Category Archives: 1900s

James Farmer, Civil Rights Leader E-113

Historical Marker Text
James Leonard Farmer was born in Texas on 12 Jan. 1920. In 1942, he and other Civil Rights leaders founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Chicago. CORE used Gandhi-inspired tactics of nonviolent civil disobedience to protest discriminatory practices against blacks. Under Farmer’s leadership, in the spring of 1961, CORE organized “Freedom Riders” to desegregate interstate transportation in the Deep South. He was an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (1969-1970). Farmer taught at Mary Washington College (1985-1999) and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. Farmer died on 9 July 1999. His house stands east of here. [2000]
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Civilian Conservation Corps–Company 2363 E-85

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Here at Berea, during the Great Depression, was the site of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 2363. This camp, one of many in Virginia, was organized in 1935 and disbanded in 1940. During its existence, the company strung farm fences, planted trees, fought forest fires, and instructed farmers in the practice of soil conservation. The CCC, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies, was created in 1933 to provide public service jobs for unemployed young men. Roosevelt later noted that the recruits “grew with purpose and principle” and predicted that they would serve their communities and country with distinction. [1994]

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Fredericksburg E-45 and E-46

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Fredericksburg E-45. Fredericksburg was established in 1728 and named for Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and eldest son of King George II. It served as the county seat of Spotsylvania County from 1732 to 1778 and was an important port during the colonial era. In his youth, George Washington lived nearby at Ferry Farm. He later spoke of the city’s influence on him. The town was devastated by fire in 1807 and again by the First and Second Battles of Fredericksburg that were fought here during the Civil War, yet many 18th- and 19th-century buildings remain and are listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. [2003]

Fredericksburg E-46-a. Captain John Smith was here in 1608; Lederer, the explorer, in 1670. In May 1671 John Buckner and Thomas Royster patented the Lease Land Grant. The town was established in 1727 and lots were laid out. It was named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of George III. The court for Spotsylvania County was moved here in 1732 and the town was enlarged in 1759 and 1769. Fredericksburg was incorporated as a town in 1781, as a city in 1879, and declared a city of the first class in 1941. [1948]

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Gold Mining in Stafford County E-17

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Near here are located ten of the nineteenth-century gold mines of Stafford County. The best-known were the Eagle, Rattlesnake (Horse Pen), Lee, New Hope, and Monroe mines. The Eagle Gold Mining Company, Rappahannock Gold Mine Company of New York, Rapidan Mining and Milling Company of Pennsylvania, United States Mining Company, and Stafford Mining Company operated here between the 1830s and the early twentieth century. Mining activities gradually ceased because of declining profits. [1990]

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Fredericksburg Normal and Industrial Institute N-33

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Image of Fredereicksburg Normal and Industrial Institute Due to the efforts of local blacks, the Fredericksburg Normal and Industrial Institute (FNII) opened in October 1905 at the Shiloh New Site Baptist Church with about 20 students. In 1906 the board of trustees purchased land and a large farmhouse here, named it Mayfield, and opened the school in the autumn. The course of study, modeled after a university curriculum included teacher education classes as well as English, mathematics, history, geography, literature, Greek, and music. By 1938, Mayfield High School had become a part of the segregated city school system.

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