The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
 
The presidential elections in 1916 and 2016 … were they really that much different?


As the 100th Anniversary of the First World War is commemorated, it neatly ties in with the history of a famous Shenandoah Valley native who was the 28th President of the United States: Thomas Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was born in the city of Staunton in 1856, and today his birthplace is home to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum.

The museum opened an exhibit this past June entitled, “I Believe In Democracy.” It contrasts the presidential election that is going now with the one that occurred exactly 100 years ago, marked by Wilson's successful bid for a second term.

The exhibit shows how much U.S. presidential elections have changed since then. …Or have they, really?

In 1916, Wilson was running as an incumbent Democrat. He was running against a divided Republican Party. The GOP had been trying to heal the wounds from the previous election, when Teddy Roosevelt challenged the sitting Republican president, William Howard Taft. The split allowed Wilson, then a relatively fresh face in national politics, to squeak by with enough electoral votes to win in 1912.

By 1916, Republicans had regrouped. They rallied to oust Wilson, but by this time he had picked up a number of the Republican voters who had gone for Roosevelt in the previous election. Wilson narrowly defeated Republican Charles E. Hughes, of New York.

So the political landscape then was certainly different than it is now in 2016. Like today, however, the election did not involve just two main political parties. Teddy Roosevelt's new “Bull Moose” Progressive Party was on the ballot as it had been four years before, as were the Prohibition Party and the Socialists.

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History is home-made in the Shenandoah Valley
Heritage Museum in Dayton, Virginia

So much of America’s past can be discovered here. We’re no stranger to the Civil War, and our scenic battlefields are still here. It’s a place of annual living history reenactments and so many fascinating indoor and outdoor historical programs. The days are getting cooler. Time to transport yourself back into a bit of genuine Shenandoah Valley history.

  Happening today

Beer tasting festival in Front Royal Va.

Brew and Blues Festival. Beer tastings from over 50 breweries. food, live entertainment. Corn hole and yard games. Artisans, crafters and commercial vendors. grand opening of the Virginia Beer Museum. Historic walking tours and museums. Admission: $20 in advance or $25 at the gate for beer tasters, includes souvenir tasting glass. VIP Tickets: $50. General admission to festival: free. For more information, call 540-635-3185 or visit www.brewandblues.com


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.


Historic House Tours in Dayton, Va.

Fridays and Saturdays: Guided tours of Fort Harrison, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 540-879-2616.


Heritage festival at Shenandoah National Park

Big Meadows Lodge Massanutten Room mile 51 Skyline Dr. 84th Civilian Conservation Corps Reunion: Keeping the Tradition Alive. Co-hosted by the Barlow family of Stanley, Va. Interactive exhibit, Within a Day`s Drive of Millions. National Public Lands Day at the park, entrance fees waived. For more information, visit nps.gov/shen


Live music performance at Wysteria Vineyard in Stanley, Va.

1126 Marksville Rd. Music Under the Arbor. rock-country and folk music.R For more information, call 540-742-1489 or visit wisteriavineyard.com


Puppet theater performance in Martinsburg, W.Va.

412 W. King St. Rabbit Saves the Day, Based on the story Sody Sallyratus. Runs Sept. 10 through Oct 30, every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Doors open 12:40 p.m. Pre-show activities. Admission: $6 for ages two years and older, under age two admitted free. For more information, call 304-258-4074 or visit www.wondermentpuppets.com


Civil War history program in Delaplane, Va.

11012 Edmonds Ln. Civil War Encampment. Sept. 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Living history with the 21st Georgia Infantry. ecruitment and enlistment ceremonies, unit drills, weapons demonstrations and camp cooking. For more information, call 540-592-3556 or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows


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

11012 Edmonds Ln. Junior Ranger activity for youth. NASA Jet Propulsion Lab presentation about  U.S. space research. Look at space through telescopes provided by volunteers, or bring your own. Outdoor activities weather-permitting.  Admission: $5 parking charge. For more information, call 540-592-3556 or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows


Cuban music concert at James Madision University

Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. The Havana Cuba All-Stars: The Asere Friendship Tour.  For more information, visit www.jmuforbescenter.com.


Theater production at the Apollo Theater in Martinsburg, W.Va.

128 East Martin St. Rock Of Ages. Community Theatre productions. Shows on Sept. 23, 24, 25, 30, and Oct. 1 and 2. For more information, call 304-263-6766.


Lyceum Program at Fort Valley Community Center and Library in Fort Valley, Va.

Fort Valley Library and Community Center, 6190 Woodstock Tower Road.Jack Evans, photographer. Equipment and Technique: How to get better pictures with your camera in today`s digital world. For more information, call 540-933-6714.


International Festival in Harrisonburg, Va.

Hillandale Park. Ninth year. Family friendly. Food and crafts available for purchase, and activities \all ages. Rain or shine. Handicapped-accessible event with shuttle service available every 15 minutes. For more information, visit www.harrisonburg-international-festival.org


Art exhibition at James Madision University

Duke Hall Gallery. Harmonic Laboratory Multiple Media. Multimedia-rich projects that merge the arts and sciences. Runs Sept. 3 through Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-568-6407 or visit www.jmu.edu


Community Yoga Classes at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

780 University Blvd. Sept. Evert Saturday, through Oct. 22, 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. All levels. Bring your own mat, water and towel. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum


Craft Beer and Crafters Festival in Staunton, Va.

Staunton Augusta Art Center, 20 South New St. Sample craft beer. Craft vendors. For more information, visit saartcenter.org


Nothin` Fancy Bluegrass Festival in Buena Vista, Va.

Glen Maury Park 101 Maury River Rd. 16th Annual Nothin Fancy Bluegrass Festival. Sept. 22 - Sept. 24, from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Featuring Jr. Sisk and Ramblers Choice, The Moron Brothers, Joe Mullins and Goldwing Express, Flatt Lonesome, Nothi' Fancy and more. Ticket packages and camping passes available. For more information, visit www.glenmaurypark.com


Civil War battlefield walking tour and book-signing in Winchester, Va.

Led by Scott Patchan, author of The Last Battle of Winchester. Sept. 24. Walking Tour at 10 a.m., Book Signing at at the Third Winchester Visitor Center at 541 Redbud Road, at 12:30 p.m. Extensive walking involved. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or visit www.shenandoahatwar.org


Civil War history program at Belle Grove and Cedar Creek National Historical Park

Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters 8437 Valley Pike, Middletown. Living History Encampment. Sept. 23-24. Members of the 55th Virginia camp and perform firing demonstrations. Learn about soldier life. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe


Civil War history program at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

336 Belle Grove Rd. Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of Judah the Enslaved Cook. 30 minute program explores the story of a slave who lived and worked at Belle Grove. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit www.bellegrove.org


Family Day at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. And Still We Rise Family Day: African American culture and history. Stories, music, dramatic readings, quilting demonstrations, and gallery talks. Tour exhibition, And Still We Rise: African American Story Quilts. Presented in collaboration with the Winchester NAACP. Free admission. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Watermelon Park Fest in Berryville, Va.

3322 Lockes Mill Rd. 13th Annual Watermelon Park Fest. Family-friendly Americana music festival.Sept. 22-25, Shenandoah River just outside of Berryville, Va. Live concerts, dances, workshops, band and pickin contests, activities, open jams, food and craft vendors, and more. For more information, call 540-955-1621 or visit watermelonparkfest.com


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


Battlefield Walking Tour at Kernstown Battlefield in Winchester, Va.

610 Battle Park Dr. Kernstown Battlefield on Pritchard-Grim Farm. Presented by the Kernstown Battlefield Association. For more information, call 540-931-4033 or visit www.kernstownbattle.org.


Youth-oriented program in Luray, Va.

Performing Arts Luray plaza, 1 E. Main St.Paws on the Plaza. At 5 p.m., a rescue dog performance by Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix. 2 p.m. pet adoption event, pet contests, craft auction. For more information, call 540-743-3311 or visit wwwperformingartsluray.org


Civil War battlefield walking tour and book-signing in Winchester, Va.

Loudoun Street Mall. Winchester`s Three Battles: Book Signing and Reception with Author Brandon Beck. Free admission. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or visit www.shenandoahatwar.org


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson performance at 2 p.m. Benefit performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com


Chamber Orchestra music concert at Shenandoah University

Armstrong Concert Hall, 702 University Dr. Faculty violinist Akemi Takayama joins the Shenandoah Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, works by Piazzolla and Ginastera. Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. Admission: $12. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs


Farmers Market in Luray, Va.

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


Free admission day at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live. Free admission on Sept. 24. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit www.bellegrove.org


Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival in Harpers Ferry W.Va.

1330 Job Corps Rd. One of the oldest arts and craft festivals in the Shenandoah Valley area. Sept. 23, 24, 25. Fine arts, crafts, live bluegrass music, wine, and food available. 200 vetted artisans and craftspersons. Hosted by Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Admission: Weekend Pass: $13 for ages 18 and older. Single day passes: $5 for adults 18 and older, $2 for ages 6-17. Prices at gate: $7 and $4 per day. For more information, visit www.mhacfestival.org


Evenings on Main Concert in Luray, Va.

Performing Arts Luray: The Floorboards, Americana rock and country. For more information, visit luraypage.chambermaster.com/events/calen


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


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


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


National Public Lands Day at Shenandoah National Park

Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 on Skyline Drive. 24th year. Milkweed Seed Collection Volunteer Event, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Interpretive Table and Children`s Activity Table, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wild Side of Shenandoah Ranger Talk, 11:30 a.m., 20-30 minutes. Monarch Tagging Demonstration, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Monarch Butterfly Release, 3 p.m. Register at Byrd Visitor Center between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, apply sunscreen and bug spray, and bring plenty of water. For all ages. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit nps.gov/shen


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


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

Summerhouse Pavilion, 15 Appledore Lane. Dancing Chicken Band. 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


Battle of Cedar Creek Battlefield Tour in Middletown, Va.

Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main St. Sept 24, 26 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


Bike race in Harrisonburg, Va.

2016 Alpine Loop Gran Fond. Sept. 24,  1-6 p.m., registration. Race begins on Sept. 25 at, 7:40 a.m. at Turner Pavilion. Post-race activities include live entertainment, food available, beer tastings. For more information, visit alpineloopgranfondo.com


Civil War book signing and reception in Winchester, Va.

Old Court House Civil War Museum, 20 N. Loudon St. History professor and author Brandon Beck: Winchester`s Three Battles. Free admission. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or visit ShenandoahAtWar.org


Truck show at Frederick County Fairgrounds in Clear Brook, Va.

155 Fairground Rd. Tri-State Antique Truck Show. Sept 22-24. All day event. Antique trucks, fire trucks, farm tractors, and military vehicles in working condition. Admission: $2, children under 12 admitted free. For more information, call 301-845-4709


Pumpkin Patch and Hayrides in Winchester, Va.

Wilsons Wild Animal Park, 985 W. Parkins Mill Rd. Pumpkin patch and hayrides on weekends, through October. For more information, call 540-662-5715


Winery dance festival in Stephens City, Va.

Valerie Hill Winery, 1687 Marlboro Rd. Sippin` Through the Decades. Wine, food, music, and dancing. Each hour of the evening is dedicated to a different dance era. For more information, call 540-869-9567


Harness Racing Festival at Shenandoah Downs in Woodstock, Va.

Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. Hops and Hooves Festival. Craft beer tastings and chili competitions. Parimutuel Harness Races on newly-renovated track. Souvenir beer glass, 10 tastings, and sample chili. Up to 10 races. Gates open at 11 a.m., racing starts at 1 p.m. Tickets available online. Admission: Up to $20. For more information, visit shenandoahdowns.com


Beer tasting festival in Waynesboro, Va.

Lumos Plaza, downtown. Virginia Chili, Blues n' Brews Festival. Hot chili, cold mega and micro brews, and three live bands including Lil` Ed and the Blues Imperials. For more information, visit www.virginiachili.com


Kite-flying festival in Waynesboro, Va.

Coyner Springs Park. Coyner Springs Kite Fly. Over 300 available kites. Kiting clubs demonstrations with stunt and ballet kites and single and multi-line kites, and more. Bring blanket and chairs. For more information, visit www.waynesboro.va.us/257/Coyner-Springs-Kite-Fly


Guided walking tour at Abrams Creek Wetland Preserve in Winchester, Va.

1643 Meadow Branch Ave. Meet at the parking lot in front of Children of America on Jubal Early Drive. Birds, flowers, trees, and signs of fall. Free admission. For more information, call 540-303-3983 or visit www.winchesterva.gov/parks


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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.

McCormick Farm in Steeles Tavern, Virginia

Cyrus McCormick invented the mechanical reaper here, automating farm field work and revolutionizing the agriculture industry. Once a year, the old McCormick Mill water wheel turns during a festival that celebrates the inventor's roots.

About Hank Zimmerman

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

...photo by Hank Zimmerman