In the early nineteenth century, visitors traveled to Orkney Spring,s located at the foot of the Great North Mountain in western Shenandoah County, to partake of was believed to be the curative benefits of the village's mineral filled, cold-water springs.
Today, people still visit Orkney Springs, mainly for retreats and conferences at Shrine Mont, a conference center owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, or for Shenandoah Valley Music Festival outdoor concerts during the summer months.
A group of public hotels at Orkney Springs were originally built in the early 19th century. Most of these original buildings have been restored and are still in use. All the buildings on a common green have been consolidated into what is known as the Orkney Springs Hotel. The Virginia House is believed to be the largest wooden structure in Virginia.
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Wades Mill, or Kennedy-Wade Mill, is situated in northwestern Rockbridge County and is still in operation as a water-powered grist mill. It was originally built in 1750 and includes a 21-foot overshot water wheel. Photo: Hank Zimmerman