The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
 
The Shenandoah Valley’s “Dayton”

Rooftops of Dayton, Virginia

 

From its very beginning, a southern Rockingham County, Va. town originally known as “Rifetown” may have had a slight identity issue, starting in 1828 with the name on a new post office sign reportedly identifying the town as “Rifeville.”

Then in 1832, the Virginia General Assembly renamed the town to Dayton.

Meanwhile, a Revolutionary War veteran who had ratified the New Jersey constitution in 1787, Johnathan Dayton, had a town named after him, but his town was the well-known Dayton, Ohio. With no discernible connection with Dayton, Virginia.

Whatever the name, one thing about the spot that had quickly attracted early settlers was the inviting confluence of spring-fed creeks and land just waiting to be farmed.

It also had captured the attention of Daniel Harrison, brother of nearby Harrisonburg, Va. founder Thomas Harrison. He too must have seen so much potential in the abundant springs and fertile land along a road that in the early 19th century would become the Harrisonburg-Warm Springs Turnpike — now US Rt. 42.

In 1749, Harrison built a sturdy, stone house at the north end of the new settlement. Fort Harrison, as it is called now, is one of the oldest houses in the Shenandoah Valley.

The house became a fort during the French and Indian War and it remained in the Harrison Family until 1821. Fully restored in 1978, it‘s now one of Dayton‘s main historic attractions.

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Yep! It's Summertime in the Valley!
Heritage Museum in Dayton, Virginia

The sun is out, the foliage is green. The Shenandoah Valley is alive with scenic beauty, outdoor fun and cultural festivities. It's the right time to spread out a blanket and listen to some down-home music or watch an outdoor movie. Head out on a walking tour. Living history festivals bring the rich heritage of the Shenandoah Valley to life. Kick back and chill, or gaze out at it all from up on high. June only comes once a year. Live it up!

  Happening today

Staunton Augusta Saturday Farmers Market in Staunton, Va.

Wharf Lot. Runs every week through November. Saturdays: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Producer-only market with fresh foods, baked goods, plants and more. Free parking available. For more information, visit www.safarmersmarket.com


Biking event in Shenandoah County, Va.

Bike Virginia. 1500 cyclists tour Shenandoah County during weekend of June 25-26. Bikers will be visiting towns and touring on backroads. Event headquarters is at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va. For more information, visit bikevirginia.org/2016-tour/routes


New Voice Play Festival at Old Opera House Theater in Charles Town, W.Va.

16th year. June 24, 25, and 26. A series of four one-act plays performed and evaluated by a panel of judges. Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for students. For more information, call 304-725-4420 or visit www.oldoperahouse.org


Old Town Farmers Market in Winchester, Va.

Taylor Pavilion. ld Town Farmers Market. May 14 through September on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Local food vendors and musicians. In-season fruits, vegetables, artisan breads, cookies, cheese, grass fed beef, gluten free bread, cured meats, jam, eggs, honey and more. All items grown or produced within a 60-mile radius of Winchester. Restrooms available.


Comedy show at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 N Loudoun St. Bright Box Comedy. June 24-25. For more information, visit www.brightboxwinchester.com


Heritage festival in Dayton, Va.

En Plein Air Paint-Out at the Silver Lake Mill, starting at 11 a.m. Guided tours of the Cromer-Trumbo House, on the grounds of the Heritage Museum 382 High St., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission by donation. For more information, call 540-879-2616.


Play performance at the Schultz Theatre in New Market, Va.

9357 N. Congress St. Elvis Has Left the Building. Comedy. June 24-25 at 7 p.m. June 26 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $13 for adults and $11 for students and seniors. For more information, visit schultzetheater.org. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit www.schultztheatre.com


Farmers Market in Luray, Va.

Mechanic St. Every Saturday, May 14 - Sept. 24. For more information, visit luraypage.chambermaster.com/events/calendar


Historic house tours in Dayton, Va.

382 High St. Historic Cromer-Trumbo House c. 1840 on the grounds of the Heritage Museum. Tours on last Saturday of the month, April through Aug., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-879-2616.


Outdoor program at Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, Va.

11012 Edmonds Ln. Great American Campout. June 25 at 12 p.m., ends on June 26 at 12 p.m. For beginner and experienced campers. Ranger-assisted campsite setup. camping classes, a campfire sing-a-long, and, of course, S`mores. Campsites accommodate up to six campers. Dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday included in campsite fee. Call 1-800-PARK or visit tinyurl.com/oogz7vu. Limited availability. Reservations required. Advance tickets: $20 per campsite, plus taxes and fees. For more information, call 540-592-3556 or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows


Concert and Car Show in Buena Vista, Va.

Glen Maury Park, 101 Maury River Drive. Rock`n for Autism. Live Music, food face painting and vendors. Camping available. Benefits Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center. For more information, visit www.glenmaurypark.com


Americana music concert in Stanley, Va.

Wisteria Farm and Vineyard, 1126 Marksville Road. Music Under the Arbor. Me and Martha perform traditional fiddle, blues, old-time string band, sea shanties and work songs, old-time-country, bluegrass, and contemporary folk ballads. For more information, visit www.wisteriavineyard.com


Shenandoah Wine and Jazz Festival at Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Va.

1290 Richmond Ave. 8th annual Wine and Jazz Festival features Shenandoah Valley wines. Ticket includes admission to the museum and a souvenir wine glass. Food vendors. Alcoholic beverage sampling for ages 21 or older, valid ID required at the gate. Live entertainment. Tickets: Advance, Tasting -$15 for adults, online pricing good until June 23, at-the-door: $20. Non-tasting Tickets: Adult: $10, ages 13-17: $9, ages 6-12: $6, ages 5 and under: Free admission. For more information, call 540-332-7850 or visit www.frontiermuseum.org


Film screening at Opera House Live in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

131 West German St. Shepherdstown Street Fest. Special film screenings from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Air conditioned. Cold drinks available, including beer and wine. Popcorn. Donations accepted. Family friendly. Free admission. For more information, call 304-870-4602 or visit www.operahouselive.com


Roanoke Valley Horse Show at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va.

The horse show was founded in 1972 and continued for 43 years, but was cancelled in 2015. Continuing this year at the Virginia Horse Center from June 20 to June 25. For more information, visit VirginiaHorseCenter.org.


Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre production at Shenandoah University

Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre. My Fair Lady. Romantic musical. shows June 16 through June 26. For more information, call 540-665-4569 or visit www.SSMTVa.org.


Four-wheeler trail ride event at The Cove Campground in Gore, Va.

980 Cove Road. Big Dogs Spring Fling. June 24-26. 98 Intermediate and Advanced trails and 36 Stock and Beginner trails. door prizes, T-shirts, night runs, roll-over jeep, Friday night Mud Pit, Saturday night bonfire party. Family and dog-friendly. Open to the public.


Farmers Market in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Butlers Farm Market, 1793 Dry Run Rd. Open through November 10, Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fresh produce and fruit, homemade goods, jams and local and state wines and spirits. For more information, visit www.gowhereitgrows.com


Outdoor program at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Mather Training Center grounds, 485 Fillmore St. Fifteenth Annual Don Redman Jazz Heritage Awards and Concert.Concert and awards program. Honoring alto saxophonist, Charles McPherson, and drummer Albert Tootie Heath. Bad weather location: Curtis-Freewill Baptist Church, located on the grounds of the Mather Training Center. For more information, call 304-535-6298 or visit nps.gov/hafe


Ghost tours in Staunton, Va.

Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton. Weekends through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit www.ghostsofstaunton.com


Hite of Excellence program series at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

336 Belle Grove Road. Special events scheduled throughout 2016. Dancing Under the Stars, with Yesterday Swing Orchestra. Includes desserts and champagne. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit www.bellegrove.org


June art demo programs at OASIS Gallery in Harrisonburg, Va.

103 S. Main St. Live demos from various artists, every Saturday in June from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. June 25, Jewel Hertzler Encaustic Painting. Free admission. For more information, call 517-219-7826 or visit www.oasisartgallery.org


Theater production at Winchester Little Theater in Winchester, Va.

315 W. Boscawen St. Winchester Little Theatre for Kids presents: Treasure Island. From the story by Robert Louis Stevenson. June 18-25. Showtimes: Tuesday through thursday at 7 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit www.wltonline.org


Theater production at James Madision University

Mainstage Theatre, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway and Beyond: A Musical Theatre Revue. Variety of selections from musicals written during the 20th and 21st centuries. June 24-25, July 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. June 26 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu/forbescenter


House and Gardens Open at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. 2016 Glen Burnie House and Gardens season runs through Oct. 30. The exhibition, SuzanneStryk: Notes on the State of Virginia, will be on view in the house throughout the season. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Waynesboro Farmers Market in Waynesboro, Va.

Parking Lot alongside Arch Ave., 215 W. Main St. Saturdays, May 7-Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.waynesborofarmersmarket.org


Country music concert at Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg, Va.

41-F Court Square. June 25 at 7 p.m., June 26 at 3 p.m. Dress in country attire, sing along with music. Benefits Crossroad to Brain Injury Recovery. Admission: $8. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit valleyarts.org.


Biking event in Rockingham County, Va.

Bike Virginia 2016. June 24-29. Over 1,600 participants and volunteers. Six routes totaling 300 miles. Pick from any one of the loops offered each day. Loop sizes and bike routes vary in distances ranging from 20-100 miles.Excursions with shuttles from Rockingham County Fairgrounds to Downtown Harrisonburg on Monday June 27 and Tuesday June 28. For more information, visit www.bikevirginia.org


Half-day Fly Fishing Lessons at Murrays Fly Shop in Edinburg, Va.

121 S. Main St. Professional guidance for casting, reading the stream and fishing techniques. Session schedule continues on on June 25. July 6, 9, 20, 23 and 27. Aug. 6, 10, 20, 24 and 27. Sept. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sessions held on the Shenandoah River. Fly rod and reel outfit provided for use, fly lure purchases required. Bring your own food or drink, and provide your own transportation. Fishing license required. Limited to up to four people, for ages 12 and up. Admission: $98 per person. For more information, visit www.murraysflyshop.com


River and Roots Festival at Watermelon Park in Clarke County, Va.

Watermelon Park. June 24-26. The Keel Brothers and Ragtime Annie, Tim O'Brien, Danny Knicely and Jack Dunlop, Pat Donahue, Circa Blue, the Harris Brothers. Four-day Fiddle Camp. Camping available. For more information, visit www.shepherdsford.com.


Living history program at Belle Grove and Cedar Creek National Historical Park

Vermont at Cedar Creek Weekend. June 24-26. Special ranger-led programs, living history demonstrations and other special events to commemorate the role of Vermont troops at the Battle of Cedar Creek. June 25, 10 a.m.: Re-dedication of the 8th Vermont monument. Living History Demonstrations on June 25 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., 11 a.m and 1 p.m. on June 26. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe


Outdoor music concert at Natural Bridge Park in Natural Bridge, Va.

Summerhouse Pavilion, 15 Appledore Lane. My Ragtop Folk performs classic rock music. Food and drink specials. Discounts on beer purchases. Admission: $5 for live music show only. Music and 48-hour Park Admission, $25. Music and Drama Creation show, including Natural Bridge lighting, $14. For more information, visit www.naturalbridgeva.com


Walking tour in Lexington, Va.

Robert E. Lee Hotel lobby, 30 S. Main St. Lexington Food and Cultural Tour. Every Saturday, year round, at 11 a.m. Three-hour walking culinary tour of historic downtown area.  For more information, call 540-309-1781 or visit www.roanokefoodtours.com


Womens History Exhibit at Shenandoah County Library in Edinburg, Va.

514 Stoney Creek Blvd. Library of Virginia traveling exhibit, celebrates the accomplishment of prominent Virginia women. June 24-26 at Historic Shenandoah County Courthouse in Woodstock. June 27-June 30 at Shenandoah County Library. Hosted by Shenandoah County Library System Truban Archives. Free admission. For more information, visit countylib.org


Folk rock music concert at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 West Main St. Trout Fishing in America performs eclectic folk, rock and pop music. Tickets: $20 and $25. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.WayneTheatre.org


Historical tour in Luray, Va.

Mauck Meeting House, Hamburg Grocery at Calendine, and Stage Coach House open first and fourth Saturdays through September. Reservations required. Free admission. For more information, call 540-743-3629 or 540-421-6337 or visit pagecountyheritage.com


Saturday Guided Walking Tours in Staunton, Va.

Emily Smith House porch at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library at 24 North Coalter St. Saturdays from May to Oct. 10 a.m. Hosted by Historic Staunton Foundation. Includes four of six historic districts, with volunteer guide. Covers history and architecture. Approximately two hours. No reservations required. Casual dress, wear comfortable walking shoes. Rain or shine. For more information, call 540-885-7676 or visit www.historicstaunton.org


Open grade bagpipe competition in Winchester, Va.

Best Western Lee-Jackson, 711 Millwood Pike. National Piping Centre of Glasgow Scotland hosts the First Annual Winchester Open Grade Piping Competition.


Motorcycle festival in Winchester, Va.

Groves Harley Davidson, 140 Independence Dr. Einherjar Rally - Celebrating our Nation`s Warriors. Group motorcycle ride: $20, group motorcycle ride passenger: $10, celebrity autograph package: $20, commemorative patch: $10. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.roxtarinc.com/rally


Summer Film Series for Youth at Clarke County Library in Berryville, Va.

101 Chalmers Ct, Suite C. Family Film Day. Saturdays during summer months at 1 p.m. June 25: James and the Giant Peach. July 2: WALL-E. July 9: Paulie. July 16: March of the Penguins. July 23: The Goonies. Free admission. For more information, visit http://www.clarkecounty.gov/residents/library.html


Family concert at Waynesboro Public Library in Waynesboro, Va.

View Facility, 600 South Wayne Ave. Radio WOOF. Bill Wellington presents a celebration of family, folklore, and fun with music, song, and story.


Educational Theater performance at Central Library in Harrisonburg, Va.

Darrin Community Youth Center. Night at the Library. Performed by Impressions Theatre.  For all ages. Free admission, open to the public.


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About ShenandoahValley.com

Visiting this website, you've just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA. ShenandoahValley.com is owned and operated by a small, independent business located right here in the region. We know the place. Our mission is to showcase its visual beauty, but we've also got some things to share about the people who live here, the culture and, of course, some really rich history and heritage.

Visit this place and it can seem like you are coming home. Our 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.

While we provide a regional events listing that is always up to date, ShenandoahValley.com is not an encyclopedia about the Valley or a travel guide. In fact, we're not really selling anything on here. You can find location-specific tidbits about the Valley, particularly on our events page.

Each month we feature a Home page feature story and video that highlights something special about events, history and people.

Much of what is on here simply comes from our love for this world-reknown spot, the Daughter of the Stars, O Shenandoah, Shenandoah River... Shenandoah Valley.

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Historic Lexington, Virginia

A Friday-evening downtown art walk is held once a month in Lexington, home to the Virginia Military Institute and Washington & Lee University.

About Hank Zimmerman

Hank Zimmerman owns and operates Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC, publisher of ShenandoahValley.com.

...photo by Hank Zimmerman