Civic Club Meeting at the Germanna Visitors Center

by Pat Licata, President

The Lake of the Woods Civic Club will hold its Wednesday, May 15th meeting at the Germanna Foundation’s Visitors Center, which is located adjacent to the Germanna Community College’s main campus about three miles west of LOW.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm.  The meeting is open to all Lake of the Woods residents.

Germanna Foundation’s Executive Director Timothy Sutphin will tell us about the over 300-year history of the Germanna community, plus current and future plans for The Germanna Foundation.

 Germanna Foundation’s Archaeologist Eric Larsen, Ph.D. will discuss this summer’s archaeology and the ongoing work on the Fort Germanna and Enchanted Castle sites.  They hope to uncover secrets of the fort that was commissioned by Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood in 1714 and settled by German colonists. 

Lt. Governor Spotswood of Virginia, built two forts, Fort Germanna in the north and Fort Christianna in the south to protect the British Empire on the western frontier.  At Fort Germanna, Spotswood populated the fort with Germans from the Siegen area of Germany who were skilled miners.  He used their expertise in mining to develop an iron industry for the Virginia colonies.  After the Germans had migrated out of the area, Spotswood then build his “Enchanted Castle” on the site and established the short-lived county seat of Spotsylvania County.

At Fort Germanna the confluence of multiple cultures came into play; these include Native Americans, the English, the Germans as settlers, and the enslaved as the imported labor for Spotswood after the Germans migrated west.

This is a great spring opportunity to join your neighbors and tour the Visitor Center and the new Hitt Archaeology Center. The area around Germanna and Lake of the Woods is rich in centuries-old history.

We look forward to seeing you on May 15th at the Germanna Visitors Center at 6:30 pm.  There will be time allotted for questions, so please bring yours!

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