VIRTUAL MUSEUM An online collection of Stafford history and artifacts

Stafford Federal Census Numbers

An examination of the population growth in Stafford (below) in the ten-year increments of national censuses is always useful. Notice the population in 1860, prior to the Civil War. The departure of over 2,000 former slaves and destitute whites between 1860 and 1870 represents Stafford’s single greatest population decline.

Back to the Future

With care and perseverance, old buildings can be given new life and commercial viability. For example the large brick building of previous days (located on the left of this photo) became Amy’s Café in Falmouth. Click on “Photo Gallery” to see Amy’s today.

Colonial Circuits

Colonial Circuits, located in the Hartwood District on U.S. 17, represents the small businesses which have become an economic mainstay for Stafford. About 1,700 smaller businesses provide jobs to Staffordians.


Geico represents the substantial businesses which have become an economic backbone for Stafford.

Stafford Airport

Stafford Regional Airport opened in December of 2001. It covers an area of 566 acres. The airport is located 3 miles from the Stafford Courthouse and approximately 40 miles south of D.C. and 60 north of Richmond. It is owned and operated by the Stafford Regional Airport Authority.

The Nature of New South & Virginia Growth

Devastated by the Civil War, Stafford’s primary problem to approaching a “New South” era was that it had virtually none of the prospects associated with that vision; all would have to be built or rebuilt in order for Stafford to grow and prosper.

Hartwood House

Ulster-Scot immigrant William Irvine built Hartwood House between 1800 and 1825.   The house was the center of a 5,000 acre plantation that stretched from the Rappahannock River to Warrenton Road.  During the Civil War, the house served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces.  


“Clearview,” on the highest point above Falmouth has many fascinating stories – especially its Civil War history which featured ownership by two sisters named Scott (one Unionist and one Confederate)  whose adventures saw them through the filter of war, as the house was used as a headquarters and artillery position.  


“Carlton” sits prominently above Falmouth and is reminiscent of Antebellum times. It requires little imagination to transit history to a time when carriages took the local elites from home to home for social and business purposes.  A slave quarters in on the property.               

Moncure Conway House

The stately Federal-period Moncure Conway House in Falmouth is one of Stafford’s historic treasures.  The home was associated earlier with the Vass and Beale families.  It was the boyhood home of Moncure Daniel Conway, the South’s most prominent abolitionist.  During the Civil War it was used as a Union hospital.

Shelton Cottage

Shelton Cottage in Falmouth along River Road stands in contrast to Basil Gordon House and Moncure Conway House (houses of prosperous merchants and businessmen). It represents what a colonial workingman might aspire to possess in his own right – a far cry from his peers in Great Britain.

Stafford County Schools

The schools are vibrant parts of the Stafford community.  They are frequently used for public forums, concerts, and art shows.  The picture shows Colonial Forge High School in 2008 when it  was the scene of a community meeting opposing the advance of above ground electric towers and power lines through several schools and residential areas.