Things to Do

African American Heritage Sites

 
There are many places that help us learn of the struggles, strengths and victories of African Amercians in Stafford County. We encourage you to visit these places and discover their stories.
 

Trail to Freedom Driving Tour Map

Visit the the sites that mark the Trail to Freedom in Stafford County.

For additional information visit the Trail To Freedom Website.


 

Spotlight on The Rowser Building and the African American History Mural

Vist the Rowser Building and other historic African American sites in Stafford below.
 

Aquia Landing

2468 Brooke Road, Stafford

More than 10,000 enslaved people found freedom through Aquia Landing, including Henry “Box” Brown; Solomon Northrup (12 Years a Slave); William and Ellen Craft, and John Washington (A Slave No More). Aquia Landing is now a serene wading beach on the banks of Aquia Creek with pavilions for rent and interpretive Trail to Freedom signs.
 
Additional Park Information

 


Historic Port of Falmouth

401 River Road, Falmouth VA 22405

Beginning in April of 1862 thousands of enslaved people crossed the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg to Falmouth, many traveling through this historic port, heading to freedom. 
 
 

Chatham Manor

120 Chatham Lane Road, Fredericksburg

Owned by Gentry, sustained by slaves, and witness to war, Chatham is the only private home in America visited by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.  

Additional Information

 


Moncure Conway House

305 King Street, Falmouth

The site known as the "Conway House" is a residential structure built circa 1807. The site was the family home of author, clergyman, and abolitionist, Moncure Daniel Conway. Moncure Conway (1832-1907) helped  thirty enslaved African Americans belonging to his family  to escape to freedom by accompanying them on their journey to Ohio. 

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The Rowser Building

1739 Jefferson Davis Highway, Stafford

Originally built in 1939 by the Public Works Administration as the Stafford Training School. It was the only place where Black students could receive an education beyond the 7th grade. This building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a Virginia Landmark. Open for visitors from Mon.–Fri. 8:00 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.

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Falmouth Union Church

Carter Street, Falmouth

Escaped slave John Washington visted Falmouth Union Church and witnessed the burial of several Union soldiers on this site. *Limited Parking.

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White Oak Primitive Baptist Church

White Oak Road, Fredericksburg 

This church, organized in 1789, was first known as White Oak Church of Christ but changed its name in the 1830's in opposition to Baptists straying from original doctrines.  Many early black members had been slaves at Chatham Plantation--a National Park Service site about 5 miles east of the church.  The church was used as a hospital during the Civil War. It is a Virginia Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It still remains today, and is located direclty across the street from the White Oak Civil War Museum.

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Shiloh (Old Site) Baptist Church

1855 Garrisonville Road, Stafford

Established in 1870 by purchasing one acre of land from F.G. Phillip for $1.00. The first Pastor, Reverend Horace Crutcher, served as pastor for 38 years. The first church was a bush harbor, the second a log building. In 1894 a frame structure was erected. The U.S. Government purchased the original church land in 1942 for the U.S Marine Corps. The church was rebuilt in 1949.


Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church

135 Chapel Green Road, Fredericksburg

Organized 1868 by Rev. York Johnson, an ex-slave, who with 27 others separated from White Oak Primitive Baptist Church. Rev Johnson, assisted by The Freedmen Bureau, established a benevolent organization "The Union Branch of the True Vine" and founded The Union Branch School.  Besides its primary role as a religious institution, Bethlehem, the House of Bread, promotes individual advancement, community involvement, historical endeavors, and has always advocated for civil rights.


Mount Olive Baptist Church

395 Mount Olive Road, Stafford

Stafford's First African American Church. Founded May 16, 1818 near Roseville by Rev Horace Crutcher, along with five others. Original place of worship was a slab wood arbor. Recognizing the importance of enlightening individuals both spiritually and academically, the Mt Olive Community founded Mt Olive School soon after the Civil War. 

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Oak Grove Baptist Church

414 Decatur Road, Stafford

Organized 1873 in a log cabin as St. Ross Baptist Church. An 1879 group meeting at Oak Grove Church of concerned parents determined to strive for their children's education, resulted in Oak Grove School being organized. Widewater native, Palmer Hayden, (Jan 15 1890 - Feb 18, 1973), a renown Harlem Renaissance Era artist, was an Oak Grove Church member. Oak Grove proudly stands on it theme "A Ministry of Excellence."

 


Little Forest Baptist Church

54 Little Forest Church Road, Stafford

Founding members met in homes or under a persimmon tree.  Led by Pastor Uriah Johnson, in 1905 they built their first church west of here. In 1959 that building was demolished to make a road later renamed Interstate-95.  Some church members met at nearby Hills Texaco Service Station, but feared losing their congregation!  In 1960 land was donated by B.A. and Eva Moyler so this church could be constructed.


Mt. Hope Baptist Church

1653 Brook Road, Stafford

Sunday School gathered in 1877. Church established October 16, 1880 by Rev Natus Washington.  Originally worshipped at St. John School House near Brooke.  Pickle Factory building nearer to church later became Brooke School. May 1904 Church cornerstone laid. First area ethic church to implement worship every Sunday. 15 Pastors have served. 10th Pastor, Rev Edward Smith, educator, civic and civil rights leader, was instrumental in the local integration movement.

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Read More About African American History in Stafford County