Lecture Series

“Alexander Spotswood’s Germanna: A Gateway to Colonial Virginia’s West”

Presented by: Dr. Eric Larson

Lt. Governor, Alexander Spotswood served as Governor of Colonial Virginia from 1710 to 1722. During his tenure, Spotswood established two forts along the western edges of the colony’s settlement. One of these forts came to be called Fort Germanna. Opened in 1714, Spotswood placed several families of German speaking immigrants in the fort to serve as a “barrier” between the French and French influenced Natives to the west. The fort, itself, was short lived and came to be replaced by a significant Georgian home built by Spotswood during his post Governor years in Virginia. This mansion came to be known as Spotswood’s “Enchanted Castle.” A small community of Germanna, grew up over this first half of the eighteenth century. This was the same period that the colony of Virginia was pushing westward into the piedmont and over the Blue Ridge. Germanna was part of this journey.

Meet the speaker:

Dr. Larsen brings more than 30 years of archaeological experience to his position with the Germanna Foundation. He has worked with the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, and for the University of Maryland on sites in Annapolis, Maryland. He directed fieldwork at the Freedmen’s and Contraband Cemetery for the City of Alexandria, Virginia. He has taught Introductory Archaeology classes and trained numerous students through a variety of Field Schools around the Mid-Atlantic States. Dr. Larsen has been with the Germanna Foundation for eight years, during which time the Germanna Archaeology Project was born.


American Frontier Culture FoundationVirginia HumanitiesLee Enterprises

The 2023 Lecture Series is sponsored by Virginia Humanities and the American Frontier Culture Foundation. Lee Enterprises is the exclusive media sponsor.