“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lake of the Woods in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Orange Grove 1728 - 1864

Orange Grove 1728 - 1864 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, May 9, 2009
1. Orange Grove 1728 - 1864 Marker
This is the story of Orange Grove
You are standing on land that was owned by the same family for over 200 years, from colonial days to the beginning of Lake of the Woods.

Alexander Spotswood, Lt. Gov. of the Colony of Virginia 1710 - 1722, obtained patent to the "Alexandria" tract in 1728. It contained 28,000 acres along the south shore of the Rapidan, including Lake of the Woods. Alexander requested his heirs to hold the land.

His son, Col. John Spotswood inherited his father's property and established his seat at Newport, a 2800 acre farm 4 miles south of Fredericksburg. Col. John Spotswood died at the young age of 31. His sister Katie and her husband Col. Bernard Moore became guardians to John's sons, Alexander and John, and a trustee of the estate.

His youngest son, Capt. John Spotswood fought in the Revolutionary War at Brandywine and Germantown. He was severely wounded and taken prisoner. By personal intervention of General Washington, he was released and returned to the Fredericksburg area.

Capt. John Spotswood
Founded Orange Grove plantation in the Wilderness, Virginia,
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part of his father's and grandfather's land.

1790s - Orange Grove was one of the prominent residences in Orange County. While there is no surviving description of the mansion, it is known that John was noted for his hospitality, and his home was a favorite stopping place for Orange County gentleman, going to Fredericksburg on business or for pleasure.

1782 - The Orange County census lists John as head of household for 8 white and 40 black.

1787 - Gentlemen Judge of the Orange County Court.

John Spotswood, Jr.
Capt. John Spotswood died in 1800 leaving all his land in Orange County to his son John, Jr.

1816 - John Jr. did not follow his great-grandfather's advice to hold the land. John advertised for sale, "My saw-mill tract of land, situated on the lower end of Orange County, containing about 1200 acres."

1825 - His daughter Mary's wedding was held at the house

1826 - Gold was discovered in this area of Orange County. For three years John Spotswood, Jr. received $3,000 income from the mines.

1833 - John divided his land between sons Richard and John Rowzie. He gave John Rowzie the 500 acres parcel called "Orange Grove."

1835 - John died at his residence on April 13. His wife, Mary Goode Spotswood, retained her rights to Orange Grove until March 1846.

John Rowzie Spotswood
1799 -
Markers at Lake of the Woods image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain
2. Markers at Lake of the Woods
Born and lived at Orange Grove for 90 years.

1826 - Married Lelia M. Allison; they had nine children

1852 - Gentleman Judge of the Orange Co. Court

Orange Grove during the Civil War
May. 1863 ~ Battle of Chancellorsville
During the Battle of Chancellorsville, very near where Stonewall Jackson was wounded, although not a soldier and about 65-years-old, John Rowzie Spotswood was taken there to Washington City, and lodged in Carroll Prison.

One of J.R. Spotswood's sons, J.R. Jr., was captured at Orange Grove on May 2, 1863. He was in the 9th VA Cavalry recovering from illness at home. "He was captured on his father's farm, near the Wilderness, having stood the fire of some ten to fifteen shot from the invaders before surrendering." He died the following month.

November 1863 ~ Mine Run Campaign
Also spoken of as the battle of Locust Grove, of Paynes Tavern and of Orange Grove.

General Meade crossed Germanna Ford and established his headquarters near the Spotswood farm.

May 1864 ~ Battle of the Wilderness
During the Battle of the Wilderness, the Spotswood farm was sketched by Alfred Waud from a point of view of approximately our Veteran's Dam.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & Settlers
The Site of Orange Grove Today image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, May 9, 2009
3. The Site of Orange Grove Today
War, US CivilWar, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1710.
Location. 38° 20.603′ N, 77° 44.794′ W. Marker is in Lake of the Woods, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker is on Lakeview Parkway, on the right when traveling north. Located at a park in Lake of the Woods Community. The marker is inside a gated community, and visitors must register to enter. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Locust Grove VA 22508, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Orange Grove 1865 - 1967 (here, next to this marker); Captain John Spotswood (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of the Wilderness (within shouting distance of this marker); Spotswood Family Cemetery (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Battle of the Wilderness (approx. half a mile away); Gordon's Flank Attack (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Federals Fall Back (approx. 1˝ miles away); a different marker also named Gordon's Flank Attack (approx. 1˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lake of the Woods.
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this marker.
On the upper left is a map of the original Alexandria tract. On the lower left is a portrait of Capt. John Spotswood. In the lower center is A record of the Spotswood family of "Orange Grove," Orange County, Virginia from a family register written circa 1838 in the handwriting of John R. Spotswood Esq. In the upper right are maps of the area around Chancellorsville and the Mine Run campaign.

In the lower right is the Alfred Waud sketch, captioned The white smoke, visible in the distant background, is from the Battle of the Wilderness. Elements of the Army of the Potomac, VI Corps bivouacked here on May 4, 1864. From the vicinity of the Spotswood home, General Horatio Wright's division of the VI Corps entered into the fighting on May 5, rushing down the Spotswood road to reinforce the V Corps. A Union hospital was temporarily established at the Spotswood House until Confederate shelling force it to be moved.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 18, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,477 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 18, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on May 16, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on May 18, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Feb. 22, 2024