• Visit Orange Virginia

Step Into History: Germanna Foundation

Step into history. Here, you can find yourself in the first German settlement in colonial Virginia. Trace the ancestry of the earliest German descendants in the Germanna Foundation Genealogical Heritage Library. Wander among the granite memorials of some of the earliest immigrant families in the country. Walk the halls of Salubria Manor, home of Rev. Thompson and Alexander Spotswood's widow, Butler Brayne . Step into America's story of liberty through the eyes of Fort Germanna.

The Germanna Foundation stewards the history of the Germanna colonies in Virginia. Using archaeological, historical, and genealogical research and interpretation, the Germanna Foundation showcases the European frontier experience of the settlers to the Germanna peninsula. Today, the Germanna Foundation oversees Virginia Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood’s home “Enchanted Castle” Archaeology Site, Peter Hitt Farm, the Siegen Forest and hiking trails, Salubria Manor, and the 1714 and 1717 Fort Germanna Archeology Sites, in addition to their visitor center, memorial garden and library. Preserving the history of these two early settlements is fundamental step toward understanding American history. And it's right here in Orange County, VA! Learn more by clicking here.

Engage with History

Transport yourself back to 1714 among many German settlers looking for a new life, free from religious persecution. Tour Salubria though video, watch the Genealogy short series, or take a closer look into the Germanna Foundation archaeological dig sites by clicking here.

Explore from Home

Explore: Participate in one of the Germanna Foundation's online events! Using Facebook Live, the Germanna Foundation is hosting a virtual event series "5 Minutes with Germanna." Videos are uploaded on their Youtube channel and website if you are unable to participate live.

Learn: You can get the Germanna Records and genealogy books shipped straight to your doorstep. Watch this short video to learn more.

Support: the Germanna Foundation is looking for volunteers. And this can be done from the comfort of your home! From transcriptions, to creating lesson plans, to at home woodworking (skilled carpenters only!), there is a range of opportunities.

Orange County Tabby Cat Coloring Page- For the Kids!

Check out this Fort Germanna coloring page (download here) and Purr’s short story from the Orange County Historical Society (download here).

Be sure to send us a picture of your completed work to be featured on our social media pages!

If you are interested in purchasing "The Nine Lives of an Orange Tabby" so you can follow along with Purr, click here. Happy illustrating!

*Photos sourced from the Germanna Foundation website and social media pages.

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Orange County Visitor Center

Visitor Center Hours:

Monday, Wednesday-Saturday

10 am - 4 pm

Tuesday and Sunday 11 am - 3 pm

Closed for some holidays.




122 East Main Street, Historic Train Depot,

Orange, Virginia

We are a Virginia State certified Visitor Center.


© 2019 All Rights Reserved

Gordonsville Visitor Center

Visitor Center Hours:

Monday -Thursday 10 am - 4:30 pm

Friday and Saturday 10 am - 4:00 pm

Closed on Sunday and for some holidays.




Next to Town Hall at 200 South Main Street,

Gordonsville, Virginia