There was a time when the “great American frontier” was right here in the Shenandoah Valley. At that time, the size of the North American continent may likely have simply been too big to deal with for most of the newly-arrived colonists. How could they ever wrap their minds around such a vast, unexplored expanse?
For many of these Europeans who wonderingly landed on eastern seaboard city wharves in New York or Philadelphia, it seemed that the farther out west you went, it just got tougher and tougher.
For one thing, sooner or later you'd likely run into a wall of mountains. Roads were bad or non-existent. And a short time later, at least partially thanks to French efforts to turn Native American goodwill against the British, many of the longtime inhabitants out there were definitely not friendly to newcomers.
Colonists who followed the Great Wagon Road south from Pennsylvania – now historic U.S. Route 11 – were able to find a only a precious few passes into and through the imposing and seemingly unending Allegheny mountain range. The challenge would be to somehow get a wagon to the Ohio River and then hopefully be able to push farther westward from there.
One such passage through the Alleghenies exists in the Shenandoah Valley, beginning at Brocks Gap. There, the North Branch of the Shenandoah River flows out into the Valley from a circular vale ringed with rugged mountains, forming Virginia's boundary with West Virginia. Brocks Gap is located in Rockingham County, Va., northwest of the city of Harrisonburg, Va., and a few miles west of the town of Broadway.Read more...
In April, the Valley shakes off the coldness of Winter for good. The ridges green up, the days get even longer and warmer. Our regional parks swing into gear, offering hiking, fishing, cycling and sightseeing. History, music, fun. Outdoor festivals. Sparkling days, cool nights. April is simply a great time to be livin’ good in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia!
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.
9357 N. Congress St. The Glass Menagerie. Tennessee Williams. Drama. Performances on April April 29 and April 30 at 7 p.m. and May 1 at 3 p.m. For more information, call 540- 740-9119. Tickets: $13 for adults and $11 for students and seniors. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit www.schultztheatre.com
Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main St. April 30, May 7, 14, 20, 28 and 30 at 2 p.m. Two-hour, guided car-caravan tour led by ranger vehicle: Chronological interpretation of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Stops at key landmarks. Presented by Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit nps.gov/cebe.
I 41-F Court Square. A Hologram For The King. Drama. Shows on April 29, 30 and May 5 at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. May 1 at 7:15 p.m. May 2, 3 and 4 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Theater members save 20 percent and get free popcorn. Tickets: Adults, $9.50. Senior and students, $8.50. Matinee Before 5 p.m., $8. For more information, visit ValleyArts.org
1 East Main St. Giggles to Guffaws in Luray: Mark and the Coach. Retired teacher and coach share life experiences. Family friendly humor. Tickets available at locations in town and online: $15 for adults, $8 for ages under 18. Cash bar. For more information, visit performingartsluray.com.
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
Winchester and Frederick County. Apr 22-May 1. Largest annual festival in the region. Dances, parades, a 10K Race, the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah, carnival, celebrity appearances and much more. For more information, visit www.thebloom.com
33229 Old Valley Pike. Company K, 8th Virginia Infantry reenactors camp. Civil War military life demonstrations. Free admission. For more information, call 540-465-5884.
15 Tannery Lane. Art at the Mill: Spring Show. April 23-May 8. Artists and buyers from over a dozen states. For more information, call 540-837-1799 or visit www.clarkehistory.org/art-at-the-mill.html
Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton. Weekends through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit www.ghostsofstaunton.com
Mainstage Theatre, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Pretty Theft. April 26-May 1, 8 p.m. all shows except 2 p.m. on Sunday. Drama. Performed by students from JMU School of Theatre and Dance. For more information, visit www.jmuforbescenter.com
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.
Tour scenic farms and vineyards, including in Brownsburg, a national historic district. Complimentary refreshments at a 19th century general store. Other stops features homes built between 1790 and 1995. Scenic mountain vistas and landscaped gardens. Home art galleries. Live music. Viticulture, wine making and local history programs. Advance Tickets: $25. Day of tour: $30. For more information, call 540-463-5035 or visit www.vagardenweek.org
Ward Plaza Shopping Center, 2258 Valley Ave. April 22 through May 1. Open and closing dates vary daily. April 24 discount for rides and drinks. Carnival closed on April 25.
1290 Richmond Ave. Learn how raw materials were into finished products during early Frontier times. Scheduled events include traditional sheep-shearing techniques, cleaning, carting, dyeing, spinning, weaving and flax processing used for linen and clothing. Tickets: General admission rates: $10 for adults, $6 for children, ages 5 and under admitted free. Free admission for annual pass-holders. For more information, call 540-332-7850 or visit www.frontiermuseum.org
10 S. Market St. The Importance of Being Earnest. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.
10 S. Market St. The Life of King Henry the Fifth. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.
Valley Health Winchester Medical Center festival tent, 1755 North Sector Court. Parmalee. With special guest: Mechanicsville, Maryland native, Sam Grow. Adult beverages available with ID. Food available. The doors open at 7 p.m., concert at 8 p.m. No outside food and drink, or large purses and bags. Tickets: $25. For more information, visit TheBloom.com.
1290 Richmond Ave. Variety of exhibits with historical interpreters, hands-on learning opportunities and interactive education: Cooking, gardening, woodworking, flax and wool spinning, rare-breed animals, schoolhouse lessons and more. Rain-or-shine event, dress for the weather. You can bring a picnic lunch. Advance Tickets: $5 Adults, $3 for children, ages 5 and under admitted free. At-the-door Tickets: $7 for aults, $5 for children, ages 5 and under admitted free. Free admission for annual pass-holders. For more information, call 540-332-7850 or visit www.frontiermuseum.org
Corhaven, 2883 Quicksburg Road. Slave cemetery has been tended by members of the community. Program includes Shenandoah County Library archivist, Zach Hottel, Stonewall Jackson High School History Club members, representatives from Coming To The Table, Rev. Bill Haley, Rev. Mark Bowyer, and others. Memorial service. Free and open to the public. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. For more information, visit www.corhavengraveyard.org
Tour private homes, guesthouses, cottages, and gardens. April 23 through April 30. Performances by the Heifetz Institute and the American Shakespeare Company. Artists en Plein air. Garden design lectures, flower arranging demonstrations. Hosted by the Garden Club of Virginia.
Constitution Park South. Year of the Osprey theme for 2016. Reptile World shows, Stream Safari, Wildlife Center of Virginia presentations, Fish and Fun Rodeo, Farmers Market, canoe rides, youth arts and crafts, fishing, South River Duck Race.
Rain or Shine. No Pets Allowed. For more informatioin, visit riverfestwaynesboro.com
Stuarts Draft Park. Park to Park 1/2 Marathon. 13.1 mile point to point course runs from Stuarts Draft Park to Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro. Fully-stocked aid stations along route, post-race party at the finish line. Bus transportation to starting line from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
Warehouse Art Gallery. Flower Show and 60th Anniversary celebration. Sponsored by Hill and Valley Garden Club Refreshments.
Virginia National Bank, 186 N. Loudoun St. Runs until April 30. Needlework narrative honoring and celebrating over 250 years of history of the northern Shenandoah Valley. For more information, call 703-608-3924.
Luray VFW 218, Veterans Lane. Modified trucks and tractors. All makes and models of cars, trucks and bikes. Chinese auction cake wheel. 50-50 drawing: $6 per ticket or $20 for 4 tickets. Drawings at 3 p.m. Food and drinks available. Live local bluegrass music, open jam session. Donation Required. For more information, call 540-244-9864, 540-778-1387 or 540-742-4031.
Newly-renovated Port Republic Town Hall, 8597 Water St. April 28 through May 1. Hosted by Village Artisans of Port Republic, LLC. April 28 is Seniors Day. Art show guests can also tour the Port Republic Museum, stroll through the historic village. Hours: April 28, 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 1. For more information, visit www.villageartisansofport.com
301 South Main St. Commemorative exhibit featuring quilt collection of local community art community figure, Mary Spitzer Etter. Complimentary breakfast available. Part of a multi-event commoration of the life of Mary Spitzer Etter. Rain or shine. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit spitzerartcenter.org
Spitzer Art Center, 486 West Market St. Victorian house and grounds, former home of Mary Spitzer Etter. Over 20 artist and craft vendors, live artist demos, specialty coffee beverages, and live front porch music from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. House tours every hour include two galleries, classroom/meeting room and artist studios where 12 local artists work. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit spitzerartcenter.org.
Cromer-Trumbo House, 382 High St. Hosted by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society. Mary Spitzer Etter collection Victorian furnishings, toys and decorative arts. Part of a multi-event commoration of the life of Mary Spitzer Etter. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit spitzerartcenter.org
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.
If you like our website, consider making a donation ...we'd certainly tip a glass of Virginia-made beer or wine to your kindness! Either way, we're glad you stopped by. Come back to see us again!
Hugh Morrison Jr. photographed the people and places of Shenandoah County, Virginia, during the first half of the 1900s, until 1950. He compiled an immense body of work, now archived by the Shenandoah County Historical Society. The collection includes more than 25,000 digital images.