The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
 
Early Page County settlement sought religious freedom in the Shenandoah Valley

Mennonite alter in Elk Run Meeting House, Luray Valley Museum

 

The Luray Valley Museum is located on the sprawling campus of Luray Caverns, one of the largest Shenandoah Valley tourism attractions. In terms of number of annual visitors to this region, it's perhaps only second in size to nearby Shenandoah National Park.  The entire attraction covers several hillside acres rising on the west side of the town of Luray, Va., along U.S. Route 211.

The caverns themselves are clearly the main attraction. Smaller venues are also located there, including antique toy and automobile museums, an outdoor garden maze and rope course, interactive mining sluice activity, carillon tower and others. In 2010, the heritage museum was added.

The heart of the Luray Valley Museum is a visitor center that houses a number of galleries interpreting centuries of Shenandoah Valley history. A collection of authentic 19th century buildings have been painstakingly relocated here from various parts of the county.

Historic artifacts, folk art and other artwork, and old tools, as well as antique furniture, clothing and other items are on display. Various historical periods are represented, ranging from pre-Colonial days to around 1925.

The galleries certainly have something to offer for any age level. There also is a lot there for serious historians.

“The museum is about the everyman,” says Luray Caverns Corp. Senior Vice President, Rod Graves.

“It's about the little guy. And there are a few famous people in here, but even those famous people were everyday people that made America what it is today. And a lot of American culture. This was kind of a gateway to the West. And a lot of that culture was brought out of this place, right here.”

Mr. Graves says that the museum‘s “cornerstone” is a 1536 Bible that had been printed in Switzerland and later accompanied a group of Mennonite immigrant families when they traveled to the American colonies in the early 1700s. The Mennonites were a group associated with the Christian Anabaptist denomination.

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Shenandoah is for it’s SEASAONS

March winds always bring the promise of a new season. The days are longer and warmer, even if the weather is still a bit fickle. We can want to be indoors one moment, outdoors the next. But with each lengthening day, the promise of Spring grows stronger. Indoors or out, there is always something new to discover in the Shenandoah Valley. And so it goes during March!

  Happening today

Youth photo exhibition in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. Youth Art Month. Retrospective exhibit of student photographs created over the years in the local boys and girls club photography program. Runs Feb. 22 through April 1. Gallery hours: Wednesdays through Fridays, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Reception March 4 from 5p.m.-7 p.m. Hosted by Berkeley Arts Council. For more information, call 304-620-7277 or visit artworks.berkeleyartsWV.org


Museum tours in Winchester, Va.

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Gallery Walkabout. March 22 and 29, from 11a.m.-11:45 a.m. Limited availability. Free admission. For more information, visit www.themsv.org


Public program at Mary Baldwin University

Spencer Center. International Cafe. David Fritz presents Ethical Intervention: A Haitian Case Study. Coffee and tea provided. Tickets: $5. $4 for seniors and non-MBU students. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.marybaldwin.edu


Public program at Mary Baldwin University

Francis Auditorium. Reporting sexual assaults. Hosted by MBU Help Save the Next Girl Chapter. For more information, visit www.marybaldwin.edu


Choir music open rehearsals at Shenandoah University

Goodson Chapel - Recital Hall. Every Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. throughout the academic year. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. The Fair Maid performance at 7:30 p.m. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. Dr. Ralph Presents: lecture program at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com


Community program at Handley Library in Winchester, Va.

100 W. Piccadilly St. Play chess. All ages and skill levels. Open chess games and 1-on-1 instruction for new players. Optional: bring your own board. Lecture on chess basics and strategy at 5:30 p.m. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.handleyregional.org


Art program in Winchester, Va.

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Gallery Walkabout Wednesdays, March 22 and 29 from 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Free admission. For more information, visit www.themsv.org


Theater production at Winchester Little Theatre in Winchester, Va.

315 W. Boscawen St. Absolutely Dead. March 10-25. Showtimes: Tuesday through Thursday at 7 p.m. , 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday For more information, visit www.wltonline.org


Bluegrass music jam sessions in Lexington, Va.

Blue Sky Bakery, 16 Lee Ave. Live bluegrass music every Wednesday morning. Bring a musical instrument to jam with, or just listen.


New music concert at Shenandoah University

Armstrong Concert Hall, 702 University Dr. Ieva Jokubaviciute and Michael Mizrahi perform duo works for the piano. Tickets: $12. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs


Community program at Handley Regional Library in Stephens City, Va.

Bowman Library, 871 Tasker Road. Spring Book Sale. March 28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on March 29-April 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Benefits local libraries. Books, CDs and DVDs. For more information, call 540-869-9000 or visit www.handleyregional.org


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About ShenandoahValley.com


You’ve just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA.
“The daughter of the stars.”

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.

Two legendary rivers meet at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

The Shenandoah River joins the Potomac River about a mile downstream at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

About William I. Spinrad, Jr - Land Matters Photography

William I. Spinrad, Jr. resides in Frederick County, Va. and is a former Park Ranger with the National Park Service, as well as a Land Resources Officer. He has a degree in Geology and working towards a Masters in Recreation Resources Management. He works part time as a Visitor Assistant at the Virginia State Arboretum/Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Virginia, and believes in conserving land and natural and cultural resources. Photography is both a hobby and a professional pursuit. Mr. Spinrad owns and operates Land Matters Photography.

...photo by William I. Spinrad, Jr - Land Matters Photography