"Heaven and Earth never agreed to frame a better place for man's habitation." Captain John Smith
The town of White Stone was founded in 1715 but it was not until 1953 that the town was incorporated. White Stone is a small rural town situated in the lower part of Lancaster County, Virginia in the historic Northern Neck region. White Stone is located adjacent to the Rappahannock River and where this river opens into the Chesapeake Bay. Countless town residents and businesses from the founding to present day have relied on these waters as a basis for their livelihood.
Most accounts on the naming of the town center around milling operations that used to operate on a creek near the center of town which used a large white stone. Accounts talk of people who brought their household and farm implements to this mill to be honed on this white stone. Another theory on the name comes from an account of accumulations of white stones in the area's waterways. The stones were said to be dumped there in the colonial era by British ships that dumped their stone ballast to make room for cargo like tobacco to carry back to England. Either way, the history of White Stone has always been deeply entwined in agricultural and maritime activities. From being involved in the War of 1812 and the Civil War, to a busy maritime area served by steam boats and ferries, to the present day bay region town - White Stone has a long and diverse history.
From the modest 18th century hamlet centered around a mill stone according to the local legend, "The White Stone", White Stone has now evolved into a growing business center and bay community. Long known as the Southern Gateway to the historic Northern Neck region, White Stone today is now becoming a destination in part due to extensive revitalization efforts throughout the community. An estimated 12,000 vehicles daily pass through our town during the peak summer months.
The icon that most people associate with White Stone today is the Robert O. Norris Bridge. The bridge is majestic in not only its 2 mile span but the vast views of the Rappahannock River and out to the Chesapeake Bay. Built in 1957, the bridge connects Route 3 from Virginia’s Middle Peninsula to the southern half of the Northern Neck Peninsula. The opening of the bridge ushered in the modern ear of the town's history. Today, the town is home to more than 75 local businesses, national historic landmarks, tourist attractions and a growing destination for retirees.
One of the big attractions each year is the Waterfowl Show. For over 35 years, the town fire department has held the Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show, which is the major annual fundraiser for the department. The waterfowl show has earned the distinction of being designated a “Top 20 Event in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society. Every third weekend in March, the event transforms the town with crowds that come for the showcase of waterfowl and Chesapeake Bay artwork. During the Christmas season, the White Stone Business Association sponsors the Winter Wonderland festivities with illumination of the town’s Christmas tree.
Additional reading on several historic places.
Points of historical interest in the area.
History surrounds White Stone. Pop Castle and surrounding areas were raided and shelled during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The mother of America’s foremost forefather, George Washington, was born in Lancaster County. Her namesake, the Mary Ball Washington Museum and Genealogical Library, is located just 12 miles from White Stone on Route 3 in historic Lancaster Court House. Historic Christ Church, built in 1735, and the Carter Reception Center Museum are just four miles from White Stone.
Information and excerpts compiled from the following:
House and Home Magazine
"History of the Town of White Stone" by Elizabeth B. McKenney
Cooperative Living Articles