Locust Grove Real Estate
Established by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood in 1714 as a German settlement, the area was considered the westernmost frontier (the wilderness) of Virginia. Spotswood built a home on a portion of the Rapidan River he referred to as Porto Bella (Lovely Harbor). The home was later nicknamed in 1732 by the founder of the city of Richmond, William Byrd II, as Spotwood’s “Enchanted Castle”. Spotswood died in 1740 and shortly thereafter residents of the area burned the original structure to salvage building materials for their own homes.
During the American Civil War the Rapidan River served as a portion of the front line between the Confederacy and the Union. The Old Plank Road connected Fredericksburg with Culpeper and crossed the Rapidan River at a location referred to as Germanna Ford. This ford was used extensively by the Union leading up to the battles of Chancellorsville, Mine Run, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. The Battle of the Wilderness occurred from May 5 to May 7, 1864 in portions of current day Locust Grove. Union Army Commander Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters were located 5 miles southeast of Germanna Ford on a hill near the modern day intersections of Route 3 and Route 20.