Waynesboro, Va. is named after American Revolutionary Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne, but the town's story actually goes back before that. Europeans first laid eyes on the Shenandoah Valley as early as 1707, when John Lederer became the first white man to hike over what is now Shenandoah National Park.
Eight years later, acting Colonial Virginia Gov. Alexander Spottswood and his band of “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe” crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains to behold a beautiful valley and winding river.
They christened the river the “Euphrates,” but that name never stuck. Apparently the name of a legendary Native American princess ultimately seemed to be a better fit for this extraordinary place.
Of course, Virginia was a British colony in the 19th Century and huge chunks of American land had been divvied up and distributed as grants among the English noblemen who were fortunate enough to have good connections with the Crown. As colonists spread westward, the grants included land in the Shenandoah Valley.
As new settlements began to form near gaps in the Blue Ridge mountains, two early settler families, the Alexanders and the Stuarts, arrived from Scotland via Rockfish Gap, which today provides I-64 drivers a scenic route through the mountains.
These two founding families are being celebrated at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum in Waynesboro, with a special exhibit that runs until the end of February, 2017.Read more...
February may certainly be one of the quietest months of the year. It’s after the Holidays, but before the warm Spring months. We never know what February weather is going to be like. It’s a good time of year to search for American roots as one can only do in the Shenandoah Valley. The more history you uncover, the more there always is to discover.
Sunspots Studios, 202 S. Lewis St. Live demonstrations daily until 4 p.m. Gift shop open Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 540-885-0678 or visit www.sunspots.com
Cleo Driver Miller Art Gallery. Jeffery Stockberg, Beverley Street Studio School faculty in Staunton, Va., paintings. Feb. 6 through March 3, 8 a.m. to midnight on Mondays - Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays. Artist Talk and Reception on Feb. 6 from 5-7 p.m., artist talk at 5:30 p.m. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit bridgewater.edu
901 Amherst St. Superheroes and Superstars: The Works of Alex Ross. Traveling exhibition organized by Norman Rockwell Museum and at the MSV. Runs through May 14. Memorabilia related to comic book and film superheros. For more information, visit www.theMSV.org
Rockingham County Administration Building, located at the corner of N. Main St. and Gay St. Johnson's Island Prison, a Union Prison for captured Confederate officers, presented by Virginia Division S.C.V. Treasurer, William J. Bill Graham III. Hosted by ol. D.H. Lee Martz Camp 10 - S.C.V. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-578-3046
95 Chalmers Ct. Exhibition: The Art of Music Packaging Design: Album Artwork by Maria Nicklin. Runs through Feb. 28. Exhibits open from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., during concerts and by appointment. Closed Mondays. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit barnsofrosehill.org
Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W. Main St. Monday at the Movies Series: The More the Merrier. Feb. 27, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Discussion follows evening film. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit waynetheatre.org
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.
An old cabin dots the landscape at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, just outside of Millwood, Virginia.