The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Who was Moses Ezekiel? (And why do we ask?)

Moses Ezekiel


Younger Americans in the mid 19th Century faced a future of political uncertainty. It was a particularly divisive moment in American history. Then the Civil War began. To this day, the dream of a more perfect American Union may be as elusive as ever. What does the future hold?

Moses Ezekiel was born into a Jewish family in 1844, and grew up in a working-class area of Richmond Virginia. He and his family undoubtedly would have experienced anti-Semitism during his youth. He also had dropped out of school to help out in the family business. Despite such challenges, he longed for a better life. At that time, the Virginia Military Institute offered people of modest means a path to higher education.

But by attending VMI, Ezekiel would by default be involved in the Confederate cause. He reportedly explained later that much of his decision to attend VMI was less about the issue of slavery than to help protect Virginia from Union invasion.

From VMI‘s beginnings, its training mission was to create “citizen-solders” who would develop good character and strong leadership skills, and then bring these qualities back home to civilian life. VMI was as much about citizen-solders as it was about training career military personnel, according to Lt. Col. Troy Marshall, Site Director at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, located on the New Market Battlefield in New Market, Va.

Ezekiel had actually aspired to become an artist. He may not have been a perfect fit as a soldier. His parade drill abilities could have been questioned, but his true talent as an artist was quickly recognized.

He was assigned to a corps of 295 cadets that, in May of 1864, had been given the order to march from Lexington, Va. north to New Market and stand beside some hardened Confederate regulars to defend what was then called “the Breadbasket of the Confederacy,” the Shenandoah Valley.

What resulted was a famous battlefield drama. Teenage cadets faced Union troops in actual combat and helped achieve a Confederate victory. The story quickly became legend.

A Shenandoah Springtime

Ah, April! Certainly every month is unique in its own way, but April! It‘s one of our favorite months in the Shenandoah Valley. There‘s new energy. More and more great reasons to be outdoors. The outdoor festivals and concerts are cranking up and the backroads beckon. April means longer days, warmer temperatures and nature always looking so much greener than at any other time of the year.

  Happening today

Downtown festival in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Martinsburg Book Faire and Chocolate Festival. For more information, visit

Outdoor festival at Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, Va.

300 Fairground Rd. Mud Dog Run. High intensity, obstacle course run, 5 Kilometers of very tough terrain, climbing walls, cargo nets, mud pits, other obstacles. Benefits PACT for Animals. For more information, visit

Puppet theater show in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Wonderment Puppet Theater, 412 W. King St. Hansel and Gretel. Saturdays and Sundays, April 29 - June 4. Showtime, 1 p.m. Doors open at 12:40 p.m. For more information, call 304-258-4074 or visit

Youth program at OASIS Fine Art and Craft in Harrisonburg, Va.

103 S. Main St. Exploring Negative Space. For ages 5 and older. Preregister by prior Thursday, April 6 and 27 respectively. First come, first served. Free admission. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit

Downtown festival in Stanley, Va.

Ed Good Memorial Park. Spring into Stanley.

Theater production in Luray, Va.

Trackside Theater. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Apr 29-30, 7:30 p.m.

Youth program at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. Drama Workshop for Kids. Saturdays: April 22 through July 1 except June 10 From 1 to 3 p.m. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit

Youth program in Winchester, Va.

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Youth Workshop: Comic Creations. April 29 1-3 p.m. Youth in grades 5-8 will explore the comic art of Alex Ross in the exhibition Superheroes and Superstars, then design comic book characters and draw their story lines. Supplies provided. Admission: MSV Members $20, all others $25. Registration required by April 26. For more information, call 1-888-556-5799 or visit

Farmers market in Staunton, Va.

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

Equestrian event at Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va.

Molto Bene Pasta Party. Final day of Lexington Spring Festival. For more information, visit


Art festival in Millwood, Va.

Burwell-Morgan Mill, 15 Tannery Lane. Art at the Mill. April 29 through May. 14. Over 300 artists. Over 1000 works pieces of art: Oil paintings, mixed-media, sculpture, fine woodworking, pottery, more. Admission: $5, seniors: $3. Ages 12 and under admitted free. For more information, visit

Downtown festival in Staunton, Va.

Staunton Station. Bridge Day Staunton 2017. Local music, arts, history, food, artisans, shopping and community action. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-886-7728 or visit


Art festival in Staunton, Va.

Sunspots Pavilion: 202 S. Lewis St. Second annual Paint Staunton Quick Draw Art Competition and Wet Paint Sale. Check-in 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m, Painting 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wet Paint Sale 2 p.m.-3 p.m. For professional artists, amateur artists, youth artists, and collectors of original art. Competition, artwork for sale. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-886-8636 or visit

Prescribed burn on mountain land at Shenandoah National Park

90 acres of Big Meadows land will be burned in about one day, before May 30. All park facilities will remain open, but access to Big Meadows will be restricted during the burn period. For more information, visit

Community dinner in Woodstock, Va.

Shrimp and Catfish Dinner. Hosted by Rotary Club of Woodstock. Tickets: $30 for adults, $15 for children.

VMI Cadets parade in formation at Virginia Military Institute

Parade ground. Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets march in full formation. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-464-7207 or visit

Public program at Handley Regional Library in Winchester, Va.

100 E. Picadilly St. Historic Garden Week program. Landscape Architect William D. Rieley: High school gardens restoration at 1:30 p.m. John B. Schroth, President of the Handley Board of Trustees: The Legacy of Judge John Handley. Hosted by Friends of Handley Regional Library. For more information, call 540-662-9041, extension 31 or visit

Youth program at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. Drama Workshop for Kids. Saturdays from April 22 through July 1, except June 10, From 1 to 3 p.m. For ages 8-12. Learn stage production including acting, set design, and behind-the-scenes work. Opportunity to be featured in the play, Goldilocks Put on Trial, scheduled for July 8. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit

Biking event in Megaheysville, Va.

Massanutten Resort. Yee-Ha Downhill Mountain Bike Race. April 29-30. For more information, visit massresort.copm

Art workshop in Lexington, Va.

Renegade Art Glass, 142 Old Buena Vista Road. Every Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Create your now fused-glass artwork. Reservations required. Admission: $8-$80 per project. For more information, call 540-521-6128 or visit

Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Our Town performance at 2 p.m. The Two Gentleman of Verona performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit

Upstairs - Out Of The Box show at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 N Loudoun St. Herrmann, Herrmann, McLaughlin, and Wilborn perform traditional music. For more information, call 540-665-2878 or visit

Outdoor festival in Lexington, Va.

963 Ross Road. The Rockbridge Camera Club Boxerwood, 963 Ross Rd. Fairy Forest Festival. Fairy folk characters, brownie bubble wands, fairy doors and furniture, fairy headwreaths, yarn-wrap trees, pixie paintings, wood elf prints. Live folk dancers. Face-painting. Food truck. Parade and fairy fashion show. Fairy Crafts: $1 each. Parking: $5. Family friendly. For more information, call 540-463-2697

Outdoor festival in Luray, Va.

Yogi Bear Jellystone Park, 2250 US Highway 211. Super Hero Weekend, Apr 28-30. For more information, visit

Outdoor festival in Waynesboro, Va.

Constitution Park. Riverfest. Reptile World shows, Stream Safari, presentations by the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Fish and Fun Rodeo, Farmers Market, canoe rides, kids arts and crafts, Stream electro-fishing. Duck Race. Rain or shine. No pets allowed. Hosted by Destination Downtown Waynesboro. Free admission. For more information, visit

Art workshop in Staunton, Va.

Staunton Augusta Art Center, 20 South New St. Childrens Oil Pastel Workshop. Ages 6-10. Interpreting Spring flowers with oil pastels. Limited availability. Reservations required. For more information, call 540-885-20288 or visit

Historic Garden Week Tour in Winchester, Va.

Four homes and the Hopewell Meeting House, all dating from the 1700s. Hosted by Little Garden Club of Winchester and Winchester-Clarke Garden Club. Tickets: Available locally, $40. Advance tickets: $30. For more information, visit

Outdoor run in Waynesboro, Va.

Stuarts Draft Park start line. Park to Park 1/2 Marathon. 13.1 mile point-to-point. Fully-stocked aid stations and a post-race party at the finish line. Runners busses to the start line available 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Free admission. For more information, visit

Public program at Shenandoah National Park

Graves Mountain Lodge, Syria, Va. 2017 Resource Seminar series. Fly fishing techniques with Harry Murray, author of Trout Fishing in Shenandoah National Park. Rods and reels will be provided or bring your own gear. $30 registration fee. Limited to 12 participants. Hosted by Shenandoah National Park Association. For more information, visit

Downtown festival in Staunton, Va.

Ghosts of Staunton Ghost Tours. Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton.  Runs through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit

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

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. Various props from a box to visually interpret surrounding landscape features. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit

Civil War history program in Winchester, Va.

Old Town Winchester. Historical Cemetery Tours every Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit

Theater production at Shenandoah University

Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 620 Millwood Ave. April 29 at 7 p.m., April 30 at 2:30 p.m. The Magic Flute by W.A. Mozart. Tickets: $20. Free admission. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit

Beer and music festival in Harrisonburg, Va.

Downtown. Rocktown Beer and Music Festival. Live music, food,and craft beer, over 60 beers with national names. For more information, visit

Auto race at Natural Bridge Dragstrip in Natural Bridge, Va.

168 N. Dry Well Rd. Test and Tune. Racing schedule subject to change. For more information, call 540-291-3724 or visit

Art exhibition in Staunton, Va.

Beverley Street Studio School and Sunspots Pavilion. Second annual Paint Staunton Quick Draw Art Competition and Wet Paint Sale. Cash prizes for plein air artwork competition. Open to the public.

Americana music concert in Staunton, Va.

315 North Central Ave. EccoHollow - Live Music featuring Virginia-based Indie electronic, multi-instrumentalists, Angel, and Body Drama from Harrisonburg, Va. Free admission, pay-what-you-will

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

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.

About Hugh Morrison Jr. Archives Collection

The Shenandoah County Historical Society supports historic building and site preservation as well as collects and preserves information about the history of Shenandoah County, Virginia. In parnership with Shenandoah County, SCHS operates a visitor's center and museum in the 1795 Historic Shenandoah County Courthouse in Woodstock, Virginia. by Hugh Morrison Jr. Archives Collection