Holding BeesHoneybees have been a part of Virginia’s history since they arrived with the first European colonists. They were Jamestown’s valuable addition and a Civil War soldier’s sweet if painful temptation, and they served as homefront heroes when the world wars caused sugar shortages.

In recent years, mead has seen a resurgence along with beekeeping and has claimed a place as a craft beverage in the Commonwealth. Join author Virginia Johnson to hunt escaped swarms flying wild in the forests, visit modern-day observation hives and follow the mead path across the state for a taste of history.

Publication Date 8/2/21
Available from Amazon HERE

Virginia C. Johnson

Virginia Johnson is the Public Communications Librarian at Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

She has a B.A. in anthropology from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is an award-winning member of Virginia Professional Communicators, a division of the National Federation of Press Women. Virginia lives in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her husband Steve, son Benedict, Sheprador Max, and a trio of felines.

In addition to Virginia Honey: A Sweet History, she has also written Virginia by Stagecoach and co-authored Virginia Horse Racing: Triumphs of the Turf, all for the History Press/Arcadia Publishing.

Barbara Crookshanks

NOVEMBER 16, 1928 – SEPTEMBER 3, 2011

Barbara Crookshanks, co-author of Virginia Horse Racing: Triumphs of the Turf, received a B.S. in journalism from the University of West Virginia and was a freelance journalist who worked for the Ladies Home Journal, The Free Lance-Star, Selling Power, and Fredericksburg Parent. She also wrote for and served as editor of the Fredericksburg / Tideland Times.

Reviews for Virginia Horse Racing: Triumphs of the Turf

“I have NO special interest in horses or horse racing, and I was amazed to find out how very readable this book is! In fact, I found myself laughing out loud numerous times.

“While all the stories have horses, they go all the way back to the beginning of the New World. I was surprised to find out about such people as Jack Jouett, Virginia’s Paul Revere.

“There are also a remarkable number of photographs, considering the amount of time that has passed since some of them were done. MOST highly recommended!”

Amazon Review

D. Tyson

"A wonderful read, & outstanding source of information about the Thoroughbred industry in Virginia. Very well written and researched. Worthy of a 5 star rating.

Joanne G.

"I've loved fictional horses from the time I could read, and I've watched as many Triple Crown races as I find televised. On vacation several years ago, I had the opportunity to tour the Belle Meade Plantation, a former Thoroughbred farm, in Tennessee--a trip that would have been enriched if I'd read this book beforehand. Even so, I had no idea the impact racing horses had on the United States in terms of the social aspects, influence in the Civil War, and providing the genes for the cowboys' trusty Quarter Horse, for just a few examples. A book about racing would have been dull if relying solely on track times, but Virginia Horse Racing brings history to life through the owners, breeders, jockeys, and events of the time. The great breeding farms are visited as their famous horses are enumerated. It was interesting to learn the majority of famous Thoroughbred race horses in the U.S. could trace their lineage back to a handful of horses--all having derived from three particular stallions. Interspersed between the lineages and race results are historical stories and amusing anecdotes that wouldn't be compiled together except for their connection to racing horses. From George Washington, who owned and raced an Arabian stallion named Magnolia, to General George S. Patton, who was crucial in saving the Lipizzaners from certain butchery in World War II, there are connections to Virginia horse racing. I was reading Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian simultaneously, and I was delighted when a comment was made about a drink being bottled at the time American Eclipse was racing. I was able to use my newfound knowledge to surmise the time period. I love when my reading choices have such synergy. Note: I read this on my Kindle. Had I known it was chock full of illustrations and photographs, I would have opted for the print version. ”