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.Read more...
June is our most favorite time of year. It's all about summer, yet often without a lot of really hot temps. The landscape is as green as ever, and the blue ridges and scenic vistas look their best on a clear June day. It’s simply one of the best times of year to experience the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley.
487 Maury River Road. Emerging Athletes Program. June 27-July 1. Young riders advance their education to become knowledgeable horsemen within the hunter/jumper community. Hosted by USHJA. For more information, call 540?464?2950 or visit www.horsecenter.org
103 S. Main St. Paper Grace, Contemporary Quilling, by Deb Booth. Show runs from May 5-June 30. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit www.oasisartgallery.org
41-F Court Square. Paris Can Wait. Drama. PG. Shows June 26-29 at 4:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. 10% discount, free popcorn for theater members. Tickets: Adults, $9.50. Students and Seniors, $8.50. Matinees before 5 p.m., $8. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit ValleyArts.org
780 University Blvd. Meets in the Pavilion. Summer Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series. Floating Gardens. Bring a brown bag lunch. Free admission. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit jmu.edu/arboretum
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
Lexington Farmers Market. Runs weekly through Thanksgiving, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Wednesday at McCrum Parking lot, behind Southern Inn. Mid-December through mid-April, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday at Lexington Presbyterian Church, Randolph St. Seasonal produce, plants, eggs, meats baked goods, coffee and handcrafted goods. For more information, call 540-463-9234 or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Lexington-Virginia-Farmers-Market/302763089563
Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. Photo 17 National Juried Photography Exhibit. Runs from June 28 - Aug. 12. Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reception and awards presentation on June 30 from 5-7 p.m. For more information, visit www.berkeleyartsWV.org
100 West Piccadilly St. STEAMworks. Every Wednesday through July. Ages 6-12 explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and math through a variety of activities. Reservations required. For more information, call 540-662-9041 or visit www.handleyregional.org
Bike Virginia Tour 2017, Buena Vista to Staunton. June 23-28. For more information, visit Bikevirginia.org
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. June 27-30 at 11:30 a.m. June 25, 26 at 2:30 p.m. July 1,3, 5-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29 and 31 at 11:30 a.m. July 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 2:30 p.m. Various props from a box to visually interpret surrounding landscape features. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe
Blue Sky Bakery, 16 Lee Ave. Live bluegrass music every Wednesday morning. Bring a musical instrument to jam with, or just listen.
Lake Arrowhead Beach. Open through Sept. 4. Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit townofluray.com
122 South Wayne Ave. Tea and History at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum. For more information, call 540-949-7662 or visit www.svacart.com
122 South Wayne Ave. Cabell Arehart Gallery. Annual Members Judged Exhibit. Runs June and July. For more information, call 540-949-7662 or visit www.svacart.com
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.
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.