Tag Archives: spotsylvania virginia

Fredericksburg Pet Show

Who let the dogs out? You did if you plan on bringing your furry friends to the 8th Annual Fredericksburg Pet Show! The Fredericksburg Expo Center invites you and your favorite pets to join them on September 21 from 10:00 Am – 5:00 PM and September 22 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at this family-fun event that is sure to put a smile on every face. All well behaved pets are welcome, and the fun doesn’t end with cats and dogs. Pigs, lizards, birds, Opossum and pets of all kinds will be there. All dogs that are attending are welcomed to challenge the Agility Course and Dog Racetrack from Dogloversdays. What could possibly make this event even better?  How about a performance from the famous Twiggy, The Water-Skiing Squirrel! Admission is $9.00 for Adults | $8* Advance, and $8.00 for Seniors (60+) | $7* Advance. Children 12 and under are free! For more information, be sure to click here. We all love our furry friends, so let’s give them a day to show it!

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.

Virginia Cider Festival

Fall is right around the corner, and what better way to enjoy the last weekend of summer than visiting the 2019 Virginia Cider Festival in Fredericksburg, Virginia! Located at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds on September 14 from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. You’ll enjoy countless hard ciders from all over the country, with live musical performances and plenty of delicious food from local establishments. Good times are sure to be had by all! Tickets are available for $30.00 for guests 21+, $10.00 for designated drivers and anyone 16+, and free for guests 15 and under! Parking is free and amply available. Tasting glasses will be available for general admission ticket holders, while supplies last. Be sure to click here for more information and full details about the event. Fall is upon us, so let’s raise our glasses and toast to the changing seasons!

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.

2019 Virginia State Fair

It’s that time of the year again! The 2019 Virginia State Fair is right around the corner, so get ready for some rides, games and of course, a giant turkey leg! Virginians have been coming since 1854 in celebration of food, fun, family and community. This year is no exception and looks to be a fair to remember! Held at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, this 10-day event is set to begin on September 27 at 10:00 AM. Tickets are on sale until August 31, and full price ticket will start on September 1. For more information, be sure to click here. Virginia is for lovers, and we all love a good fair!

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.

HAUNTED MANOR TOUR

Want to send a shiver down your spine? Tired of watching ghost shows, and want to experience it first hand? Than be sure to pay a visit to Deep Creek Vintage on September 7, 2019 as they take you along an after-hours ghost tour that is sure to make even the bravest of us quiver in fear. Guests will be a part of a 2.5-hour interactive tour that takes you through the manor, where your courage will be put to the test. You’ll learn the history that lies beneath these haunted grounds, hear all kinds of paranormal activity that occurs within the walls, and take part in a real EVP recording session! Tickets are available for $30.00. Suitable for mature children over 12. For more information be sure to click here. If you’re ready for a frightening good time, then make sure you’re there on September 7th!

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.

Wild Roots Music Festival

Wild Roots Music Festival at Wilderness Presidential Resort in Spotsylvania, VA!

Wilderness Presidential Resort located at 9220 Plank Rd in Spotsylvania Virginia 22553 is hosting the Wild Roots Music Festival on Saturday, September 21st from 12pm – 8pm.

Licata Group is proud to be a sponsor of this festival that will consist of 4 live Americana bands, several food trucks, a beer garden and many local artists.

Live Music will be performed by: Karen Jonas, Whiskey Revival, Cabin Creek and the Hive Robbers. The craft beer garden will feature local downtown Fredericksburg Brewery: Spencer Devon Brewing.

This is a rain or shine event with tickets for sale at $20 each, tickets prices do not include the beer garden. Purchase tickets here. Grab your friends and family and prepare for a relaxing Saturday enjoying some good music with delicious food!

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.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 4: An Oral History of a Local Slave Family

Do you know your family’s history?  How far back can you trace your lineage?  If you are an African American descended from slaves, that quest can be very difficult, often impossible.  Most of what we know about the history of slaves and their families comes from oral traditions carried from generation to generation.  Such is the case of Anthony Jones, a slave on the Ellwood Plantation in the first half of the 19th century, and his family.

Shortly before his death in New York City, Jones shared a believable story of his family and their roles at the plantation.   Anthony was the son of Ester and Anthony Jones, Sr., likely the Black Minister for the plantation’s slaves.  Anthony, Sr. and Ester had 8 children, some of whom are documented on slave censuses from Spotsylvania and Orange Counties.

William Jones, the owner of Ellwood, was widowed in 1825.  He remarried a few years later at 78 to Lucinda Gordon, a 16 year old grandniece of his first wife.  She brought her personal slave, Patsy, with her to Ellwood.   Like most slaves during this period, Patsy developed a specialty – her skill was weaving. The younger Anthony took a shine to Patsy as she sat weaving and, after wooing her for an extended time, asked her to marry him.   Patsy agreed and Anthony, as the law then required, had to ask for permission from the plantation owner; after William Jones agreed, Anthony and Patsy took up residency in the laundry house at Ellwood.   They had four children over the next 13 years – the first three (Isaac, Aaron, and Lucy) died in infancy.

Exhibit 4 Slave Auction Block

Over time, Anthony grew increasingly unhappy with his Ellwood life, working the fields and gold mining on plantation property.   In the early 1840s he opted to run away, leaving his then pregnant wife Patsy, his parents and his 7 siblings behind.   He was captured and returned to Fredericksburg where he was jailed and sold to a slave trader, John Ellis.   After the sale, Anthony had to accompany his master on a trip into the Deep South.  On their return by boat, Ellis became sick and died, leaving Anthony in charge of the owner’s personal belongings.  Instead of returning to Fredericksburg, Anthony stayed on the ship headed to New York.  On arrival, he locked his owner’s trunk, gave the key to the ship’s captain, and announced that he was going to Church.   He never returned to the ship.

Anthony obtained employment in New York and for the next few years attempted to correspond with Patsy; she later claimed to have received only one letter which had to be read to her by the local postmaster (Almond).  Unfortunately, she lost that letter during the Civil War. She and her youngest child, Anthony III, later laid claim to the wealth her husband accumulated during his New York working days.  The elder Jones’ siblings, Isaac Smith and Elizabeth Keaton, also pursued the estate through the New York probate court. Those proceedings (1873-1876) and their related testimonials afforded considerable insight into the family, some of which are shared in this article.

(The rest of the story, obtained from the court proceedings, will appear in the next episode.)

Author:  Bob Epp

Date: March 2018

Read Chapter 3: Plantation Life in the Wilderness

Continue to Chapter 5: an Oral History (continued)

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 2 The Wilderness – The Early Years

Initially, this series on History in Our Backyard described how the Wilderness became the Wilderness.  Now we will delve into the early inhabitants who came to what would become known as “The Wilderness.” All things Wilderness were synonymous with Alexander Spotswood, the colony’s Royal Lt Governor in the early 1700s. He initiated the economic progress of the region through his efforts to establish Germanna fort and an iron industry. One source states that “there, thirty miles from the last outlying farms, the Germans set to work, clearing a site on the riverbank and building a fortified town.” The same source references the fort being supplied by pack-trains of mules and horses.


Exhibit 2 Germanna Fort

Those same pack-trains were instrumental in his 1716 venture into the mountains to the west. His band of adventure-seeking explorers departed from the Germanna fort accompanied by animals laden with supplies including a healthy supply of spirits. He later awarded each participant with a golden horseshoe pin thereby identifying them as the “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe” for eternity.

At the time of Spotswood’s term as Lt Governor of Virginia in 1722, he had firmly established his presence in the area. Through a somewhat devious plan he had accumulated over 80,000 acres of land. Records show that he never sold a single acre of the land, choosing instead to lease lots, mostly in 50 acre parcels, a few in parcels of up to 500 acres.

English law at that time dictated that settlers construct a home and plant an orchard on their leased property within three years. They also had to clear and plant a minimum one-acre garden and/or cropland. Initially, many chose to plant tobacco. The Colony was cash-strapped in those days and tobacco became the medium of exchange in most commercial transactions.

A 1724 inventory of Spotswood’s properties shows that he owned his fort, his large home, dozens of farm animals and the basis of the iron works, namely the Tubal site, about 12 miles east of his residence. At Germanna, he established the first County seat of Spotsylvania and held court in his home. The presence of the court quickly brought its own society; travelers arrived routinely for appearances before the justices.

County courts developed “Order Books” in those days. Both the Spotsylvania and later Orange (after 1734) books contain references to orders issued to Spotswood, primarily dictating that he organize work crews to maintain the road to Germanna and the bridge over Wilderness Run, located near the present day intersection of State Route 3 and US 20. Local residents provided the labor for the crews, usually their slaves. Spotswood did maintain the ferry that operated over the Rapid Anne River, today’s Rapidan. He also maintained his own road from Germanna to the Tubal Iron Works.

Eventually, small enterprises sprang up in the area. Those that were not located at the Court complex would be found along the Germanna Road. Retail stores, grain mills, saw mills, post offices, wagon makers and leatherworks businesses all found their place. Physicians took up residence in the area and church spires began to become part of the local scenery. By 1725 there were 7 plantations alone in the area surrounding the Tubal Iron Works site. The new Wilderness society was beginning to take shape.

Author:  Bob Epp

Date:  September 2017

Read Previous Chapter 1: How the Wilderness Became the Wilderness

Continue to Chapter 3: Plantation Life in 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 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.