Monday, August 10, 2015

Fauquier County, Virginia Courthouse Then and Now

circa 1863


This past weekend I was able to do a little bit of exploring in Warrenton, Virginia. This beautiful and friendly little town is located in Fauquier County, just west of Manassas, and north of Culpeper, Virginia. 

I had remembered seeing a Civil War-era photograph of the county courthouse on the Library of Congress website, so I thought I'd do "then and now" shot. It was not taken from quite the right angle and distance, but it will have to do.

The Fauquier County courthouse was originally constructed in 1790, but that building burned, as did buildings constructed in 1819 and 1854. Today's building was built in 1890 and was reconstructed on the foundation of the 1854 courthouse. During the Civil War, Warrenton experienced alternating bouts of occupation by both Union and Confederate troops. 

Just out of the courthouse picture above is the above monument to Col. John Singleton Mosby. Known as the "Gray Ghost" during the Civil War, Mosby made Warrenton part of his focus during the war and his home after the conflict. His switch to the Republican Party and candid comments in his memoirs on the Confederate cause made him unpopular with some of his fellow Virginians, but others cherished the memory of the Gray Ghost and his amazing lightning-quick strikes against the Union army. Mosby died in 1916 and was buried in the Warrenton Cemetery. 

If you get the opportunity, take a trip Warrenton. So much history abounds there waiting to be seen and learned. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Historic photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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