Events

Annual SCHS Membership Christmas Party

Members and Guests Only.

The Christmas party will be held at the Rowser Building, Room A. The SCHS provides napkins, plates, cutlery, and beverages. Everyone is asked to bring a dish to share.

We’ll be meeting at 2:00pm on Sunday, December 15, at 2:00pm in hopes that more members will be available to attend.

Monthly business meetings of the Stafford County Historical Society Board are held on the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 PM. Membership meetings are usually held on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 PM. Unless otherwise announced, meetings will be held at the Stafford County Administrative Center located at 1300 Courthouse Road at the corner of US Hwy 1.

Featured Event
March 2024

Central Rappahannock Heritage Center Virtual Tour Through the Archives

Thursday, March 21st 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Stafford County Administrative Center
1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA, USA

with John Reifenberg and Diane Ballman

Join John and Diane for a lively virtual tour through the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center’s archives.

John Reifenberg retired from 31 years with the National Park Service. He has been a volunteer and the Collection Manager at the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center since 2011 to present. Lived in Spotsylvania County for 36 years.

Diane Ballman former Probation Officer and Disease Intervention Specialist (CDC) in Florida. Lived in Stafford County for over 25 years. Been a volunteer and Database Information Technology Specialist for the Center Rappahannock Heritage Center since 2008 to current.

This is an in-person presentation only!  We will not be live-streaming or recording this presentation.  Please be sure to mark your calendar and plan to attend in person so you don’t miss out.

April 2024

The Counting House: A Case Study in Adaptive Reuse

Thursday, April 18th 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Stafford County Administrative Center
1300 Courthouse Road Stafford, VA 22556 United States

With Nancy Kotting, Cultural Resource Specialist, Stafford County Government.

Nancy Kotting joins us to present the story of the Counting House, a circa 1840 former warehouse located in the Falmouth Historic Overlay District in southern Stafford County. The Counting House is an example of frugality, adaptability, and resilience through time.  In this program we will explore how adaptive reuse is effectively utilized as a tool in preserving historic resources while ensuring economic viability.

Nancy Kotting is the Cultural Resource Specialist for Stafford County. She holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science, History and American Studies as well as a graduate degree in Historic Preservation Planning. Nancy has over 40 years experience in both urban and rural preservation. Fresh out of grad school, she was a co-creator of the Michigan African American Symposium, the largest historic preservation conference held to date focused on the African American community in Detroit. While living in coastal northern Michigan, she co-founded a 501c3 non-profit whose mission was to preserve in perpetuity a Civil War land grant farmstead known as Ruby Ellen. Prior to relocating to Virginia in 2019, she worked as an award-winning preservation advocate in Columbus, Ohio.

This presentation will also be live streamed via Facebook. To view the presentation from Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/StaffordHistory. You should see the live feed listed at the top of the posts. If not, you may need to refresh your page.

June 2024

Anne E. Moncure Elementary School Mural

Thursday, June 20th 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Stafford County Administrative Center
1300 Courthouse Road Stafford, VA 22556

Join Greg Machi, Principal of Anne E. Moncure Elementary School for a presentation on its recently completed mural.

Greg Machi spent the first 26 years of his career with Stafford County Public Schools.  After relocating from Pittsburgh to Stafford County with his wife in 1997, he quickly became part of the community.  His wife is currently a first-grade teacher with Stafford County Public Schools and their three children all attended Stafford County Schools.

This presentation will also be live streamed via Facebook. To view the presentation from Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/StaffordHistory. You should see the live feed listed at the top of the posts. If not, you may need to refresh your page.

August 2024

James Hunter and the American Revolution

Thursday, August 15th 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Stafford County Administrative Center
1310 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA, USA

with Jerrilynn Eby MacGregor.

Around 1758, Scottish merchant James Hunter commenced an iron manufactory a short distance up the Rappahannock River from Falmouth.  His business grew into what is arguably the largest manufacturing facility in colonial America.  During the American Revolution, Hunter was one of the primary producers of arms and supplies for Continental troops.  Despite his contributions to America’s independence, Hunter’s Iron Works, and its associated Rappahannock Forge, has been nearly forgotten.

Jerrilynn grew up in Stafford on the back of a horse and, as a teenager, became fascinated with the county’s history. Having spent her youth at Aquia Church (1757) and amongst several of the county’s old families, she heard the local oral history and eventually learned that little beyond oral tradition existed in Stafford due to vandalism by Union troops during the Civil War. In 1862 and 1863, the invading soldiers stole or destroyed many of the county’s court records and, as a result, traditional historians largely ignored Stafford and rarely even mentioned it in their books. In time, she began compiling information from the deeds, wills, court records, tax records, and newspapers that did exist, added to that the oral history, and tracked down other sources of information. Nearly forty years later, she is still researching her beloved Stafford County and publishing her studies so others might better appreciate the activities and families that made the county so special. Most of her research focuses on land tracts, mills, and industries, but she’s grateful for any tidbit that will help to develop Stafford’s unique story. She has published ten books about Stafford’s history.

Jerrilynn retired from the Prince William County Public Schools after working for 31 years as a middle school librarian.


This presentation will also be live streamed via Facebook. To view the presentation from Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/StaffordHistory. You should see the live feed listed at the top of the posts. If not, you may need to refresh your page.

September 2024

Francis Benjamin Johnston in Falmouth

Thursday, September 19th 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Stafford County Administrative Center
1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA, USA

with Connie Hilker.

Program details will be added soon.

Connie Hilker has always been fascinated by plants and history.  As a child, she loved to read books with stories about historic places and people.  As a young mother, she and her three daughters often went on adventures to visit historic homes, museums, gardens, and cemeteries.  If someone asks Connie about what she does for a living, her answer is always “professional volunteer.”  She attended college and planned to become a teacher, but decided that stay-at-home-mom was her best and most rewarding career choice.  Some of her volunteer ‘jobs’ were Girl Scout leader, Master Gardener, vice president of the local chapter of ReBuilding Together, president of a homeowner’s association, and greyhound adoption representative.  Connie currently volunteers to manage the documentation, preservation and restoration of the historic rose collection at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia; as the rose consultant for the Center for Historic Plants at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia; and President of the Stafford County Historical Society.  She can often be found visiting cemeteries, house museums, and old home sites; traveling and presenting programs about rose history, care and propagation; or quietly working in her own garden.

Connie loves to use tools and to design and build things.  In the early 1970’s, Connie was the first girl in the Fort Benning, Georgia, school system to take eighth grade shop class.  She puts her building skills to good use as she and her husband, Steve, restore their historic home (Hartwood Manor, a brick Gothic Revival farmhouse built in 1848), renovate the outbuildings, and design the gardens on their nine-acre property.  Connie uses her garden as a place to collect and preserve antique rose varieties that are in danger of being lost.  She has an eclectic collection of over 500 roses, many of which were propagated from historic sites as part of her preservation efforts.


This presentation will also be live streamed via Facebook. To view the presentation from Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/StaffordHistory. You should see the live feed listed at the top of the posts. If not, you may need to refresh your page.

October 2024

Good/Better/Best: Options for Keeping Your Family History Safe

Thursday, October 17th 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Stafford County Administrative Center
1300 Courthouse Road Stafford, VA 22556

with Terri Blanchette

We want our lives Clean, Clear, and Organized. But we are facing boxes, bags, piles and “stashes” of family history items in our attics, spare rooms, basements and storage units that we don’t have time – or know how – to “deal” with. Making it worse is the guilt and pressure we feel as these memories are being lost to decay with each passing year. Come to this informative talk and discover some basic steps you can take right now to easily organize and preserve all kinds of materials that we have in our homes and help ensure it will be clutter-free and safe for generations to come!

Terri Blanchette is an historian, writer, and heritage preservation specialist in the Virginia and greater Washington DC areas. She has a Masters in U.S. History with certification in Museum Studies and Archiving. She has written extensively for national history organizations, delivered numerous talks, workshops and seminars on preservation, and has researched and written corporate histories for some of Washington’s most prestigious firms. Her one-of-a-kind company, TimeSorters, LLC helps individuals and businesses to capture, organize, preserve and protect those things that make up their unique histories.

This presentation will also be live streamed via Facebook. To view the presentation from Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/StaffordHistory. You should see the live feed listed at the top of the posts. If not, you may need to refresh your page.

November 2024

Dating the Historic House Belmont

Thursday, November 21st 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Stafford County Administrative Center
1300 Courthouse Road Stafford, VA 22556 United States

With Scott Harris.

Scott will discuss dendrochronology (tree ring dating) undertaken in 2023 at the historic House Belmont.  Harris will review the process and results of the project, which helped establish a more precise date of construction for the oldest portion of the structure.

Scott Harris is the Executive Director of the University of Mary Washington Museums and an editorial advisor to the White House Historical Association.

This presentation will also be live streamed via Facebook. To view the presentation from Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/StaffordHistory. You should see the live feed listed at the top of the posts. If not, you may need to refresh your page.

December 2024

Annual SCHS Membership Christmas Party

Sunday, December 15th 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Rowser Building
1739 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Stafford, VA 22554

Members and Guests Only.

The Christmas party will be held at the Rowser Building, Room A. The SCHS provides napkins, plates, cutlery, and beverages. Everyone is asked to bring a dish to share.

We’ll be meeting at 2:00pm on Sunday, December 15, at 2:00pm in hopes that more members will be available to attend.

Past Presentations