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LEE WOOLF
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Date published: 7/2/2003

1--d. Prehistoric sea and land creatures are believed to have flourished in Stafford as early as 110 million years ago. "Gold fever" struck the area about 1829; from then until about 1900, gold was mined at several locations in Stafford County, mostly in the vicinity of present-day U.S. 17. Samuel P. Langley tested manned aircraft launched by a catapult from a barge anchored in the Potomac River off the Widewater peninsula in 1903, just days before the Wright brothers succeeded in North Carolina.

2--c. Originally named Potomac for the river that flows along its edge, the town was renamed Quantico, an Indian word meaning "by the large stream," in 1872.

3--d. Stafford County has a fleet of 248 school buses, but only about 200 are used on any given day. About 16,000 students depend on buses for transportation.

4--b. John T. Brooke (1763-1821) fought in the Revolutionary War and later was a law partner of James Madison and the first president of Farmers Bank in Fredericksburg. His plantation, Mill Vale, was located on Accokeek Creek near the modern-day railroad overpass at Brooke.

5--a. Ninety-nine percent of Stafford voters approved the Virginia Secession Ordinance, which set the stage for four years of bloody fighting throughout the state during the Civil War.

6--b. Wildcat Corner is near White Oak at the corner of State Routes 603 and 601. Why Wildcat Corner? Legend has it that when boys from Fredericksburg came to visit girls from White Oak, the local Stafford boys would fight like "wildcats" to protect their turf.

7--c. The number of 129 eating establishments comes from Bob Carter of Stafford's Department of Economic Development. Another interesting number from Carter is $80.2 million. That's the amount of taxable sales those businesses bring to the county.

8--c. Nearly every street in Aquia Harbour has a nautical name.

9--a. Brooke Point had the largest enrollment among county high schools as of March 31, with 1,809 students. North Stafford was next with 1,779, followed by Stafford with 1,753 and Colonial Forge with 1,632.

10--a. The famous home was named after William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham.


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