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

Sep. 20, 2014: Staunton and Augusta Saturday Farmers Market in Staunton, Va.

Located downtown at the Wharf. Open every Saturday through Thanksgiving, 7 a.m. to  12 p.m. Local foods and plants, music and more in the Wharf parking lot. For more information, visit afarmersmarket.com.

Sep. 20, 2014: Field trip at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

Remarkable Trees Field Trip. Meet in the parking lot at the Frances Plecker Education Center. Destinations include the Remarkable White Oak of the Oak Ridge Estate in Nelson County, a tree known to be about 400 years old, the Lesesne State Forest where American chestnut restoration research in under way with the Virginia Department of Forestry. Register by Sept. 10. Admission: $10 fee per person includes transportation and tour. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum.

Sep. 20, 2014: Harrisonburg Farmers Market in Harrisonburg, Va.

Downtown Harrisonburg, in the Turner Pavilion, 228. S. Liberty St. Tuesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Runs through Nov 29. For more information, call 540-476-3377.

Sep. 20, 2014: Battlefield Programs in Winchester and Frederick County, Va.

Day-long schedule of tours, talks, living history, ranger programs, youth programs, commemoration and more about the Civil War battle of Third Winchester. Registration required. Admission: $10. Free admisson for ages 9 and under.For more information, call 540-740-4545.

Sep. 20, 2014: Rockbridge Baths Farmers Market in Lexington, Va.

Rockbridge Baths Fire Department. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Locally-produced meats, produce, baked goods and more. For more information, call 540-348-5084.

Sep. 20, 2014: Apple butter festival at Shenandoah National Park

Skyland Resort, Mile 41. 7 on Skyline Drive. Skyland and Big Meadows Lodge. 15th annual event. Special menu items and drinks at restaurant locations, featuring apple pancakes, apple fritters, hot apple cider, and more. For more information, call 1-888-896-3833

Sep. 20, 2014: Art in the Park program series in Harrisonburg, Va.

Lawn directly behind the Smith House, 311 S. Main St. The Arts Council of the Valley hosts one Saturday per month in conjunction with the Harrisonburg Farmers Market event, from April through October, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Art-making projects, performance art, collaborative public art installations, dance, and music. Family-friendly. For more information, call 540-801-8779.

Sep. 20, 2014: Waynesboro Farmers Market in Waynesboro, Va.

Constitution Park, 215 W. Main St., Under the Pavilion by the South River. Saturdays and Wednesdays. Saturday Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday Market from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 3 through Nov. 1.

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