so register ASAP.

Check in on June 15th will begin at 8AM. The tournament will begin at 9am and end at 11am. Lunch will be served immediately following the tournament for children and families that participated in the event. The awards ceremony will begin at 12pm!

If your child will need a rod & reel to participate or if you have any questions, be sure to contact Terry Hileman ASAP at 540-972-8634 or email at: info@lakeyouth.org

Enjoy a day with your children while watching them participate in a sport that can love forever!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard: Chapter 1: How the Wilderness Became the Wilderness

Early May 1864 witnessed the first time that Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Union General Ulysses S. Grant – the two giants of the Civil War – met in battle in an area known then and forever more as the Wilderness.  The area had been known as the Wilderness for more than one hundred years before the Civil War but it was this bloody battle that would put the Wilderness on the map and in the history books forever.  What made these seventy square miles different from the rest of early Virginia?  How did the Wilderness become the Wilderness?  To answer these questions, we must go back to the early 1700’s when Virginia was still a British colony and Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood envisioned starting an iron smelting industry in this area.

Spotswood arrived in Hampton Roads in June, 1710, after being appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Virginia Colony.  Iron ore was known to exist in the area that would become the Wilderness even before Spotswood arrived in Virginia.  The British Government at that time restricted manufacturing to the home islands and looked to the colonies to produce and export raw materials back to England while importing finished goods manufactured from those raw materials.  Despite the lack of permission from the British Government to smelt iron in the colonies, Spotswood initiated the iron smelting operation in Virginia anyway. His initiative was in fact the first attempt at moving away from an agricultural to an industrial based economy in Virginia and actually in any of the colonies.  

There are three elements in that land that are critical to the smelting of iron ore:  the ground must contain iron ore; there must be large forests for fuel, and water for power must be available.  All of these features were abundant in what was to become the Wilderness and Spotswood began acquiring land in this area shortly after his arrival in Virginia. Within just a couple years he controlled over 80,000 acres in present day Orange and Spotsylvania Counties. 

But there was still one feature missing before Spotswood could turn his dream into reality and that was the presence of experienced manpower that could conduct the smelting operations.  So he arranged for the emigration of German iron workers to Virginia; the first emigrants began arriving here in April, 1713.  They were the original settlers of the Germanna community, located on the south bank of the Rapidan River near today’s State Route 3 and Germanna Community College.  By 1715 Spotswood had established the Tubal Furnace below the confluence of the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers and was smelting iron.  By 1750 there would be at least six blast furnaces smelting the area’s iron ore.

The smelting process required a fire hot enough to reach the iron ore’s melting point, 2,190 to 2,810 degrees Fahrenheit, and it had to be burning continuously for weeks at a time.  The amount of fuel for smelting the iron was enormous – nearly two acres of hardwood per ton of smelted iron – and some furnaces could burn as much as seven hundred acres of timber per year.  To obtain the fuel required clear cutting vast segments of the virgin forest in the area.  The second growth forest that sprang up afterward consisted of smaller, scrubbier trees which allowed the growth of ground covering vegetation.  The vines, briars, honeysuckle, poison ivy and other lower growing vegetation created an almost impenetrable wall of vegetation and resulted in the area, by at least 1750, becoming known as “The Wilderness.”  


Exhibit 1 The Wilderness Virginia

It was this second growth forest that was in place during the Civil War.  Although the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville was fought in and around the Wilderness, it was really the first encounter of Lee and Grant in May 1864 – right in our backyard – that the iconic name of “The Wilderness” became forever etched in Civil War and American history.

Author:  Don Shockey

Date:  August 2017

Read Previous: History in Our Backyard: Introduction

Continue to Chapter 2: The Wilderness- The Early Years

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

35361 Wilderness Shores Way

35361 Wilderness Shores Way, Locust Grove VA Home NOW SOLD! SOLD! SOLD!

Welcome to 35361 Wilderness Shores Way! This beautifully maintained home boasts sought after vaulted ceilings, a split bedroom floor plan with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths! Spacious master has an attached full bath and large walk in closet. Screened porch is great for enjoying a cup of coffee while watching the family enjoy the yard. Such a quaint community and close to all the necessities. You will be eager to call this place your home!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.