Springs is quietly tucked off of Gunnery Lane behind the old Walker Grant
Middle School building (now the Office of Student Service). The once grandeur
of the spring is now lost. All that remains is a monument, a plaque marking
the spring and a small trickle of water.
Actually the whole tract
on which the spring is located is quite historic; the spring is just the
only surviving landmark. Local Historian, Paula Felder, told SimplyFredericksburg
that located near the old school (someplace to the left and up the hill,
if your back is to the springs) was the old gun factory. The gun factory
was a large stone structure built in 1775 (ordered by the Virginia Convention
Of 1775). Both Charles Dick and Colonel Fielding Lewis were active commissioners
of the gunnery.
After the war, it was commissioned
by the state to become the Fredericksburg Academy, which has a very interesting
(but still unwritten) history, with a distinguished board of trustees.
That lasted only a few years, and then it became a private residence. There
is an insurance policy on the building from that period in the early 19th
century. In the 1840s, the property was purchased by John L. Knight, a
mason, who built a brick residence adjoining the gunnery building and turned
it into the town poorhouse. It disappeared from the tax rolls during the
Civil War or shortly afterward.
was interviewed by Prestige Vision Channel 3 (now Adelphia Vision 3) at
the Gunnery Springs in 2000. SimplyFredericksburg wants to see this
once historic treasure saved. Much controversy has been aired over the
spring, from the springs location (back during the civil wars) to its more
modern looking concrete and brick facade, which was erected over the spring
by the Daughters of the American Revolution in commemoration of early women
like to thank Paula Felder who is considered one of Fredericksburg leading
local historians, for assisting us with this feature.