4 years ago

Rappahannock Landing Archaeological Survey ... - Fauquier County

Rappahannock Landing Archaeological Survey ... - Fauquier County

Figure 13: The camp

Figure 13: The camp barber--taking a shave, Rappahannock Station, Virginia (Library of Congress 1863f). Figure 14: Rappahannock Station, Virginia, Officers of 50th New York Engineers, 1864 (Library of Congress 1863g). 21

Reconstruction and Into the Twentieth Century During the war structures were burned, crops and livestock were commandeered, and slaves were liberated. All this combined to temporarily destroy the agrarian economy of Fauquier County. Since the Union army freed the slaves a large number of farmers had no laborers to work the fields or tend to the livestock and subsequently many were forced to leave the county. The railroad became operational again in September 1865 but there was a conflict concerning which side of the river the new station would be built. It was decided that it would go on the North side of the river. By 1870 the agrarian nature of the county exceeded previous years and by the nineteenth century the county ranked third in wheat production and sixth in corn production in Virginia (Haley 1989:10). Dairy also became an important part of the economy as did horse breeding, which is still successful to today. With the economic boom of the last years of the nineteenth century new and expanded road systems were built to connect farms and markets. Throughout most of the twentieth century, agribusiness remained the economic backbone of the county. In addition to planting crops such as wheat and soybean, animal husbandry has brought about great notoriety to the county, especially revolving around raising show horses. According to the 1860 census, the county totaled 21,706 (Scheel 1985:2), and in 1980 the population was not much greater than it was before the Civil War (Haley 1989:17). Although Fauquier County has continued to grow since that time much of the landscape is not that different than it was during the nineteenth century. Currently the population is estimated to be 64,997 with the recent increase in the county’s population being attributed to the development of urban centers in northern Virginia, especially Washington, D.C. Towns like Warrenton, Middleburg, and Bealeton have rapidly developed due to their proximities to larger cities such as Fredericksburg and the Northern Virginia Region. 22

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