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Jenny at the Ridge

Iced Duck

from Chris

The cold snap this week has our ducks huddling in a smaller and smaller patch of open water on the pond, which has otherwise started to crust over with a layer of ice.

Their open water is near the Log Home, in the shallow end of the pond. Ducks actually do fine in cold weather so long as they have a little open water, which they need for drinking. As temperatures dip below twenty, their feet can get …



Boughs of Holly

We’ve decked our halls with boughs of holly–fa la la la la, la la la la!

We hope your preparations are going smoothly as we all head into the holiday weekend and the final stretch for Christmas. 🙂




A Trip to the Lake Anna Winery

from Chris

Jennifer and I recently took a trip down Route 208 toward Lake Anna, into the heart of Spotsylvania County, to visit our friends at the Lake Anna Winery. They were just preparing for their own employee holiday party later that evening, so the entire tasting room was fully decked out for the holiday. Frank Sinatra crooned Christmas carols in the background, and a fire crackled warmly in the fireplace.

It was the end of the day, so …


Historian-in-Residence Helps Commemorate Battle Anniversary

from Chris

I had the chance this week to participate in a special commemoration of the 155th anniversary of the battle of Fredericksburg (Dec. 11-13, 1862). The Civil War Trust held a series of Facebook LIVE events, co-hosted by the National Park Service and Emerging Civil War. Dan Davis and I represented ECW in the two days of events. What a fantastic treat it was to be on the field with historians Frank O’Reilly, Kris White, Garry Adleman, Don Pfanz, …




Historian-in-Residence Publishes New Book on Civil War Turning Points

Maxwell James Mackowski holds a copy of the new book his dad just co-edited.

If people know anything at all about the Civil War battle of Gettysburg, they usually cite it as “the turning point of the war.”

But a new essay collection co-edited by our historian-in-residence, Chris Mackowski, suggests that maybe Gettysburg wasn’t “the” turning point at all. Instead, the book argues, what if the war was actually a series of major turning points, one leading to the next, …


“The pictures don’t do it justice”

We want to thank “John” for this great review he posted at Airbnb:

“I’ve stayed at many different Airbnb’s (including a castle) and this was one of the best places that I have stayed. Things that I liked: – The cabin of course. I feel like even the pictures don’t do it justice. They don’t catch the way that the sun light hits the exposed brick on the inside and all of the little intricacies that make the cabin so