Search billions of records on

Historical Places in Caroline

Caroline County has numerous sites and places of interest. This information courtesy of "Caroline Living Guide 1996" from the *Caroline Progress.*.

Dickinson's Mill........Gen. Robert E. Lee camped here on May 21, 1864 on his way to the North Anna to oppose Gen. U.S. Grant who was bringing Union troops south. Ewell's and Longstreet's corps also camped here that night.
Marker location:: 2.2 miles south of Ladysmith

Edmund Pendleton's Home........Six miles southeast is the site of Edmundsbury, home of Edmund Pendleton. Pendleton, born in 1721, served in the House of Burgesses; was a delegate to the Continental Congress; chairman of the Virginia Committee of Safety; president of the May 1776 convention and the convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788; president of the Virginia Supreme Court. He died in 1803 and was buried there. His remains were later moved to Williamsburg.
Marker location:: 2.5 miles south of Bowling Green.

Hazelwood........The home of John Taylor of Caroline, Jefferson's chief political lieutenant and a leading advocate of States' Rights. He died here in 1824.
Marker location:: l.3 miles northeast of Port Royal

John Wilkes Booth........The Garrett place is where John Wilkes Booth was allegedly cornered and killed by Union troops on April 26, 1865. Although several groups believe Booth escaped from the Garrett farm, no proof has been uncovered to confirm nor totally rule out the beliefs. The house stood a short distance from this spot.
Marker location:: 9.1 miles northeast of Bowling Green

Where Booth Died........On this road 2 miles south is the Garrett place. There Booth allegedly died in 1865.
Marker location:: At Port Royal Crossroads

Old Port Royal........The town was established in 1744 and was one of the principal shipping points on the Rappahannock River in colonial times. In December 1862, Burnside, commanding the Army of the Potomac, considered crossing the river here but finally moved up to Fredericksburg. Union gunboats, attempting to pass up the river at that time, were driven back by D.H. Hill.
Marker location:: At Port Royal Town Hall on King Street

Lederer's Expedition........From this vicinity, John Lederer set out on his expedition to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1671. This was one of the earliest exploring expeditions undertaken in Virginia.
Marker location:: 3 miles southwest of New Post

Nancy Wright's........At Nancy Wright's, Warren's Fifth and Wright's Sixth Corps turned south. Wright camped here on May 22.
Marker locationn: 5.1 miles north of Ladysmith

Windsor........This is the ancient Woodford estate. Governor Spotswood and the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe stopped here on their way to the mountains in1716. Here, Gen. William Woodford was born in 1734. He defeated Lord Dunmore at the Great Bridge in 1775 and took an important part in the Revolutionary War.
Marker location:: 6.9 miles southeast of New Port

Rappahannock Academy........On this site stood colonial Mount Church, built around 1750. In 1808 the parish glebe was sold and the proceeds were used to establish a school. The church building was turned into Rappahannock Academy, one of the most noted schools in Virginia.
Marker location: 4 miles northeast of Port Royal

1888 Life in Caroline County

Maybe sometimes in our hunt for names, we run across something written long ago that gives us some insight and understanding of what life was like back then. This small handbook was written in 1888 to entice new settlers to come live in Caroline County. It gives us a pretty good feeling for what this area had to offer.

Excerpts from the book *Handbook of Caroline County, Virginia,* published by the Board of Authority of the Board of Supervisors of the county, 1888, Bowling Green.

"Caroline though generally classed as one of the Tide-water counties in the State, is in fact the dividing line between that section and middle Virginia.....
It is about 30 miles long and 20 miles wide and contains 341,430 acres of land, valued at $1,640,996.14. Value of town lots $134,015.....
Caroline is bounded on the north by the Rappahannock river, (the counties of King George and Stafford being opposite), on the south by the Pamunkey and North Anna rivers, (the county of Hanover being opposte), on the east by the counties of Essex, King and Queen and King William, and on the west by the county of Spotsylvania.
It is drained by the Rappahannock, the Mattaponi, the North Anna and Pamunkey rivers and their tributaries, which are numerous, and is one of the best watered counties in Virginia. The various rivers and creeks give much bottom land which is very productive, and afford fine water power and mill sites.......
Transportation facilities are unusally good, both by rail and water. The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad passes through the entire length of the county...5 regular freight and passenger stations at Guinea, Woodford's Lane, Milford, Penola and Ruther Glen....
The soil .... is easily cultivated. It produces winter wheat with a range of from 5 to 30 bushels per acre. Red clover grows luxuriantly on the low land....and orchard grass and timothy are grown to a considerable extent. The several varieties of field pease are grown in great abundance, both as an invigorator to the soil and as a forage crop. Oats, both spring and winter, are successfully grown.The chief industry in the southern and middle portions is the cultivation of bright tobacco, both sun and flue cured, for which Caroline has long been famous.
All fruits thrive and apples (especially the celebrated winesap), peaches, pears, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, etc. are grown, though chiefly as yet for home use. Blackberries, dewberries, and black raspberries are abundant in the wild state.
The climate of Caroline leaves nothing to be desired. The season during which work is suspended being only a week or more in which ice is secured. The extremes of heat and cold are rarely felt and the seasons are generally good. There is an exceptional absence of storms, and blizzards, hurricanes and northers are unknown. The healthfulness of the county is largely insured by the abundance of pure, soft drinking water, and malarial fever is rare, where any sanitary precautions are taken by individuals, and there is almost total exemption from typhoid and other dangerous fevers, so fatal in some sections.
Lumber abounds. Pine, oak, hickory, walnut, beech, and other timber is in abundance and can be purchased in merchantable condition at the saw mills, of which there are 38 in the county, at from $5 to $10 per 1000 feet.
Land in Caroline can be bought at prices varying from $3 to $40 per acre with dwellings and all necessary farm buildings.....
The moral tone of the people is excellent as evidenced by the criminal dockets of both the County Court and those of the Justices of the Peace.
Bowling Green, the county seat, with a population of 500 is situated near the center of the county, two miles from Milford station on the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad...It contains the county court house, 4 churches, a large tobacco warehouse, a number of carriage and wagon factories, with blacksmith shops, carpenters, tinners, etc. There are 2 large male and female academies liberally patronized, which together with the primary and graded free schools, afford ample educational advantages......The town is becoming popular as a summer residence for Richmond people....It being chiefly a residential town, the houses and yards are kept in fine order and present a fresh and most inviting appearance, with wide clean streets and sidewalks, abundant shade trees and lovely flowers. There are 5 daily mails, and the New York morning dailies can be read at dinner.
Port Royal is situated on the Rappahannock river. It is one of the "Old Virginia" towns, and in days gone by enjoyed a large tobacco trade direct with England. Its markets are readily supplied with fish, oysters, and all the delicacies salt water produces...
....Our people are eager for new life, and enterprise and increased capital. We have a hearty welcome for all honest, intelligent and thrifty settlers and are prepared to make their coming amongst us pleasant and profitable.......we have conservative laws, low tax rates and a law abiding, moral people.....The uniformity and mildness of climate render stock raising easy, with an absence of blizzards, flies, gnats and other serious drawbacks to be found in the western States. Some of the most noted race horses this country has ever known, and whose descendants are even now reaping fortunes for their owners, were reared in this immediate locality. (my sidenote here: almost 100 yrs. after this was written the great Secretariat was born in Caroline Co.)
The citizens of Caroline have determined to throw off their lethargy and to place their county in the forefront of progressiveness......."

To obtain a full copy of this book write: UMI Books on Demand, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, Michigan 481067-1346 or call 800-521-0600. Cost is $25.

Return to Caroline County