The town of White Stone was founded in 1715 but it was not until 1953 that the town was incorporated. White Stone is a small rural town situated in the lower part of Lancaster County, Virginia in the historic Northern Neck area. White Stone is located adjacent to the Rappahannock River and where this river opens into the Chesapeake Bay. Countless town residents and businesses from the founding to present day have relied on these waters as a basis for their livelihood.
Most accounts on the naming of the town center around milling operations that used to operate on a creek near the center of town which used a large white stone. Accounts talk of people who brought their household and farm implements to this mill to be honed on this white stone. Another theory on the name comes from an account of accumulations of white stones in the area's waterways. The stones were said to be dumped there in the colonial era by British ships that dumped their stone ballast to make room for cargo like tobacco to carry back to England. Either way, the history of White Stone has always been deeply entwined in agricultural and maritime activities. From being involved in the War of 1812 and the Civil War, to a busy maritime area served by steam boats and ferries, to the present day bay region town - White Stone has a long and diverse history.
From the modest 18th century hamlet, White Stone has now evolved into a growing business center and bay community. Long known as the Southern Gateway to the historic Northern Neck region, White Stone today is now becoming a destination in part due to extensive revitalization efforts throughout the community. The icon that most people associate with White Stone is the Robert O. Norris Bridge. The bridge is majestic in not only its 2 mile span but the vast views of the Rappahannock River and out to the Chesapeake Bay.
While White Stone may be a small rural town, it offers some great finds from a fresh seafood market, farmers markets, fresh baked goods, ice cream and chocolate shop, Virginia fine arts at Allure Art Center, the Lancaster Playhouse, antique stores, and boutique shopping. Dining options are varied from outdoor waterfront dining with incredible sunsets, chef inspired fine dining, to farm to table and sea to table options. Your nightlife can be as casual as sitting back, listening to the waves, looking up at the stars, to happy hour drinks or live music at one of the dining establishments. You can spend your day shopping, hitting the water or visiting one of the museums or nature parks in the area.
One of the big attractions each year is the annual Waterfowl Show. Since 1980, the town fire department has held the Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show, which is the major annual fundraiser for the department. The waterfowl show has earned the distinction of being designated a “Top 20 Event in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society. Every third weekend in March, the event transforms the town with crowds that come for the showcase of waterfowl and Chesapeake Bay artwork.