Younger Americans in the mid 19th Century faced a future of political uncertainty. It was a particularly divisive moment in American history. Then the Civil War began. To this day, the dream of a more perfect American Union may be as elusive as ever. What does the future hold?
Moses Ezekiel was born into a Jewish family in 1844, and grew up in a working-class area of Richmond Virginia. He and his family undoubtedly would have experienced anti-Semitism during his youth. He also had dropped out of school to help out in the family business. Despite such challenges, he longed for a better life. At that time, the Virginia Military Institute offered people of modest means a path to higher education.
But by attending VMI, Ezekiel would by default be involved in the Confederate cause. He reportedly explained later that much of his decision to attend VMI was less about the issue of slavery than to help protect Virginia from Union invasion.
From VMI‘s beginnings, its training mission was to create “citizen-solders” who would develop good character and strong leadership skills, and then bring these qualities back home to civilian life. VMI was as much about citizen-solders as it was about training career military personnel, according to Lt. Col. Troy Marshall, Site Director at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, located on the New Market Battlefield in New Market, Va.
Ezekiel had actually aspired to become an artist. He may not have been a perfect fit as a soldier. His parade drill abilities could have been questioned, but his true talent as an artist was quickly recognized.
He was assigned to a corps of 295 cadets that, in May of 1864, had been given the order to march from Lexington, Va. north to New Market and stand beside some hardened Confederate regulars to defend what was then called “the Breadbasket of the Confederacy,” the Shenandoah Valley.
What resulted was a famous battlefield drama. Teenage cadets faced Union troops in actual combat and helped achieve a Confederate victory. The story quickly became legend.Read more...
Ah, April! Certainly every month is unique in its own way, but April! It‘s one of our favorite months in the Shenandoah Valley. There‘s new energy. More and more great reasons to be outdoors. The outdoor festivals and concerts are cranking up and the backroads beckon. April means longer days, warmer temperatures and nature always looking so much greener than at any other time of the year.
Martinsburg Book Faire and Chocolate Festival. For more information, visit mainSt.martinsburg.com
300 Fairground Rd. Mud Dog Run. High intensity, obstacle course run, 5 Kilometers of very tough terrain, climbing walls, cargo nets, mud pits, other obstacles. Benefits PACT for Animals. For more information, visit www.MudDogRun.com
Wonderment Puppet Theater, 412 W. King St. Hansel and Gretel. Saturdays and Sundays, April 29 - June 4. Showtime, 1 p.m. Doors open at 12:40 p.m. For more information, call 304-258-4074 or visit www.wondermentpuppets.com
103 S. Main St. Exploring Negative Space. For ages 5 and older. Preregister by prior Thursday, April 6 and 27 respectively. First come, first served. Free admission. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit www.oasisartgallery.org
Ed Good Memorial Park. Spring into Stanley.
Trackside Theater. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Apr 29-30, 7:30 p.m.
95 Chalmers Ct. Drama Workshop for Kids. Saturdays: April 22 through July 1 except June 10 From 1 to 3 p.m. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit barnsofrosehill.org
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Youth Workshop: Comic Creations. April 29 1-3 p.m. Youth in grades 5-8 will explore the comic art of Alex Ross in the exhibition Superheroes and Superstars, then design comic book characters and draw their story lines. Supplies provided. Admission: MSV Members $20, all others $25. Registration required by April 26. For more information, call 1-888-556-5799 or visit www.themsv.org
Wharf Lot. Staunton Augusta Farmers Market. Saturdays: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., through November. Pproducer-only market, farm-fresh foods, baked goods, plants and other items. For more information, visit www.safarmersmarket.com
Molto Bene Pasta Party. Final day of Lexington Spring Festival. For more information, visit www.horsecenter.org
Burwell-Morgan Mill, 15 Tannery Lane. Art at the Mill. April 29 through May. 14. Over 300 artists. Over 1000 works pieces of art: Oil paintings, mixed-media, sculpture, fine woodworking, pottery, more. Admission: $5, seniors: $3. Ages 12 and under admitted free. For more information, visit www.clarkehistory.org/art-at-the-mill.html
Staunton Station. Bridge Day Staunton 2017. Local music, arts, history, food, artisans, shopping and community action. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-886-7728 or visit www.bridgedaystaunton.org
Sunspots Pavilion: 202 S. Lewis St. Second annual Paint Staunton Quick Draw Art Competition and Wet Paint Sale. Check-in 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m, Painting 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wet Paint Sale 2 p.m.-3 p.m. For professional artists, amateur artists, youth artists, and collectors of original art. Competition, artwork for sale. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-886-8636 or visit www.bssschool.org/paint-staunton.php
90 acres of Big Meadows land will be burned in about one day, before May 30. All park facilities will remain open, but access to Big Meadows will be restricted during the burn period. For more information, visit nps.gov/shen
Shrimp and Catfish Dinner. Hosted by Rotary Club of Woodstock. Tickets: $30 for adults, $15 for children.
Parade ground. Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets march in full formation. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-464-7207 or visit www.vmi.edu/about/calendar
100 E. Picadilly St. Historic Garden Week program. Landscape Architect William D. Rieley: High school gardens restoration at 1:30 p.m. John B. Schroth, President of the Handley Board of Trustees: The Legacy of Judge John Handley. Hosted by Friends of Handley Regional Library. For more information, call 540-662-9041, extension 31 or visit handleyregional.org
95 Chalmers Ct. Drama Workshop for Kids. Saturdays from April 22 through July 1, except June 10, From 1 to 3 p.m. For ages 8-12. Learn stage production including acting, set design, and behind-the-scenes work. Opportunity to be featured in the play, Goldilocks Put on Trial, scheduled for July 8. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit barnsofrosehill.org
Massanutten Resort. Yee-Ha Downhill Mountain Bike Race. April 29-30. For more information, visit massresort.copm
Renegade Art Glass, 142 Old Buena Vista Road. Every Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Create your now fused-glass artwork. Reservations required. Admission: $8-$80 per project. For more information, call 540-521-6128 or visit www.renegadeartglass.net
10 S. Market St. Our Town performance at 2 p.m. The Two Gentleman of Verona performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com
15 N Loudoun St. Herrmann, Herrmann, McLaughlin, and Wilborn perform traditional music. For more information, call 540-665-2878 or visit www.brightboxwinchester.com
963 Ross Road. The Rockbridge Camera Club Boxerwood, 963 Ross Rd. Fairy Forest Festival. Fairy folk characters, brownie bubble wands, fairy doors and furniture, fairy headwreaths, yarn-wrap trees, pixie paintings, wood elf prints. Live folk dancers. Face-painting. Food truck. Parade and fairy fashion show. Fairy Crafts: $1 each. Parking: $5. Family friendly. For more information, call 540-463-2697
Yogi Bear Jellystone Park, 2250 US Highway 211. Super Hero Weekend, Apr 28-30. For more information, visit campluray.com
Constitution Park. Riverfest. Reptile World shows, Stream Safari, presentations by the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Fish and Fun Rodeo, Farmers Market, canoe rides, kids arts and crafts, Stream electro-fishing. Duck Race. Rain or shine. No pets allowed. Hosted by Destination Downtown Waynesboro. Free admission. For more information, visit riverfestwaynesboro.com
Staunton Augusta Art Center, 20 South New St. Childrens Oil Pastel Workshop. Ages 6-10. Interpreting Spring flowers with oil pastels. Limited availability. Reservations required. For more information, call 540-885-20288 or visit www.saartcenter.org
Four homes and the Hopewell Meeting House, all dating from the 1700s. Hosted by Little Garden Club of Winchester and Winchester-Clarke Garden Club. Tickets: Available locally, $40. Advance tickets: $30. For more information, visit www.vagardenweek.org
Stuarts Draft Park start line. Park to Park 1/2 Marathon. 13.1 mile point-to-point. Fully-stocked aid stations and a post-race party at the finish line. Runners busses to the start line available 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Free admission. For more information, visit runthevalley.com/park-to-park-marathon
Graves Mountain Lodge, Syria, Va. 2017 Resource Seminar series. Fly fishing techniques with Harry Murray, author of Trout Fishing in Shenandoah National Park. Rods and reels will be provided or bring your own gear. $30 registration fee. Limited to 12 participants. Hosted by Shenandoah National Park Association. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/shen
Ghosts of Staunton Ghost Tours. Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton. Runs through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit www.ghostsofstaunton.com
336 Belle Grove Rd. Belle Grove Plantation front yard. Belle Grove in a Box. 30 minute interactive orientation for all ages about the history and settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War on the Valley. Various props from a box to visually interpret surrounding landscape features. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe
Old Town Winchester. Historical Cemetery Tours every Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit oldtownwinchester.org
Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 620 Millwood Ave. April 29 at 7 p.m., April 30 at 2:30 p.m. The Magic Flute by W.A. Mozart. Tickets: $20. Free admission. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs
Downtown. Rocktown Beer and Music Festival. Live music, food,and craft beer, over 60 beers with national names. For more information, visit www.visitharrisonburgva.org
168 N. Dry Well Rd. Test and Tune. Racing schedule subject to change. For more information, call 540-291-3724 or visit naturalbridgedragstrip.com
Beverley Street Studio School and Sunspots Pavilion. Second annual Paint Staunton Quick Draw Art Competition and Wet Paint Sale. Cash prizes for plein air artwork competition. Open to the public.
315 North Central Ave. EccoHollow - Live Music featuring Virginia-based Indie electronic, multi-instrumentalists, Angel, and Body Drama from Harrisonburg, Va. Free admission, pay-what-you-will
ShenandoahValley.com is owned and operated by Shenandoah Valley Productions, a little “mom-and-pop” business, but one that’s located right here in the region. Our mission has long been to showcase the area’s visual beauty, unique “Valley” people and culture and, of course, some really, really rich history.
We first fell in love with Virginia in 1970, courtesy of the U.S. Navy, stationed in Norfolk. That was the year Virginia officially declared itself “for lovers.” But for us, the real love affair started in 1977, when we first visited the Shenandoah Valley on our wedding night. We moved here a year later, and well ...we are still here!
So it’s kind of a long story how we got from 1978 to this website, but here it is.
Website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras. Words alone may not really describe the place.
Our regional events listings are always up to date, and we’re not really selling anything on here. In fact, we get no outside funding, but are wholly independent. Like many of our friends and neighbors who also feel blessed to live here, free and independent, surrounded by peace and beauty.
Each month we head out to some part of this diverse region and do a feature story and travel video about it -- some cool event, piece of history or special place that makes the name "Shenandoah" so uniquely known worldwide.
So, come and set a spell, and please also consider making a donation. Either way, we’re glad you stopped by. Come on back to see us again!
Oh, and please visit our Facebook page, too.
A student relaxes at the arboretum, a part of James Madison University campus since 1985, consisting of 125 acres of unspoiled forest land and hiking trails.