Warrenton and its
are considered to be in the heart of the fox hunting country of North America with nine
choices of packs of hounds within 45 minutes of Washington, D.C. & 30 minutes from
Ridge Mountains, named for their dark blue color, form the backdrop for many farms along
the Piedmont ("foot of the mountain") in the counties of Culpeper, Rappahannock
The quality of life here draws
horse people from the congestion and bustle of past lives to the quaintness of Old Town
Warrenton, the lovely shops in Middleburg, Culpeper - one of America's "Top 10
City" award winners - and "Little" Washington's 5 Star restaurant, The Inn
at Little Washington, in Rappahannock Co.
"With 4 well-defined
Virginia Garden Club house &
garden tours in Spring . . . flowers not to be believed. Winter snows that come in January
and grace us with their beauty & give our horses something to gallop and snort in for
a few brief days before melting. Summers that start easy and move into a humid August, but
with evening schooling shows for green horses and riders all summer. Crisp Autumn days as
leaves upon the mountains start turning at the crests of the ridges and work down the
sides of the mountains to the Piedmont. Cub hunting, fall steeplechase racing &
combined training events start up in September and there is a new stirring in the blood of
man & beast.
Fauquier was formed in 1759 and
named for Lt. Gov. Fauquier. By 1775 Fauquier County had a population of about 14,000 and
by 1790 Richard Henry Lee donated 71 acres for the county seat.....later incorporated as
At the time of the Civil War,
Warrenton was known as the richest town for its size of 604 people in the whole South!
General Lee had one of his headquarters on what we know today as Lee's Ridge Rd. and
during one point of the Civil War the Union Troops occupied Warrenton and its newspaper.
Chief Justice Marshall began his law practice here in Warrenton, and after the Civil War,
Warrenton became known for its abundance of brilliant lawyers and as a mecca for horse
lovers. The Warrenton Hunt was established in 1883 and still meets three days a week.
Culpeper was formed in 1749 by an
act of the House of Burgesses to cut it off from Orange County. The new county was
surveyed by Lord Fairfax's protegee, young George Washington. During the Revolutionary War
the Culpeper Minute Men carried a flag inscribed, "Liberty or Death" &
"Don't Tread on Me". In the Civil War the Minute Men formed again under the same
oak tree as the 1775 troop on what is today known as Catalpa Farm. Other Civil War
companies organized in Culpeper Co. were the Little Fork Rangers and Brandy Rifles.
Culpeper bore the brunt of several battles and the ravaging effect of both armies
subsisting off its soil. Today the rich soils and many streams & rivers have helped
the farmers return the land to its productiveness. Many large dairy, grain & beef
cattle farms rub shoulders with horse breeding & training facilities.
In 1607 when the English first
arrived in Virginia, the area now occupied by Rappahannock was an uncleared wooded
territory inhabited by Indians. At the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Manahoacs and
Iroquois Indians hunted and fished. As more and more settlers moved into Virginia they
pushed the Indians west.
Men from Rappahannock were active
participants in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Although during the Civil War many small
skirmishes were scattered throughout the County, the closest major battle occurred in
Front Royal, north of Flint Hill.
Taking its name from the river
which has its source in the small streams in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rappahannock became
a separate County from Culpeper in 1833. The five villages, Amissville, Chester Gap, Flint
Hill, Sperryville, Woodville and the Town of Washington hold significant historical
value. Washington is the County Seat. Fondly called "the first Washington," it was
surveyed and plotted by George Washington in 1749 and was established as a town in 1796.
The villages of Rappahannock were frontier posts or crossroads. Today, these small
residential clusters represent a focal point for County residents providing retail
services, meeting places, post offices, and church activities. As it was in the 1700's,
Rappahannock's economy is still agriculturally based with the surrounding villages
providing basic services for the farms.