Stevenson Ridge

6901 Meeting Street, Spotsylvania, Virginia 22553
Innkeeper(s): Debbie & Dan Spear and Jennifer Mackowski

Stevenson Ridge on C-SPAN: “Great Attacks of the Civil War” 30 Sep 2016, 1:00 am

from Chris

C-SPAN’s coverage of the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge continues this weekend. This Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m., C-SPAN 3 will air the symposium’s panel discussion on “Great Attacks of the Civil War.” Here’s a preview:

Also, the keynote address by Jim Ogden on James Longstreet at Chickamauga gets a re-air Saturday at 1:45 p.m.:

Tune in to see Stevenson Ridge on C-SPAN!

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Room Escape Adventures 28 Sep 2016, 5:07 am

photo courtesy of (from the Virginia Beach Room Escape experience)


from Elizabeth

At Stevenson Ridge, we host many corporate retreats throughout the year with different team building exercises on the property. Lately, I’ve been hearing about the Room Escape Adventures where—you guessed it—you’re locked in a room and have to figure out how to escape—together!

Room Escape Adventures create scenarios where, for 60 minutes of your life, you will totally be removed from your current world and focus on nothing but escape. Participants must rely on each other and their communication and creativity to get out of the locked room. As a team, they must use their smarts and skills to find clues, solve puzzles, and unlock the door within 60 minutes to escape. After the session, the staff analyzes each participant’s ability to problem solve, communicate effectively under pressure, and demonstrate the spirit of a cohesive unit.

Some Escape Rooms are more intense, such as those on popular reality shows like Fear Factor or Minute to Win It, whereas others are more like playing a game of Clue. There are even a few that offer a zombie theme for all those Walking Dead fans. There are Room Escapes in Virginia Beach, Richmond, and Washington DC. Prices vary depending on what exactly you’re looking for and how many people will be participating.

If you and your team are brave enough to try an escape, we wish you the best of luck!

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The Fall Harvest Festival at Belvedere Plantation 23 Sep 2016, 1:00 am

from Maggie

As the cooler weather slowly starts to approach, many exciting fall activities begin to take place in Fredericksburg, VA.

As a local resident my entire life, one of my favorite ways to kick off the fall season is the Fall Harvest Festival at Belvedere Plantation. Belvedere Plantation is a 645-acre farm that was built in the 1760s on the historic Rappahannock River. As the fall festival begins, they are open weekends from the end of September to early November.

Each year the Farm adds more and more events for your family to enjoy (as well as more animals to the visit barnyard). Of course there are always plenty of pumpkins you can hand-pick and carve for the fall season. There is also everything from hayrides to roasting marshmallows, it’s a great way for you and your family to relax and also make some memories. I hope you will be able to experience this family favorite event and come back to enjoy year after year!

Consider stopping by while you are enjoying your stay at one of the cozy cabins at Stevenson Ridge!

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Welcome, Maggie! 22 Sep 2016, 1:00 am

Stevenson Ridge is pleased to welcome Maggie Skinner to the team!

Maggie will be working as our new office assistant and will also help with events during some of our busy weekends. She also works at the hospital and plans to start nursing school this spring.

Maggie, who was born and raised in Spotsylvania, graduated from Randolph-Macon College in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She loves spending time with her family, going on long runs, and vacationing at the beach.

The post Welcome, Maggie! appeared first on Stevenson Ridge.

Burying the Bourbon 21 Sep 2016, 1:00 am

from Elizabeth

When a November bride requested to bury bourbon for her ceremony, I was interested in learning more on this very interesting Southern tradition.

As the tradition goes, to prevent rain or bad weather on your wedding day, you bury a bottle of bourbon. Dig a hole at the ceremony site and bury an unopened bottle of bourbon (recommended upside-down). Right after you say, “I do,” dig up the bottle and enjoy! According to superstition, you’ll have sunny skies for your wedding day.

This tradition poses challenges for us here at the Ridge because of our well-manicured lawn. Our grounds-keeping crew would all have coronaries if we started digging bourbon holes on the grounds. However, we do have 80 acres of forest on the property.

To be honest, we can’t say for sure this tradition actually holds up for our couples, but it is a neat idea and would make for a priceless photo op.

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Maggie’s Favorite Chicken Soup Recipe 19 Sep 2016, 1:00 am

photo courtesy of the Food Network

from Maggie

Who doesn’t love comfort food?

Fall is a time to get cozy, read a book, and enjoy some hearty food with your friends and family. One of my favorite foods to enjoy this time of the year is soup. A classic one that almost everyone loves is chicken and dumplings soup!

My favorite recipe comes from Paula Deen at the Food Network, which you can check out here.

Trust me when I say it’s definitely worth all the chopping and cook time!!! I hope you enjoy!!

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Stevenson Ridge on C-SPAN tonight 17 Sep 2016, 11:03 am

C-SPAN3 begins its overage of the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge tonight. Tune in a 6:00 p.m. for a talk by historian Dave Powell on Civil War tactics. Here’s a preview:

More episodes will be airing on Saturdays at the same time, so tune in. We’ll keep you posted!

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Pumpkin EVERYTHING, Please! 16 Sep 2016, 8:12 am

photo courtesy

from Elizabeth

At the stroke of midnight on September 1, it seemed that everyone (once again) started going crazy for pumpkin everything! You have pumpkin cereal, creamer, air freshener and even OREOS! Yes, I am one of the pumpkin spice lovers, too, so I’m as excited as most of the world.

Gail always makes us little treats whenever she can, so one of our favorites this time of year is her pumpkin-spiced dip with gingerbread cookies. If you’re just as excited as we are, here is a delicious pumpkin spiced dip from Kraft Recipes that you can share with your family and friends.


  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) Jell-o Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed


  1. Mix pumpkin, dry pudding mix and spice in large bowl with whisk until blended.
  2. Stir in Cool Whip
  3. Refrigerate for an hour
  4. Ready to serve J

You can find the original recipe here.

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Miss Elizabeth’s Book Club: September’s Top Picks 9 Sep 2016, 1:00 am

photo credit: carley rehberg photography

from Elizabeth

When I have a free moment between work and household routines, nothing beats cracking open a new book and getting lost in the story. Of course, I always have a hard copy or paperback in my hands: the smell and texture of the book set the tone.

With so much going on in our daily schedules, just having the opportunity to read is a great way to wind down and relax. I thought I’d share my most recent and favorite books. Enjoy these wonderful books in front of a cozy fire, outside on your front porch, or even squeezed in during your lunch break.

  1. A Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: Rachel, the main character, goes down a slippery slope trying to solve a local murder. Watching the victim everyday from the commuter train, Rachel somehow gets involved. You keep asking yourself while reading, “Why, Rachel? Why?” but she’s only trying to piece back together that This book has many twists and turns along the way, keeping you guessing who the murderer is and wondering whether Rachel’s life will ever return back to normal.
  2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: This entertaining murder-mystery book has you guessing from the very first chapter: who and how did someone die at a PTA meeting? The story is told by the three main characters plus little snippets of parents talking to the police. Subtly, the author sends the message throughout the entire book that we all tell lies to each other and ourselves.
  3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: This was my most recent book. It might be a slow start, but the ending will have you wanting more. It’s a story about two French sisters trying to survive during World War II when the Nazi invaded France. The older sister is married with a daughter and is trying to get through the war the best she can. However, her younger sister cannot stand idly by while family and friends are dying and takes action behind her back. This book is full of love and tragedy as the author explores what we do in moments of great challenge.
  4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: This is Harry Potter meets X-Men plus pictures to add even more to the story. The whole series takes you on an adventure thru time loops from the present to WWII. After his grandfather dies, Jacob tries to find out if his grandfather’s old stories were true. Growing up, his grandfather would tell him stories of an island where children with special abilities lived, and it was protected by an older woman, Miss Peregrine. Once Jacob finds them, his story starts to unfold, as his teenage life is no longer as ordinary as he had originally thought.

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A Guest’s Review of “Traces of the Bloody Struggle” 6 Sep 2016, 1:00 am

We received a note this week from a guest who came to Stevenson Ridge earlier this summer to explore the area’s Civil War history. We ended up as the first person to purchase a copy of our new book, Traces of the Bloody Struggle: The Civil War at Stevenson Ridge, Spotsylvania Court House by our historian-in-residence, Chris Mackowski. We pass along the note with the guest’s permission:

I received my copy of Traces of the Bloody Struggle and read it in one sitting. It really made clear to me the action around the ridge and the role it played in the battle. I’m on to Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House now. I like the format of the books with the liberal use of maps, photos, etc.. It really brings the text to life.

Mary-Jo and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Stevenson Ridge, it is the perfect base camp for exploring the many Civil War sites in a short radius around the property. After we toured Spotsylvania with Chris, we made our way over to the Belmont Farm distillery then had lunch in Culpeper. We hit the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitors Center on the way back. After a full day of touring, I settled into a rocker on the porch of the cabin just as the sun was setting. I put some Civil War instrumental music on my lap top, sipped my local Virginia whiskey, and watched as a thunder storm approached from the north west. It was easy to imagine the flashes and booms as a not so distant battle raging over the horizon. I sat contemplating and soaking it all in as the rain began to fall. Mary-Jo eventually rounded me up and made me come back in the cabin but it was a perfect ending to one of the best days I ever had in my quest to reconnect with the past.

My thanks to you and your colleagues who are keeping the past alive and accessible. We are already talking about another visit in the winter so we can end a day of exploration in front of a crackling fire, a rare treat for us Floridians. Best whishes and keep up the good work.

— Jeff

[NOTE: To order a copy of Traces of the Bloody Struggle, which is only available through Stevenson Ridge, contact us a]

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