Fredericksburg. 1 Town (1990 pop. 6,934), Gillespie co., S central Texas, in the Texas Hill Country near the Pedernales River; inc. 1928. Located in an agricultural (cattle, peaches, wine, lavender) and quarrying (granite, sand, gravel) region, the city produces animal feed, processed foods, and millwork. Tourism is important, with visitors drawn by the architecture, customs, and language that still recall the German settlers of 1846 and by hunting and fishing nearby. The National Museum of the Pacific War, Pioneer Museum, and Bauer Toy Museum are there; Admiral Chester Nimitz was born in Fredericksburg. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is to the north; the LBJ Ranch, part of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is to the east. 2 Independent city (1990 pop. 19,027), N Va., on the Rappahannock River, midway between Washington, D.C., and Richmond; settled 1671, laid out 1727, inc. as a town 1781, as a city 1879. A city filled with historic interest, Fredericksburg attracts tourists. It is also a farm trade center with some light industry. Historic buildings include the home of Mary Washington (1772–89), the mother of George Washington; "Kenmore," the home of George Washington's sister; the Rising Sun Tavern (c.1760); the law office of James Monroe; and the home of John Paul Jones. Fredericksburg is the seat of Mary Washington College. Nearby are Wakefield (Washington's birthplace), Ferry Farm (the site of his boyhood home), and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park (see National Parks and Monuments, table), commemorating the Civil War battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Spotsylvania Courthouse (see Wilderness campaign).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.