Stafford County, Virginia is one of the most historically rich and culturally significant areas in all of North America. George Washington’s famous cherry-tree-chop-down and John Smith’s initial encounter with Pocahontas both took place here in the city by the Potomac. Here are a few must-see historical sites to visit in the city that played such an integral role in shaping America.
George Washington's Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore
This historical site is the stuff of American legend, as it housed our nation’s first president over 250 years ago. We’ve all heard the tale of George Washington and his cherry tree, and this is where that fateful day is said to have transpired. On April 25th, 2015, the site endured a reconstructive overhaul and is now more suited to host educational tours and events. If you wish to experience authentic American nostalgia, book your visit today.
Construction of this church was completed in 1757. It was built in the form of a Greek cross, with two tiers of windows set in deep, thick walls. The holy house played a major role as a safe-haven for soldiers in the Civil War as many religious services were held here on the eve of battle. An archeological feat in its own right, the Aquia Church is not just a piece of history, but still stands tall and serves as a fully functioning house of God in 2015.
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania Military Park
This landmark was the site of the gruesome Civil War climax. More than 85,000 men were wounded and 15,000 were killed near this small farm village. Today, the park hosts guided tours and historical education events that serve to enlighten all walks of life on the true costs of war. While you’re here, check out the “Stonewall” Jackson Shrine. You can even stand in the room where the infamous Confederate General passed away.
The Accokeek Furnace Archeological Site
A highly impactful archeological site constructed in 1726, it was originally created on land leased by Augustine Washington (father of George Washington) and then passed on to his son, Lawrence Washington, after Augustine’s death. Much of Stafford’s early construction originates from the site’s rich iron deposits and iron furnace, which now represents the second-oldest eighteenth century blast furnace in Virginia. Remains include evidence of a store, warehouses, mill wheel pit and races, worker’s living quarters, and mine pits.
Potomac Creek Bridge
Eighty feet high and 400 feet long, this monumental feat of construction took two million feet of local lumber to build during the Civil War. Today, only stone blocks stand where the once magnificent bridge was erected by a horde of unskilled infantrymen to serve them during wartime. President Abraham Lincoln once famously referred to the bridge as “Beanpoles and Cornstalks.” Although the formation itself is not intact today, the site serves as a reminder of what our nation fought so hard for, nearly 200 years ago.