What Was Here Before There Was Beer?
The building we are located in and the land within approximately 100 yards are steeped in history as old and as rich as the nation.
George Washington’s boyhood home at Ferry Farm is directly across the Rappahannock River (100 yards NE). On February 22nd, 1936 Washington’s legendary coin toss across the river is matched by former Washington Senators pitcher Walter “Big Train” Johnson.
1862, December 11-12
Three temporary pontoon bridges were established (100 yards due east) to facilitate the crossing of Union Major General William B. Franklin’s Left Grand Division to this side of the river. “Franklin’s Pontoon Crossing” crossed 56,000 men to engage the Battle of Fredericksburg. On December 16th, the Division crossed back to the Stafford County shore and thepontoon bridges were removed.
1863, April 29
Franklin’s Crossing was used to engage the Chancellorsville Campaign when Major General John Sedgwick’s Sixth Corps crossed 23,600 men. They later fought the Second Battle of Fredericksburg May 3rd. On June 5, 1863, the pontoon bridge is constructed, under fire. Sedgwick’s troops crossed here again in an effort to track General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army as they moved north during the opening phases of the Gettysburg Campaign. Sedgwick’s men spent eight days nearby gathering information and skirmishing with Confederates.
1865, May 8-9
Shortly after the war ended a 400-foot pontoon bridge was erected for the last time and many Union regiments crossed as they marched north to attend the Grand Review in Washington, D.C.
1930, May 21
The Sylvania Industrial Corporation (FMC plant) opened where you are sitting. The plant made cellophane and provided full employment for many Fredericksburg residents during the Great Depression. Our building was known as Spinning Room No. 2.
1978, March 8
The FMC plant closes as newer films and fibers replaced cellophane and rayon and from 1978 to 2009 the building is occupied by several local businesses.
2002. March 17
The Blue & Gray Brewing Co. opens in Fredericksburg. Before that, Fred Red Ale and the Blue & Gray Classic Lager were brewed at other microbreweries in Virginia.
2009, July 1
The Blue & Gray Brewing Co. moves to its current location.
2010, June 30
The Blue & Gray Brewpub opens.