Exploring the Sentry Box and the Revolutionary Roots of Lower Caroline Street

From John Hennessy:

Lower Caroline Street overlooked the town docks.

This weekend we will have an uncommon opportunity. The Fredericksburg Area Museum has arranged for a visit inside the Sentry Box, one of the oldest and perhaps the most beautiful building on lower Caroline Street.  Open to the public from 5 until 5:30 on Saturday September 17, the interior visit to the Sentry Box will kick  off a broader walking tour of lower Caroline Street that will focus mostly on the 18th century roots of the street, looking at its evolution (both socially and architecturally) into the first half of the 19th Century. While lower Caroline is not the oldest part of Fredericksburg (indeed, it’s really Fredericksburg first suburb and subdivision), the street does have the biggest concentration of 18th century buildings in town.

George Weedon's Sentry Box today

Our friend Scott Walker of Hallowed Ground Tours and I will be tag-teaming on the tour (that in itself should be a bit of a curiosity and spectacle—a bit like Perry Como jamming with John Mellencamp). The walking tour begins at 5:30 and will last about an hour. It will of course cover much the same physical ground we covered in our History at Sunset program in August, but we will be tending more toward the 18th century buildings on the street, so we will look at several buildings, sites, and stories I largely ignored then: Goolrick-Caldwell, Mortimer House (216), James Monroe (301), and Rocky Lane.

During the open house, Harry Ward, author of the very nice 1980 biography of George Weedon, will be on hand to sign books.  Weedon will be a major focus of the tour.  He was a prominent local tavern-keeper, friend of Washington, general during the Revolution, and the builder of the Sentry Box in 1786.


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