Stafford Springs was located in the northwestern corner of Stafford County, Virginia (part of the property was also into Prince William County). My father's family owned this property for over 100 years until the government took it (yeah they did pay for it -- but you know how that goes) to become part of Quantico Marine Base.
The property was listed on state records as early as 1820. It was considered a health spa and inn. On the property were springs (thus the name) that were reported to have healing properties. In some of the old family papers I have there is a letter to a researcher discussing the benefits of the springs and the content. The family rented rooms in the large farmhouse to those who wanted to come and seek the benefit of the springs. The farm was also a stop on the stagecoach line from Manassas and Centreville.
Later on there have been rumors of the property being used by Confederate spies during the Civil War. I don't believe this -- although it sounds romantic. As a child I remember my grandfather telling me numerous stories of his father (pictured above -- on the left). Some of these stories included information about the war. Great granddaddy was part of the Virginia Calvary -- but nothing was ever mentioned about a spy ring operating from the family farm. In one report of this spy activity, the author mentions that the family never talked about it -- but the author reported the activity. I think it is a story and nothing more. I never heard this until one person wrote something about the property.
This photo shows the property. It also shows my great grandfather, great grandmother, one of my grandfather's brothers, and his sister. I like the photo a lot. I like it because it shows the property. But something else I like -- my great grandfather obviously moved his arms during the taking of the photo. From the elbow down he is a blur.
The date of this photos is unknown. Knowing that my great grandfather died in March, 1914 -- I know this is prior to that date. In the family papers that I have -- there is the deed to this property and the sales information from the former owner.