September 18, 1649
King Charles II grants 5.2 million acres to seven English nobles, among them John Lord Culpeper. Within that land grant is an area which will later become Culpeper County, Virginia.
August 21, 1670
The first recorded exploration by Europeans into present day Culpeper is led by John Lederer, a German physician commissioned by Governor William Berkeley.
A band of German immigrants establish the first European settlement near Culpeper, not far from the confluence of the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers. Their community comes to be known as
May 18, 1749
An act of the Virginia General Assembly establishes Culpeper County.
July 20, 1749
George Washington, 17 years old, arrives in Culpeper to survey the new county.
February 22, 1759
An act of the General Assembly establishes the county seat, officially known as the town of "Fairfax". It is more commonly called Culpeper Court House.
Daniel Boone establishes a residence near present-day Stevensburg. He later explores Kentucky.
Court records first mention the patrols which scoured Culpeper to halt all traveling blacks to ask them for proof of free status or a travel pass.
16 of Culpeper's 20 Justices signed a petition resigning their commissions in protest of the infamous Stamp Act.
April 27, 1775
Culpeper Minutemen first take up arms in defiance of Governor Lord John Dunmore's seizure of the public powder magazine at Williamsburg.
January 1, 1795
Benjamin Shackelford becomes the county's first U.S. postmaster, presiding over a post office known as "Culpeper C.H." Mail is notoriously slow as many items are mistakenly directed to Fairfax County.
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The first state-chartered school in Culpeper, Stevensburg Academy, opens under headmaster John
May 16, 1827
James Caldwell of Warrenton publishes the first county newspaper, the Culpeper Gazette.
Culpeper voters approve public education funds for indigent children. Fifteen school commissioners are elected. Richard J. Tutt becomes the county's first superintendent of schools.
March 10, 1832
The General Assembly licenses the state's first gold-mining company, launching a minor gold rush in Culpeper which peaks in about 1849.
The General Assembly is petitioned for aid in stopping the flow of escaped slaves, citing that there are persons in Culpeper furnishing free papers stamped with genuine seals.
The Orange & Alexandria Railroad, working from the north, first extends railway service to the Town of
April 17, 1861
Responding to Virginia's vote to secede from the Union, two companies of infantry form in Culpeper. A company of cavalry, known as "The Little Fork Rangers" had already formed in the summer of 1860.
May 4, 1862
The Town of Culpeper is occupied by Union troops for the first time.
August 9, 1862
Confederate troops under General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson repel Union troops under General John Pope in the Battle of Cedar Mountain. Thousands fall.
March 17, 1863
"Gallant" John Pelham, an artillery officer for J.E.B. Stuart's Confederate cavalry, is killed in action at Kelly's Ford.
June 9, 1863
Union and Confederate troops clash in the Battle of Brandy Station, the largest engagement of cavalry troops in North America.
The Battle of Culpeper Court House took place on a Sunday morning with the Union army's victory in routing the Confederate hold on the train depot. Gen. George Custer was a significant factor in the battle.
Nov. 1863 - May 4. 1864
Winter occupation by the Union army, considered to be the largest occupation by either army of the entire war. Under Gen. Grant's command the Union army left Culpeper with 120,000 troops to begin the Overland Campaign.
December 21, 1865
A request for a patrol to scour Culpeper and disarm newly-freed blacks is squelched by Federal authorities. The patrols are never heard of again.
September 20, 1866
James R. Nichols receives permission to open the first school for blacks in Culpeper County.
December 15, 1870
A new charter finally gives the county seat a single, undisputed name: Culpeper. The town is also permitted to elect a mayor and council.
Virginia establishes modern public education. 1,245 Culpeper children attend 29 one-room schoolhouses and one "graded school". First year's budget amounts to $3,927. About one-third of the county is illiterate.
March 8, 1888
A fire in downtown Culpeper destroys three wood frame buildings. Shortly thereafter, town organizes a 34-man fire department, headed by Dr. L.L. Lankford.
April 17, 1888
Town council enacts a building code for Main and Davis Streets, requiring brick or stone exterior walls, metal or slate roofs, and fire-resistant chimneys.
The first private telephone line is strung 12 miles from Jackson L. Fray's downtown store to Larkin Willis' store in Locust Dale, Madison County.
August 19, 1896
The first public utility, a water system, operates in the Town of Culpeper.
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The first public sewer system is installed in town, but the $500 hookup fee limits initial customers. The first telephone switchboard is installed this year.
A new state poll tax and segregation of railway cars brings Jim Crow era to
The Culpeper Light and Ice Company begins operation. Downtown streets are lit by electricity. The "iceman" starts delivering to homes.
Culpeper Graded School adds four more grades and becomes the county's first public high school. Enrollment is 283.
The town's first full-time theater, R. Tredway's Eclipse, opens below his billiard and bowling alley on Davis Street. It feature stage plays as well as silent movies accompanied by a piano.
The reformed Culpeper Minutemen, now a National Guard infantry company, are called to the Mexican border to help track Pancho Villa.
The first public library opens in
The first public high school for black Culpeper student's opens.
The Rochester Corporation, one of the oldest still operating in Culpeper, begins manufacturing wire rope here.
A consolidated high school opens for white county students. George Washington Carver High School opens for blacks.
Virginia Baptist Home is established in
Culpeper installs the first fluorescent lights south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Culpeper Memorial Hospital opens.
Culpeper County Library opens on Main and Mason Streets.
The first modern shopping center opens at the town's north end.
January 1, 1968
The Town of Culpeper annexes about 6 square miles, increasing its' population from 2,400 to 5,700. Later in the year, the county airport opens.
U.S. Route 29 bypass allows through motorists to skip Downtown
Culpeper resident Phillip Ward is one of 66 hostages released by Iran. Upon his return, he is honored with a parade.
Opening of the industrial park at the county airport leads to a boom in the recruitment of businesses.
Bill Clinton attends church in Culpeper on his way to his inauguration in Washington.
The Culpeper County Library moves to an expanded facility at Southgate Shopping Center, adding computers and internet access.
May 17, 1999
Culpeper residents celebrate the county's 250th anniversary.
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