Be sure to take a look at the photos taken during the 2017 Germanna Reunion and Conference–
Fort Germanna Archaeology Dig including the visit to the site by world-renowned archaeologist William Kelso, who discovered Fort Jamestown.
Okay, maybe the news is 281 years old, but Germanna Foundation President Marc Wheat came across a mention of Germanna and the Iron Works in the January 7, 1736 edition of the Virginia Gazette newspaper about a horse stolen from Col. Spotswood. We wonder if anyone got the “handsome reward” that was offered for the horse.
“Stolen or strayed from Massaponax, in Spotsylvania County, about the middle of December last, a small bright Bay horse with a black main and short black tail, about nine years old, no brand, paces slow, and in his far hind leg, has a hitch in his walk. Whoever brings the said horse to the subscriber at the New Post, to Col. Spotswood’s Iron Works, or to Germanna, or gives such notice that he may be had again, shall receive a handsome reward. From Elliott Berger.”
If you find a mention of Germanna while searching through newspapers of the 1700’s, please send it along to us!
(Dale Duvall/Culpeper Times) Virginia Colonial history will be re-visited as horseback riders from across the United States gather to re-enact Colonial Governor Alexander Spotswood’s Transmontaine Expedition up and over the then imposing Blue Ridge Mountains. It was 300 years ago that this expedition paved the way and began the never ending westward expansion of America.
Starting Aug. 23, the ride, which became known as the Expedition of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe will be re-enacted by horseriders and historians. The ride is organized and led by Best of America by Horseback, a nationwide sponsor of scenic and historic trail rides and producer of the Best of America by Horseback Television Show. Executive Producer and host is Culpeper’s own Tom Seay, owner of Andora Farm, a working farm that is truly an important part of Culpeper and The Old Dominion History.
Some elements of the ride will feature period costumes which will complement the production of a television program that is being produced for national broadcasting later this year.
The public is invited to watch and observe the ride and to attend a variety of events and ceremonies along the way.
Significant events will be held at the following locations:
Big Meadows is accessible at Mile Marker 51 along the Skyline Drive. Skyline Drive access fees have been waived for this weekend.
This re-enactment ride commemorates the original ride which was undertaken from the Germanna Colony because, at that time, Germanna represented the western frontier of the Virginia Colony. The significance of that historic ride is evidenced by the fact that it created new horizons. Settlers immediately began seeking opportunities there for families, farms, and businesses. Within one decade, the non-Indian population living in the Shenandoah region had grown to more than 10,000 people.
Direct questions to the Museum of Culpeper History’s Director Lee Langston-Harrison at 540-829-5954 or Board Member Dale Duvall at 540-547-2373.
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Commemorating the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe expedition (Culpeper Times)
A cool morning, cool costumes and an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Germanna Foundation in Locust Grove Tuesday morning for the send off of a very special group of riders.
They were there to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe expedition led by Governor Alexander Spotswood in 1716. That ride not only took the intrepid group to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains but paved the way for English colonization beyond that terrain. Keep in mind that the French were also vying for territory at the time but Spotswood had creative plans and an eye toward westward expansion.
Who better to lead the group than Culpeper’s own Tom Seay perhaps most famously known for his Best of America by Horseback program.
Seay, along with his niece and co-host production coordinator Kristen Biscoe, are descendants of the original German settlers that occupied this area so for them a very unique ride.
Seay was effusive.
“I’ve ridden in Mexico, Canada and many areas but this is home. I love my Virginia. When I was five, I rode to school on a shetland pony. When I got there, the pony would return to the barn on his own. In the distance I would see those Blue Ridge Mountains and it was my dream to ride there on my pony. Now, I’m living that dream of a 5-year-old,” said Seay as he looked to the forest they would soon enter.
It was from this spot at the Germanna Foundation that the original group ventured out.
“We wanted to keep it small and manageable,” said Biscoe of the eight riders that comprised the group. In addition to herself and Seay, Sandy and Wayne Gifford came from Michigan, Paul Fucsh from West Virginia who rode a very handsome mule, Robyn Yeager also from West Virginia, Jane Yarborough from Fredericksburg and Mary Maleski from Florida. . . .(read more)
We treated Dr. Bernard Means and his VCU archaeology field school students to a pizza party picnic at the Fort Germanna/Enchanted Castle excavation site on Thursday, July 28th – the final day of VCU’s field work at Germanna this summer. Our seasonal staff, under the direction of Germanna’s archaeologist, Eric Larsen, Ph.D., and this season’s Assistant Field Director Amelia Chisholm, are continuing the search for Fort Germanna, and completing documentation of the 14 units opened up this season over the next 2 weeks. A couple VCU students are going to be coming back and volunteering for a few days too. Check our website later this summer, and be sure to watch for Eric’s “Field Notes” column in your next Germanna newsletter, for more details about what we’ve learned, and what we have yet to discover…
Craig Wolford (center right) and Gil Kenner (center left) received their certificates of completion, trowels, and “I Dig Germanna” T-shirts for successfully completing our first I Dig Germanna Archaeology Workshop 18-20 July from Dr. Eric Larsen, Germanna staff archaeologist (l) and Germanna COO Steve Hein (r). Working under the supervision of Dr. Eric Larsen and Assistant Field Director Amelia Chisholm, Gil and Craig joined our other seasonal staff, and 9 students from VCU participating in the field school at Germanna, and definitely earned these small tokens of our appreciation while learning more about archaeology and Germanna in the process. Thank you Craig and Gil!
The Germanna Foundation
MAILING: P.O. Box 279
LOCATION: 2062 Germanna Highway
Locust Grove, VA 22508-0279
2062 Germanna Highway (Route 3)
Locust Grove, VA 22508
(Next to the Germanna Community College campus)
Office hours are 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday.
Out of town visitors are urged to call us at 540-423-1700 to confirm or to make special arrangements for groups.
Behind the Fort Germanna Visitor Center is our 170-acre Siegen Forest nature and hiking trails along the Rapidan river.
The Germanna Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring the Colonial Virginia frontier via the historic 1714 Fort Germanna and its German colonists and their descendants.
It conducts archaeological exploration and conservation, genealogical research and publishing, and historic preservation and interpretation.
The Foundation owns and maintains several historic sites and properties, such as Salubria Manor, that were part of or closely connected to the Germanna colonies, the town of Germanna, and the other early colonial Virginia settlements and towns in the Piedmont area of Virginia.