Four roads radiated from the river town of Fredericksburg. To the south, the Richmond Stage Road coursed across the gentle terrain of the Tidewater region. Two roads reached west, one to Spotsylvania Court House and the other toward Orange Court House. The fourth road followed the Rappahannock River and beyond the city limits it is still called River Road. This steep slope shows that Fall Hill Road was the more difficult route to travel.
Fall Hill also refers to this prominence (210 feet in elevation) upon which Francis Thornton V constructed a handsome brick home. The historic driveway is across the ravine in front of you, its surface covered in oyster shells, which functioned as gravel. Fall Hill Road crossed the uplands for approximately two miles before dropping toward the Rappahannock River, where the first river crossing above Fredericksburg was located at Banks' Ford.
There are two maps pictured on the marker. The map on the left is captioned, "The Colonial era roads are still in use, upgraded to modern standards and crossing a new barrier - Interstate-95."
The map on the right is captioned, "This 1867 map was prepared by U.S. Army topographical engineers and shows the roads that connected Fredericksburg with points west. A portion of the historic Fall Hill roadbed is still evident in the woods, 300
feet downhill from here."