The American Revolution forced Virginia’s royal governor, Lord Dunmore, to return to England. One of his last acts as he did so was to burn William Brent’s home in Wide Water. A newspaper reported: “Since our last, we have certain advice that Lord Dunmore, with his motley band of pirated and renegadoes, have burnt the elegant brick house of William Brent, esq; at the mouth of Aquia creek, in Stafford county, as also two there houses lower down Potowmack river, the property of widow ladies, with several ferry boats; that on Tuesday fe’nnight he remanded on St. George’s island, but was beat off by 1200 Marylanders; that he had burnt eight of his vessels, and was seen standing down the bay the Thursday after with all his fleet.” (Virginia Gazette, Sept. 6, 1776)
From the late 1800s until around 1930, Stafford County was one of the leading producers of pickling cucumbers in the state of Virginia. Nearly everyone with a few acres to spare grew cucumbers and sold them either to the Brooke Pickle Factory at Brooke or to a similar facility in Falmouth. A September 1901 newspaper notice stated, “‘Tis said one of our Onville friends met with quite a mishap going to the factory with a load of pickles some time since; one of the barrels upset, throwing the pickles to the ground, all of which had to be picked up and wiped off, one by one; the sun was so hot before our friend got thorough, that when he arrived at the factory he came near passing himself off for a pickle, so well was he ‘cured’ by the sun” (Free Lance, Sept. 19, 1901). This little blurb was written by Charles Adams Bryan (1849-1918) who was for many years clerk of the court for Stafford. He was a regular contributor of little “newsy” and humorous articles to the Free Lance newspaper and wrote under the pen name Scribbler.