America's Best History Spotlight

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.

Interior of James Monroe home at Highland

Germanna Ford, Virginia

One unique museum, visitor center, walking trails, and the Germanna Ford sits almost hidden from the highway, but its history is aplenty from prior to the American Revolution to a crossing for Civil War troops during the battles from Fredericksburg to Culpeper. The Germanna Foundation runs the historic site, which includes the story of Spotswood Fort, the Germanna settlement with two colonization periods, 1714 and 1717. There are also walking trails to the Germanna Ford, not yet well marked, as well as through the Siegen Forest.

Photo above: Museum and Visitor Center of the Germanna Foundation historic site. Courtesy

Sponsor this page for $100 per year. Your banner or text ad can fill the space above.
Click here to Sponsor the page and how to reserve your ad.

Info, What's There Now, History Nearby

Alexander Spotswood and Germanna 1714

Germanna Ford and Spotswood/Germanna Fort, Virginia

As we stated above, difficult to see from the highway due to trees, both positive and negative for the visitor experience and attendance, the Germanna Ford Visitor Center includes exhibits in a circular rotunda with winding staircase rising in its center. From there you can see the view of the countryside to points which the ground and history save stood. Walking trails down to the Germanna Ford itself sit to the right of the building. A circular patio, to its left, honors with statues, plaques, and bricks, the men and women who made up the population of the Spotswood settlement from ... It was a settlement in Indian territory built around metallurgy, and the grounds, across Highway three, includes another property where the ... mansion resides.

Image above: Drawing of the Germanna Fort in 1714. Courtesy Germanna Foundation. Below: Visitor Plaque near parking lot about the Civil War use of the Ford by Union troops. Courtesy America's Best History. Below: Visitor Plaque near parking lot about the Civil War use of the Ford by Union troops. Courtesy America's Best History.

Germanna Ford Plaque

Where Is It

The Germanna Foundation Museum and Visitor Center is located at 2062 Germanna Highway (Route 3), Locust Grove, VA 22508, beside the Germanna Community College campus. It is about midway between Fredericksburg and Culpeper. Turn into the Community College and the entrance to the museum is on the right hand side a short drive off Route 3. The center is hard to see from the road. The Salubria home is located at 19173 Salubria Lane in Stevensburg, VA.

Minute Walk in History

Walk through the museum of the Germanna Ford Foundation Visitor Center with us, as well as outside on the grounds of Germanna itself where the colony began. Take a gander at the Germanna ford itself. Imagine yourself, either as a settler in a 1714 or 1717 community from Germany, or as a soldier crossing the river to a battle you did not know the outcome of. A little known gem, but well worth the visit.

What is There Now

Germanna Ford

A visitor center with museum, research library, and staircase observatory, the foundation remnants of the bridge that used to cross Germanna Ford and the location of the ford itself where Union troops crossed toward battle. Waysides near the parking lot. One hundred and seventy acres where you can hike the Siegen Forest Trail. Circular memorial patio which lists many of the settlers who made part of the early Spotswood Fort. Good amount of parking.

When Open and How Much

The museum and visitor center is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. It is also open Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Closed Sunday. The trail system is open from dawn to dusk every day.

Fees and hours are subject to change.

Germanna Foundation Museum and Ford

History Nearby

There is so much to see around the Route 3 corridor from Fredericksburg to Culpeper, it's hard to name them all. From historic homes such as Monticello, Montpelier, and James Monroe's Highland (plus nearby Michie Tavern) to the Civil War battlefields of Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Brandy Station, Cedar Mountain, and Kelly's Ford.

Photos, History, and More Spotlights

Ferry Farm

April Spotlight

Burgandine House, Virginia

LaPointe/Krebs House Museum, Old Spanish Fort

May Spotlight

Paul Bunyan Museum, Wisconsin

James Monroe's Highland

June Spotlight