Visitor Center partial closure
Prince William Forest Park Visitor Center will close three days a week begining December 17th, 2013. The closure will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week between December 17th, 2013 to March 1st, 2014.
Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry Closure
Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry area will be closed December 1st, 2013 to February 28th, 2014.
Outside firewood is prohibited in Prince William Forest Park, unless it is certified USDA 'bug free' firewood. Dead and downed wood may be collected from designated areas for use while in the park. Help us protect the forest from invasive species!
The Florence Family
The Florence Family has traced their Virginia roots back to the 1600s. Their family was once in the heart of the Hickory Ridge Community, where today's Scenic Drive meet Burma Road. The family has put together a small book (PDF) on their family history. Their 320 acre track, purchased by the park on Friday, August 28th, 1936. In addition to the house and outbuildings, the tract contained a gasoline power grist mill, Joe Florence's store , and a neighborning school known as the Thornton School, which was on land donated by the Florence family. The land was purchased for $6/acre at the cost of $1,935.
The oldest grave in the graveyard is for Irvin Florence, who was born on September 28, 1883 and died 13 months later of consumption (now known at Tuberculosis). Irvin was the son of Benjamin and Alice Florence, and sibling to Lucy, Joseph, and John.
Alice L. Florence was the matriarch of the family. She was born on September 15, 1850 and Died on December 2, 1914. Alice applied for pension file after her husband's death due to his service in Company B of the 49th Virginia Infantry.
Her Husband was Benjamin Florence, who was born on August 14, 1836 and died on April 3rd, 1885.
Their daughter Lucy was born on March 17, 1867 and died at the age of 20 on April 14th, 1887, reportedly of convulsions.
Ralph Florence is also buried in the cemetery. He was the son of Alice and Benjamin's son John and his wife Lula McAlister Florence. He was one month old when he died on August 3, 1918.
Did You Know?
An owl's eyes are fixed in place because their large size provides no room for muscle. To compensate for this, it can turn its head in almost any direction and angle, including the ability to rotate its head nearly 280 degrees. By comparison, people can only turn their heads a mere 90 degrees!