old stone warehouse, Fredericksburg

Old Stone Warehouse: Four Floors and Many Stories

Deb Historic Doors, Thursday Doors 17 Comments

My daughter is a junior in high school and you know what that means…college tours! Our little family of four spent spring break driving 1,800 miles round trip to visit a number of schools in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Our first stop was Fredericksburg, VA, home of University of Mary Washington.

I was immediately charmed by Fredericksburg’s downtown and quickly learned that the area has much to offer with walkable streets, a mix of shops and restaurants, and an assortment of historic sites and museums. The area is especially appealing to history buffs due to five significant Civil War battles that took place in the vicinity.

fredericksburg, old stone warehouse

The warehouse is actually four stories, but only one story is visible from the street. All but the basement is visible from the rear.

Our time in each spot was very limited, but since we arrived in Fredericksburg on a Sunday afternoon I had an hour to stroll before dinner. I thought this old building, with the simple name “Old Stone Warehouse”, was interesting with its tiny windows and heavy stone construction.

It was originally built in the mid-1700s but destroyed by flood or fire in 1807. Reconstructed in 1813 by a local businessman upon its earlier foundation, the warehouse has been used for a number of purposes over the years including a morgue during the Civil War where records indicate as many as 326 dead Union solders were housed inside.

old stone warehouse, fredericksburg, va

View of the Old Stone Warehouse as it originally looked from the street.

The rear of the building, which faces the Rappahannock River, still shows cannonball markings from the war. Interestingly, the building has four stories but only one story is visible from the street today. All but the basement is visible from the rear of the building.

Just a couple of doors down from the warehouse I came across a wonderful mural by Mirinda Reynolds depicting a Civil War drummer boy and the date “1862”. As the mural states, “each leaf represents one thousand soldiers who died between December 13th-15th in the Battle of Fredericksburg.”

battle of fredericksburg, mural, virginia

Mural by Mirinda Reynolds where each of the 17 leaves symbolizes 1,000 soldiers killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg, 1862.

Over 17,000 soldiers were killed in this pivotal Civil War battle. Also included on the mural is the closing of a hand-written condolence letter from Abraham Lincoln to a Boston, MA mother of five boys who died for the cause: “the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom”.

Seeing this warehouse, along with the mural close by, made me wonder once again what we would learn if “these walls could talk”. I’ll share more Fredericksburg finds over the coming weeks.


This post is part of Norm 2.0‘s Thursday Doors series. Take a peek at the wonderful assortment of doors shared by others from around the world.

About the Author

Deb

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I am a lifelong Connecticut resident with great love for New England's architecture and history. As a passionate advocate for historic preservation, my wish is that others come to appreciate our architectural history more through my photography and writing. I'm also busy with my finance career and loving family, including my husband of over twenty years, two teenage children and two lovable golden retriever rescues.

Comments 17

  1. We will be on the college tour trail next year. We aren’t sure where we’ll be visiting yet, but we always drive around the campuses when we visit cities that have one. You’ve showcase some wonderfully preserved history!

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  2. I’ve been to Fredericksburg! I agree about the charm and ‘walkability’ of the town. This area has so much history. I remember that mural too!

    Thanks for sharing – it started a nice trip down memory lane! 🙂

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      I’m so glad it brought back some nice memories, Connie! I wish I had more time there but at least I was able to take a wonderful walk!

  3. That’s such a pretty part of the country to tour. We visited family in Virginia every year while I was growing up. Great doors, photo quote and history today, Deb.

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  4. Oh I love that quote. I remember that letter so fondly from “Saving Private Ryan.” I love that mural, too! What a fabulous area to tour. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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      Oh I didn’t catch that reference! I’m sure my husband would. The mural really was a showstopper. The same woman painted a couple other murals locally, and I saw a few more by other artists – interesting to have the public art mixed in with the historic architecture. It really is a great little town – only wish I had more time!

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