Experience Inspires Spaniard to Guide Students Abroad

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Changing Fortunes

From almshouse to student residence

They called it Mount Nebo. The lovely hill overlooking Fredericksburg provided a clear view of the town, just as did the biblical peak from which Moses glimpsed the Promised Land. But the name also evoked a longing for the unattainable − as the residents of the Fredericksburg incarnation of Mount Nebo in the late 1800s and early 1900s must have felt keenly. It was on Fredericksburg’s Mount Nebo that the almshouse stood, providing a haven for the destitute but also setting them apart from the bustling town. According to research by Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Michael Spencer, the house on the hill was built in 1877 as the “handsome frame residence” of Frank Beckwith. But a case of smallpox in 1882 so frightened Fredericksburg residents that they bought the Beckwith home, for $1,700, as an infirmary. As it happened, the town was spared a further smallpox outbreak. Soon the home was enlarged and turned into an almshouse, where the poor could exist on … [Read more...]