- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2006

While Stafford County’s official history officially begins with its establishment in 1664, the area bordered by the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers was home to American Indians and early European settlers prior to that date.

Fredericksburg Area Tourism’s Web site (www.visitfred.com) reports that American Indian Princess Pocahontas was kidnapped from Stafford County’s Marlborough Point.

The first English Catholic settlement in Virginia was established on Aquia Creek by the Brent family of Maryland, who then opened the community to people of all faiths.

Famous Stafford residents include George Washington, who lived at Ferry Farm from 1738 to 1752, and George Mason, author of the Bill of Rights, the Fredericksburg Web site reports.

Flour mills, iron works, tobacco plantations and fisheries flourished during Colonial times, and Aquia sandstone was later used in the White House and the U.S. Capitol.

During the Revolution, John Hunter’s Iron Works supplied the Colonial army with weapons.

During the Civil War, Chatham Manor in Stafford was used as a hospital and Union headquarters during the Battle of Fredericksburg, and the entire Union Army of 125,000 soldiers was housed in Stafford from 1862 to 1863, the Fredericksburg Web site says.

While much of Stafford County’s 277 square miles remains virtually unchanged from Colonial times, the county’s economy began to expand during World War I and World War II when the Quantico Marine Corps base was established.

Completion of Interstate 95 and later the Virginia Railway Express commuter route has firmly linked Stafford County to the Washington regional economy.

Stafford County’s official Web site (https://stafford.va.us) says the county population reached an estimated 121,100 in 2005, with 28,836 employed in the county.

The majority of the remaining workers commute to other Northern Virginia locations, to the District — 40 miles north of the Stafford line, or to Richmond — 50 miles south of Stafford.

Stafford is the second fastest growing county in Virginia, according to the Stafford Economic Development Authority (www.gostaffordva.com).

Stafford experienced a population increase of 51.3 percent between 1994 and 2004, the economic development authority reports. Business growth has been high, too, with the number of businesses in the county increasing by 11.45 percent between the first quarter of 2004 and the first quarter of 2005.

The Marine Corps Base at Quantico is not only home to thousands of Marines and their families, but it is also a major employer. Educational programs at Quantico include the Marine Corps University and specialized advanced training programs.

The FBI, the FBI National Academy and the FBI National Lab have more than 1,800 employees in Stafford. Major private employers in Stafford are often defense contractors, including BAE Systems Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

The economic development Web site reports that more than 5 million square feet of office space is complete or under construction at seven sites around the county.

Stafford County has four public and private golf courses, 12 parks, four public marinas, two public boat ramps and two public fishing lakes.

An increase in jobs, recreational amenities and transportation options such as Virginia Railway Express has brought plenty of residential development to Stafford.

Local and national builders are developing communities with a variety of housing styles in all price ranges from affordable to luxury homes.

Celebrate Virginia, a resort destination being built partly in Stafford County, will include an office park in addition to hotels, restaurants, museums, entertainment areas, shops and several golf courses.

Del Webb Corp. is building single-family homes priced from the upper $200,000s in the active adult section of Celebrate Virginia.

Visit www.delwebb.com or call 866/478-5832.

Development close to the Quantico Marine Corps Base and near U.S. 1 and I-95 includes town homes priced from the low $300,000s from Tricord Homes at Port Aquia: visit www.tricordhomes.com or call 540/657-9700; and condominiums priced from the mid-$100,000s from Jade Development at Carriage Pointe at Aquia: Call 540/288-1140.

Brookfield Homes Corp. is building three collections of town homes and single-family homes at Woodstream in Aquia, ranging from the upper $300,000s to the upper $400,000s. Visit www.brookfieldhomes.com or call 540/288-0871.

Ryan Homes is also building town homes at Woodstream, priced from the upper $300,000s, and single-family homes priced from the low $500,000s. Visit www.ryanhomes.com or call 540/720-3085.

At Potomac Village, Richmond American Homes Inc. is building town homes priced from the low $300,000s. Visit www.RichmondAmerican.com or call 703/441-9021.

At Widewater Village, Thomas J. Worman Building Inc. (www.tjw.com) is constructing single-family homes priced from the mid-$400,000s. Call 540/288-2022.

Among the most luxurious homes in Stafford County are the estate homes being built at Potomac Crest, with waterfront and water view homesites on Marlborough Point on the Potomac River. Thomas J. Worman is building these single-family homes priced from the upper $900,000s. At Bridle Lake Estates, 3-acre homesites with homes by Thomas J. Worman are priced from the low $700,000s. Call 540/379-2621.

At St. George’s Estates, Atlantic Builders Ltd. (www.atlanticbuilders.com) is building single-family homes priced from the upper $400,000s. Call 540/288-0700. Atlantic Builders also is building single-family homes at Austin Ridge, priced from the mid-$500,000s. Call 540/288-0700.

Near the town of Hartwood off Route 17, Atlantic is building single-family homes priced from the upper $500,000s. Call 540/295-7793.

Quaker Custom Homes LLC is building luxury homes with water view lots priced from the upper $800,000s at Smith Lake Estates. Visit www.QuakerCustomHomes.com or call 703/906-9067.

Close to the town of Stafford, Augustine Homes LLC is building town homes priced from the upper $300,000s and single-family homes priced from the upper $500,000s at Colonial Forge.

At the Glens in Stafford, estate homes are available on sites with 3 acres or more from the mid-$700,000s. Visit www.augustinehomes.com or call 540/286-1970.

Ryland Homes (www.ryland.com) is building town homes at Courthouse Square priced from the mid-$300,000s. Call 800/579-9819.

At Celebrate Virginia, Ryland is building single-family homes in the development known as Battleground Estates, with homes priced from the mid-$600,000s.

Call 866/225-3908.

K. Hovnanian Homes (www.khov.com) is building town homes priced from the low $300,000s at Brooke Hill. Call 703/551-4001.

At Willow Park, K. Hovnanian is building single-family homes priced from the upper $400,000s. Call 703/928-4601. At Brittany Estates, the company is building single-family homes priced from the $600,000s.

Call 800/401-9396.

SYG Associates Inc. is building single-family homes at three locations in Stafford County, including homes at Manorwood Estates, Sentinel Ridge and Tavern Gate on 1- to 3-acre sites priced from the low to mid-$600,000s.

Visit www.syghomes.com or call 540/752-2767.

Closer to Fredericksburg at the planned communities of Stafford Lakes Village and Leeland Station, several builders are offering single-family homes.

Centex Homes and Beazer Homes Corp. are building single-family homes priced in the $400,000s and $500,000s.

This community includes a clubhouse and swimming pool, plus a location near the VRE station, golf courses and shopping areas. Visit www.centexhomes.com or call 877/682-3700; www.beazer.com or 866/423-2937.

At Leeland Station, within walking distance of a VRE station, plans include a clubhouse, an exercise center, a swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball court, a picnic and barbecue park and an amphitheater.

Richmond American, Ridan Builders, Ryan Homes and Somerset Homes are building single-family homes priced from the upper $400,000s to the $500,000s. Visit www.leelandstation.com.

Nearby, K. Hovnanian and Ryland are building single-family homes priced from the $400,000s at Carriage Hills. Visit www.khov.com or call 800/401-9396; visit www.ryland.com or call 866/206-0864.

M/I Homes Inc. is building 59 single-family homes within two miles of the VRE, I-95 and Quantico at Cambridge Crossing.

The homes are priced from the mid-$500,000s. Visit www.mihomes.com or call 540/368-9199.

Caruso Homes (www.carusohomes.com) is building single-family homes priced from the $600,000s at the Estates at Deacon Hill.

Call 540/372-7600.

At Lansberry Farm Estates, the single-family homes are priced from the $500,000s. Call 540/372-9666.

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