Welcome to the Shenandoah Valley

Welcome to the Shenandoah Valley. Although definitions vary, the Shenandoah Valley today is generally considered to run from the West Virginia counties of Berkeley and Jefferson, where the Shenandoah River joins the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, to points south of Lexington, Virginia.

From the Mountain Courier: 150th Anniversary of Second Kernstown This Month

By linda wheeler  In 1864, Shenandoah and Frederick Counties were rocked by Civil War battles for the second time. First was the Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson campaign in 1862, which brought the war to the Shenandoah Valley. Although he succeeded in his mission to lessen the pressure on Richmond by forcing the Union to move troops from there to confront him in the Valley, he also brought the war to this place: to Kernstown and other small communities connected by the Old Valley Pike.Two years later, Gen. Jubal Early was ordered to accomplish the same mission. He was to draw troops away from Petersburg and again, there was a battle at Kernstown, a small farming community south of Winchester. It took place on July 24 on the same sprawling farm owned by the Pritchard family. There wasn’t a vendetta for that particular family but rather it was their rolling farm land that was attractive militarily. It offered high points for cannons, and farm buildings and a long stone wall along the driveway were useful for concealment.For the Pritchard family, it was hell on earth two times around. The parents and children would emerge from the safety of their cellar to a world of trampled fields and a harvest of dead and dying soldiers strewn across the farm. Each time, they filled the house with the wounded, caring for men from both sides as best they could.It was also the last major Confederate victory in the Valley. For a short time, Winchester and other places in the area were freed of occupying Union forces.   ...more

Valley's historic inns, hotels take guests back in time

You don’t have to look far within the Shenandoah Valley to experience its rich history. Many of the valley's towns and cities boast historic streetscapes with centuries-old buildings and homes. Some of them have been refurbished and converted into hotels, inns and B&Bs. Their owners go through great effort to restore the original architectural features and choose decor that reflects the lifestyle of residents who lived in the Valley hundreds of years ago. The Jacob Swartz House in New Market, for instance, gives its overnight guests a taste of life in Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War.   ...more

Second half of Civil War exhibition in Winchester shifts focus from civilian to military history

The second part of the An American Turning Point: The Civil War exhibition, Waging War, is now open at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va. The museum has partnered with the Virginia Historical Society, the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities in bringing the traveling exhibition to the Shenandoah Valley. Waging War follows a Surviving War exhibition, which had been on display in the museum Changing Exhibitions Gallery for much of the first half of 2012. The current show closes on Dec. 2, 2012. Both parts of An American Turning Point: The Civil War bring the Civil War in Virginia to life through displays of authentic artifacts, interactive multimedia panels, coupled with a schedule of related museum programs.   ...more

Touring the Shenandoah Valley Backroads

To learn about touring Shenandoah Valley scenic backroads, get a copy of Touring the Shenandoah Valley Backroads (second edition), by Andrea Sutcliffe. You can check out the 13 tours featured in the book by clicking here. Order the book at 1-800-222-9796 or visit www.blairpub.com.

Upcoming Events in the Shenandoah Valley

Aug. 30, 2014: Battle of Cedar Creek Tour at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park

Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters. Two-hour guided car-caravan tour. Follow a park ranger vehicle along a various waypoints that interpret the Battle of Cedar Creek. Aug. 30 at 2 p.m. Sept. 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 24, 26 and 27 at 2 p.m.

Aug. 30, 2014: Poetry Workshop, hike and stargazing programs at Friends Wilderness Center in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Poems and Planets. Share poems, 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. BYO picnic supper or make reservations for dinner. Followed at 6:45 p.m. by a guided tour of the celestial dome observing constellations and planets with astronomer Kevin Boles, of Morgan County Observatory in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. The poetry portion for ages 12 and up, sky watching for ages 6 and older. Participate in one or both parts of the program. Telescope or a good pair of binoculars and a reclining lawn chair recommended. Overnight accommodations possible. Cost: $10 for dinner, $5 for those under six. RSVP required. $10 suggested donation for the poetry/stargazing program, family rate: $25. For more information, call 304-728-4820

Aug. 30, 2014: Theater performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Cyrano de Bergerac. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.

Aug. 30, 2014: Downtown Restaurant festival in Harrisonburg, Va.

Rocktown Bites! walking tours begin at 2 p.m. every Saturday, approximately 2.5 hours. Guided tours of seven restaurants, food shops, and local businesses. Sample food, drink including craft beer and Virginia wines, special dishes from restaurateurs and chefs.

Aug. 30, 2014: Labor Day holiday at Veramar Vineyard in Berryville, Va.

905 Quarry Road. Live Music: Seven Sons of West Virginia, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wine and food available. For more information, call 540-955-5510 or visit www.veramar.com.

Aug. 30, 2014: Wine Tasting in Natural Bridge, Va.

Red Fox Tavern at the Natural Bridge. Every Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. . Virginia wines. Admission: $7.95 per person. For more information, call 540-458-3750.

Aug. 30, 2014: Play performance at Schultz Theatre in New Market, Va.

9357 N. Congress St. The Wizard of Oz. Musical. Shows on and Aug. 30 at 7 p.m., and Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit www.schultztheatre.com.

Aug. 30, 2014: Shenandoah Valley Music Festival Concert in Orkney Springs, Va.

Orkney Springs Hotel, Shrinemont. The Oak Ridge Boys. Advance ticket prices: $40 and up. Tickets available on line and can be ordered by calling Monday through Friday from 9:30 until 4:30 at 540-459-3396 for an additional $6 per order fee. $4 additional at the gate. Free parking. For more information, visit www.musicfest.org.

Shenandoah Valley Tourism Information
Visit the Shenandoah Valley Tourist Information Center when traveling to the Shenandoah Valley. The Virginia Tourism-certified facility is centrally-located at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, just off Interstate 81 exit 264 in New Market, Va. Call for information at 866.515.1864