There are a few similarities between Sebring, Florida and Fredericksburg, Virginia. First, why do we care about these two cities? We’ve been (technically) residents of both! We were actually residents of the respective counties. (For postal purposes, we looked like residents of the cities.) And second, both are located in rural counties: Highlands County, Florida and Stafford County, Virginia. We do like rural living with a college nearby (for our future dream home if and when we ever want to settle down 😁).
We moved to Fredericksburg in 1995 and then moved to Sebring in 2004. So we lived here for nearly a decade and did live in Sebring for a decade. Both moves were part of my (Debbie’s) job relocation.
When we moved to Florida, we left our precious daughter behind. We really hoped she would move with us but she was 21 by then, just started a great career and had her eye on a guy, who is now our son-in-law and father to two of the most adorable little boys (ever)! At the time of our move, it was a dark day (also very cold and rainy) for Jessica and her parents. It was a tough move but in the end, we all agree it was for the best.
When we moved here, Stafford County was indeed a rural county. Very little shopping (only one little mall with some of the regular box stores like Sears and J.C. Penney), two lane roads and not much traffic. It is nearly 50 miles south of Washington, DC. In the nearly 10 years we lived here, it began to grow and grow and grow, like a garden overrun with weeds. It was then the up and coming location for beautiful homes.
We don’t know what happened, but it now appears to be a suburb of Washington, DC and the traffic is just horrible. Our daughter was wise and she moved just a bit south to Spotsylvania County. It was also rural then and slow to grow. But in the past few years, it has the same disease, overgrowth and not enough roads for the traffic. So I am saying all this to say, her dad (Bill) has decreed we will never move back here! But we now come to visit, averaging about five months a year, spread out over the year. And thus, our quest to travel and come here often….
So enough about our back ground with this enchanting city, what is it about this area we grew to love, aside from the fact that our daughter and her family live here? We have mentioned in past posts that we both love history and this is indeed a historical area. It’s so wonderful for a couple to share likes for different things and this is one area we both enjoy. I will admit, I never liked museums, but I do enjoy visiting battlegrounds and seeing history up close and personal. But on a few occasions, it was cold and/or raining outside and I discovered museums were fascinating! This area is rich in American history.
So to cheat, here are the basics from the official Fredericksburg website with hyper links to each era for others who also love history:
History of Fredericksburg
The City of Fredericksburg was established by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in 1728, on land originally patented by John Buckner and Thomas Royston of Essex County in 1681. (my note: The city was founded on land which was part of a tract patented in 1671.) It was named for Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707-51), eldest son of King George II of Great Britain and father of King George III. Its older streets still bear the names of members of the British royal family.
1607 to 1750: Settlement To Society
1750 to 1789: Colony To Nation
1789 to 1830: Early National Period
1830 to 1860: Antebellum Period
1861 to 1865: Civil War
1865 to 1917: Reconstruction and Growth
1917 to 1945: World War I to World War II
1945 to Present: New Dominion
I’m really being lazy, but am copying from another website to showcase more about this area, adding my notes in italics:
More significant history: In 1807, an overturned candle started a fire that ended up destroying half the town. In 1862, the Union forces suffered one of their greatest defeats here, in the Battle of Fredericksburg. The area was incorporated as a town in the year 1781. Fredericksburg was later chartered as an independent city in 1879.
Fredericksburg and nearby Attractions(this is such a partial list. I’ll add more in a future post):
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
Fredericksburg Area Museum
Ridderhof Martin Gallery
Shannon Green Golf Course
General Mercer Monument
Things To Do In Fredericksburg
The city of Fredericksburg provides easy access to a number of historic sites and museums nearby. Among these are the George Washington Masonic Museum, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg Area Museum, James Monroe Museum, and National Bank Museum. The city’s numerous parks and the Shannon Green Golf Course provide opportunities to participate in a variety of sports. The Twin Lakes, Hazel Run, Golin Run, and Fall Quarry Run (this also has one of our favorite hiking areas) are some of the stunning lakes and streams worth visiting. In addition, there are several shopping centers that offer amazing deals. Fredericksburg also hosts annual celebrations including the Art Festival, Fredericksburg Pow-Wow, Greek Festival, Mayfest, Music Festival, Oktoberfest, RiverFest, Shakespeare Festival, and Welsh Festival.
Washington Dulles International is the nearest airport. (So they say! We did use it a few times, but Reagan International Airport is a much closer drive; and, then when we moved to Florida, we discovered better flights between Richmond International Airport and Orlando.)
Fredericksburg Higher Education
University of Mary Washington (our daughter is a proud graduate) and Fredericksburg Bible Institute are the local institutes of higher education. Other institutes nearby include the College of Southern Maryland and George Mason University.
And just a few interesting facts: George Washington’s boyhood home is here, in the Ferry Farm area! President James Monroe, who studied law under Thomas Jefferson, practiced law in Fredericksburg, Va.
This is just a brief introduction to this area. Future posts will be a bit more personal and with photos. And will tell about the various (and very few) places to camp. I do hope to relive many of the places we have visited – we did see a lot while we lived here. Our focus of late has been on our two adorable grandsons, but we want to keep our readers updated…and ultimately, this blog will help us in our old age remember what we did and when we did it….Geez, time is flying by so fast, we can’t keep up with ourselves!
I will close with appropriate scriptures that will sum up this post we we reflect back on our times in this historical area, and as we believe…:
I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
things we have heard and known,
things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
His power, and the wonders He has done. Psalm 78:2b-4