Shenandoah County
Historical Society
Shenandoah County
Historical Society
 

Old Courthouse Doors Swing Open to Welcome 2024 Visitors



The Shenandoah County Historic Courthouse Museum and Visitors Center marked its 10th anniversary and grand reopening with a special ceremony held on March 1st on the steps of the Old Courthouse building in Woodstock.  Shenandoah County District 5 Supervisor and Board of Supervisors Chairman Dennis Morris presented SCHS Board President Barbara Adamson with a Board of Supervisors proclamation that recognizes the importance of the anniversary milestone, as well as re-affirming a continuing partnership on behalf of the 1795 historic resource.  The 19th century courthouse bell was also rung to mark the occasion.  The Courthouse museum and visitor center is now open for the 2024 season every Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 



Historical novelist Karl Rhodes: The story of “Peggy’s War” at the March 19th Public Program
The SCHS’s public historical program series continues on March 19th in Edinburg, Va. with a 193rd birthday celebration for Margaret “Peggy” Rhodes, who, like most Mennonites of her time, opposed slavery, secession and war, and also clearly sided with the Union.  Her great-great-grandson, Karl Rhodes, presents the remarkable story documented in his historical novel, Peggy’s War.  Peggy Rhodes had expressed her opposition in real ways, such as by running an underground railroad depot for Mennonites and Dunkers who refused to fight on either side. That, along with tending to her five children, ailing husband and a 120-acre farm.  The 7:00 pm program will be hosted by the SCHS at the Edinburg Heritage Center in Edinburg, and is free open to the public. Nearby parking is available. 

A 2024 Heritage Day Invitation
Shenandoah County Heritage Day 2024 is almost here! This countywide day of sharing our history is set for Saturday, April 13, 2024 at the New Market Fire Hall on South Congress St. in New Market. The Fire Hall is a wonderful, large space and so were hoping that, in addition to our local history organizations, many individuals will attend and bring and share their historical stories.We invite you to come and exhibit family, house, church, cemetery, town and village histories, and more. Many topics to choose from! There is no cost involved. We supply tables and chairs.Heritage Day is hosted by SCHS and the Shenandoah County Library Archives. For more information, contact Zach Hottel, county archivist, at 540-984-8200, or leave a message at the SCHS, 540-459-1795.
2024 Shenandoah County Historical Society Annual Meeting set for May 21st
The 2024 SCHS Annual Dinner and public program will be held on Tuesday, May 21st, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at the VFW building in Edinburg, located next to the Stony Creek Blvd. railroad crossing.  The program, “Learn about a new folk art tradition -- Barn Quilts” will be presented by Sally Shomo. She creates these beautiful objects throughout the Valley, and she will talk about how they had been used during the Civil War. Additional details on this event to follow at a later date. 

2024 Historical Preservation Award Nominations are Open
The Shenandoah County Historical Society (SCHS) invites nominations from the 2024 John H. Adamson Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards.  The deadline for submitting nominee names is April 1, 2024.The purpose of the awards is to honor projects within Shenandoah County that deserve recognition for their preservation efforts. SCHS hopes to encourage others to follow the examples of those being recognized. “Shenandoah County residents have reliably provided several award nominations every year since its inception in 2014,” said Awards Committee Chair, Karen Whetzel. “The Society believes that the quality of life in Shenandoah County is greatly enhanced by preserving evidence of our unique history, and that publicly recognizing these achievements creates a greater awareness of the value of historic preservation," Whetzel said.The awards recognize outstanding projects in the fields of history, architecture, scenic beauty and material culture (this includes furniture, textiles, documents, folk art, photography, basketry, tools and more). The original, or source, objects(s), must be at least sixty (60) years old, and the preservation project must have been completed to be eligible for consideration. See previous awardees on the Interest Areas/ Preservation Awards page. A downloadable and printable nomination form is also provided there. Or, contact SCHS at (540) 459-1795 or email schs.va@gmail.com to request a nomination form. The application deadline is April 1st. The awards will be presented at the annual meeting and dinner on May 21st.


Historical Barns Project: John Adamson


Old Courthouse Doors Swing Open to Welcome 2024 Visitors



The Shenandoah County Historic Courthouse Museum and Visitors Center marked its 10th anniversary and grand reopening with a special ceremony held on March 1st on the steps of the Old Courthouse building in Woodstock.  Shenandoah County District 5 Supervisor and Board of Supervisors Chairman Dennis Morris presented SCHS Board President Barbara Adamson with a Board of Supervisors proclamation that recognizes the importance of the anniversary milestone, as well as re-affirming a continuing partnership on behalf of the 1795 historic resource.  The 19th century courthouse bell was also rung to mark the occasion.  The Courthouse museum and visitor center is now open for the 2024 season every Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 



Historical novelist Karl Rhodes: The story of “Peggy’s War” at the March 19th Public Program
The SCHS’s public historical program series continues on March 19th in Edinburg, Va. with a 193rd birthday celebration for Margaret “Peggy” Rhodes, who, like most Mennonites of her time, opposed slavery, secession and war, and also clearly sided with the Union.  Her great-great-grandson, Karl Rhodes, presents the remarkable story documented in his historical novel, Peggy’s War.  Peggy Rhodes had expressed her opposition in real ways, such as by running an underground railroad depot for Mennonites and Dunkers who refused to fight on either side. That, along with tending to her five children, ailing husband and a 120-acre farm.  The 7:00 pm program will be hosted by the SCHS at the Edinburg Heritage Center in Edinburg, and is free open to the public. Nearby parking is available. 

A 2024 Heritage Day Invitation
Shenandoah County Heritage Day 2024 is almost here! This countywide day of sharing our history is set for Saturday, April 13, 2024 at the New Market Fire Hall on South Congress St. in New Market. The Fire Hall is a wonderful, large space and so were hoping that, in addition to our local history organizations, many individuals will attend and bring and share their historical stories.We invite you to come and exhibit family, house, church, cemetery, town and village histories, and more. Many topics to choose from! There is no cost involved. We supply tables and chairs.Heritage Day is hosted by SCHS and the Shenandoah County Library Archives. For more information, contact Zach Hottel, county archivist, at 540-984-8200, or leave a message at the SCHS, 540-459-1795.
2024 Shenandoah County Historical Society Annual Meeting set for May 21st
The 2024 SCHS Annual Dinner and public program will be held on Tuesday, May 21st, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at the VFW building in Edinburg, located next to the Stony Creek Blvd. railroad crossing.  The program, “Learn about a new folk art tradition -- Barn Quilts” will be presented by Sally Shomo. She creates these beautiful objects throughout the Valley, and she will talk about how they had been used during the Civil War. Additional details on this event to follow at a later date. 

2024 Historical Preservation Award Nominations are Open
The Shenandoah County Historical Society (SCHS) invites nominations from the 2024 John H. Adamson Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards.  The deadline for submitting nominee names is April 1, 2024.The purpose of the awards is to honor projects within Shenandoah County that deserve recognition for their preservation efforts. SCHS hopes to encourage others to follow the examples of those being recognized. “Shenandoah County residents have reliably provided several award nominations every year since its inception in 2014,” said Awards Committee Chair, Karen Whetzel. “The Society believes that the quality of life in Shenandoah County is greatly enhanced by preserving evidence of our unique history, and that publicly recognizing these achievements creates a greater awareness of the value of historic preservation," Whetzel said.The awards recognize outstanding projects in the fields of history, architecture, scenic beauty and material culture (this includes furniture, textiles, documents, folk art, photography, basketry, tools and more). The original, or source, objects(s), must be at least sixty (60) years old, and the preservation project must have been completed to be eligible for consideration. See previous awardees on the Interest Areas/ Preservation Awards page. A downloadable and printable nomination form is also provided there. Or, contact SCHS at (540) 459-1795 or email schs.va@gmail.com to request a nomination form. The application deadline is April 1st. The awards will be presented at the annual meeting and dinner on May 21st.


Historical Barns Project: John Adamson


Shenandoah County Historical Society Mission Statement

•   Foster a spirit of cooperation between existing organizations, writers, historians, genealogists, collectors, preservationists, and other members of the Shenandoah County community.

•   Aid in the collection and creation of materials and publications about the history of Shenandoah County and ensure that they are preserved and made available to the community.

•   Support efforts by citizens, organizations and government to preserve historic buildings and sites.

•   Share history through programs and exhibits.



Organizational Tax Status

The Shenandoah County Historical Society was founded in 1985 and is established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is completely volunteer driven. The Society is sustained by memberships, donations, grants and profits from book sales. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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The Word Gatherer

Carol Maureen DeHart

An oral history interview with historian John L. Heatwole, who often traveled the Valley doing research. In the process, he gathered hundreds of oral history and folklore stories and felt they needed to be preserved. This book was part of that process. 2007. 114 pages.

Softcover
Item# 2021

Price: $10
Members: $9

Fairfax of Virginia - The Forgotten Story of America's Only Peerage

Hugh Fairfax

The Fairfax family occupies a unique place in the story of America, as the only members of the British House of Lords - the Peerage - to have been long time residents of the United States. For over 150 years, first as colonialists and then as loyal citizens of the Republic they played an active part in many of the great events that helped make America the country it is today. Then curiously, just as America was assuming its position as the powerhouse of the world, they left and returned to Britain once more. Written with panache and affection by a descendent of the family, Hugh Fairfax, this new book tells the remarkable and largely forgotten story in its entirety for the first time. We follow their adventures from the pinnacle of Colonial society and close friendship with George Washington into the 19th Century.

Hardcover
Item# 2031

Price: $40
Members: $39

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Upcoming events...


Shenandoah National Park history program at New Market Library on March 10th
Claire Comer, Interpretive Specialist with the Shenandoah National Park, and her associate, Allysah Fox will share information about a new exhibit at the Shenandoah National Park in a presentation, Life at Lewis Mountain: Shenandoah in the Jim Crow Era, at the New Market Area Library on Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m.  The program will depict how African Americans experienced Shenandoah National Park during segregation. The program also covers the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and the struggle for desegregation. This is the fourth in a series of web-based curriculums that explore national events and cultural changes through the lens of Shenandoah National Park.  The event is free and open to the public, with no pre-registration required. For more information, visit the library website.

New Market Historical Society Public Program on March 21
The New Market Historical Society will host a public lecture program at Manor Memorial Methodist Church in New Market, Va. on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: A Century of Honor, 1921-2021,” will be presented by Quicksburg resident Philip Bigler. It is based on the history of one of the most unique monuments in the United States, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. His book is about the story of the shrine that was put up to honor the country’s fallen soldiers. Mr. Bigler worked as a historian at Arlington National Cemetery during the 1980s and says that he spent two years doing research on the monument, which was raised at the cemetery after the end of the First World War. The program follows a buffet dinner. Look for additional dnner menu and complete program details, as they become available, on the www.newmarkethistoricalsociety.org website, as well as during the January 25, 2024 NMHS meeting.

Clarke County Women’s history program on March 24th
“Damsels, Dollymops, and Divorcees: Women’s Agency in the 19th Century” will be presented by Clarke County Historical Association Archivist Melanie Garvey on Sunday, March 24th, 2024 at 2:00 p.m., at the Twin Oaks Winery, 18035 Raven Rocks Rd. in Bluemont, Va.  Women of the past got a bad rap -- always meek and submissive; they had no control over their lives and were subjected to the whims of their male guardians. But what if women’s history was more complex than that? What if women were allowed agency? What if everything you thought about women’s history is wrong? The intricacies of female agency in the 19th century will be uncovered, including how women could negotiate prenup agreements and divorce settlements and how they used sex as a tool of control -- even in Clarke County.  Touching on mature subjects, this program is for audiences 18 years and older. $20 non-members, $15 for Members. For more information, call 540-955-2600.

Upcoming events...

Shenandoah National Park history program at New Market Library on March 10th
Claire Comer, Interpretive Specialist with the Shenandoah National Park, and her associate, Allysah Fox will share information about a new exhibit at the Shenandoah National Park in a presentation, Life at Lewis Mountain: Shenandoah in the Jim Crow Era, at the New Market Area Library on Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m.  The program will depict how African Americans experienced Shenandoah National Park during segregation. The program also covers the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and the struggle for desegregation. This is the fourth in a series of web-based curriculums that explore national events and cultural changes through the lens of Shenandoah National Park.  The event is free and open to the public, with no pre-registration required. For more information, visit the library website.

New Market Historical Society Public Program on March 21
The New Market Historical Society will host a public lecture program at Manor Memorial Methodist Church in New Market, Va. on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: A Century of Honor, 1921-2021,” will be presented by Quicksburg resident Philip Bigler. It is based on the history of one of the most unique monuments in the United States, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. His book is about the story of the shrine that was put up to honor the country’s fallen soldiers. Mr. Bigler worked as a historian at Arlington National Cemetery during the 1980s and says that he spent two years doing research on the monument, which was raised at the cemetery after the end of the First World War. The program follows a buffet dinner. Look for additional dnner menu and complete program details, as they become available, on the www.newmarkethistoricalsociety.org website, as well as during the January 25, 2024 NMHS meeting.


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  • Shenandoah Iron: A History of Mining, Smelting and Transporting Iron in the Virginia Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren   •   Norman H. Scott  •   Most people know of the rich Civil War history of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia but few know that the Valley was also rich in iron smelting history. The first furnace west of the Blue Ridge Mountains was built in this region. 352 pages.  Softcover  •   Item #2039  •   Price: $20   Members: $19
  • The Word Gatherer   •   Carol Maureen DeHart  •   An oral history interview with historian John L. Heatwole, who often traveled the Valley doing research. In the process, he gathered hundreds of oral history and folklore stories and felt they needed to be preserved. This book was part of that process. 2007. 114 pages.  Softcover  •   Item #2021  •   Price: $10   Members: $9
  • Shenandoah County Trivia (And a little bit more!)   •   Irvin D. Magin  •   1000+ bits and pieces of facts and figures about this Virginia county, its people, its history, and what makes things go. 2002. 138 pages. 4 1/8x 7 3/8.  Softcover  •   Item #2029  •   Price: $9   Members: $8
  • Shenandoah County and Its Court House   •   Fred Painter  •   This History of the Shenandoah County Court House tells about the building of the structure, its many additions and chronicles happenings through the years. It is the oldest operating Court House west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 1979. 162 pages.  Hardcover  •   Item #2015  •   Price: $14   Members: $13
  • More books and other items...

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    The Shenandoah River Atlas   •   William E. Trout, III  •   Published by the Virginia Canals and Navagation Society. Historic sites on the Shenandoah River, its Forks and the North River are featured. River mileage system indicated on map pages. Spiral bound to allow for easier opening and turning of the pages. 2013. 109 pages. Revised Edition.  Softcover  •   Item #2030  •   Price: $27   Members: $26
    Shenandoah County Trivia (And a little bit more!)   •   Irvin D. Magin  •   1000+ bits and pieces of facts and figures about this Virginia county, its people, its history, and what makes things go. 2002. 138 pages. 4 1/8x 7 3/8.  Softcover  •   Item #2029  •   Price: $9   Members: $8

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