- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The city of Fredericksburg, at the falls of the Rappahannock River, rests on the border of Spotsylvania and Stafford counties.

American Indians fished and hunted in this area, and the falls represented the frontier of the earliest Colonies in Virginia, according to Fredericksburg’s official Web site (www.fredericksburgva.gov).

In 1728, Fredericksburg became an official inland port, and the town grew along with increased river traffic, particularly from the tobacco trade.

Fredericksburg’s location midway between Washington and Richmond may be a benefit today, but during the Civil War, this meant the town and its surrounding territory was battle-scarred.

Visitors can learn about the Civil War history of the area at the Fredericksburg National Military Park, the Soldier’s Museum and at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.

Much of Fredericksburg’s historic district has been preserved with buildings dating to Colonial and Civil War times.

Other local historic attractions include George Washington’s Ferry Farm, a national historic landmark where the first president lived from 1738 to 1752.

The Rising Sun Tavern has been serving guests since 1760, and visitors can also go to historic homes such as the Mary Washington House.

For information on the area’s history and museums, see the Fredericksburg visitors Web site (www.visitfred.com).

In 2007, the U.S. National Slavery Museum will open at Celebrate Virginia near Fredericksburg.

The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library and the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont are both closely affiliated with the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. The James Monroe Museum honors the fifth American president, while the Gari Melchers Home belonged to the painter and includes a wide range of his landscapes and portraits.

For those who want to make Fredericksburg home, builders are adding new communities to the local housing stock.

At Breckenridge, a planned community near Fredericksburg, nature trails wind through the neighborhood, which will eventually include a community swimming pool.

Single-family homes are being built by Aaronal Homes, Caruso Homes Inc., the Charleston Co. Inc. and Tricord Homes, priced from the mid-$400,000s.

Estate homes priced from the upper $500,000s are available from Augustine Homes LLC and Aaronal Homes in the Hills of Breckenridge, with a select few 2-acre homesites also available in Breckenridge Estates (www.breckenridgeva.com).

At Lee’s Parke, Ryan Homes, Ryland Homes, NVHomes and Lennar Corp. are offering single-family homes priced in the $400,000s and $500,000s.

This planned community includes an age-restricted active adult section known as Virginia Heritage at Lee’s Parke.

Visit www.ryanhomes.com; www.nvhomes.com; www.ryland.com; www.lennar.com; or www.virginia-heritage.com.

Ryland Homes is building town homes priced from the low $300,000s and single-family homes priced from the low $400,000s at Idlewild, a planned community within five minutes of the Virginia Railway Express station in Fredericksburg. The development includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, tot lots, a clubhouse and walking trails. Visit www.ryland.com or call 800/840-2708.

The planned community of Salem Fields in Fredericksburg includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, a playground, a clubhouse and walking trails.

Lee’s Hill Construction LLC is building town homes in Salem Fields priced from the upper $200,000s, each with three finished levels and a one-car garage. The company is also building single family homes priced from the $300,000s.

Visit www.leeshillconstruction.com or call 540/548-1784.

Winchester Homes Inc. is building single-family homes on 2- to 4-acre wooded sites at Glen Haven in Fredericksburg, priced from the upper $600,000s.

Visit the Web site at www.winchesterhomes.com or call 703/926-6336.

Basheer & Edgemoore Homes LLC is building single-family homes on large lots at Whitehall near Fredericksburg, a community with walking trails, streams and parks. The homes are priced from the $600,000s.

Visit www.basheerandedgemoore.com or call 540/972-4046.

Tricord Homes is developing Pendleton, a golf course community near historic Fredericksburg. Eventually the community will include an 18-hole golf course, a clubhouse, an outdoor swimming pool and walking trails. An age-restricted section is expected to open in early 2007.

Visit www.tricordhomes.com or call 866/874-2673.

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