The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Getting way, way back to the grind in Millwood, Va.

Burwell-Morgan Mill in Millwood, Virginia

While water-powered grist mills were often built with sturdy stone walls, they still tended to have a low survival rate.

For one thing, the buildings nearly always had to be located along good-sized streams, making them particularly vulnerable to floods.

And then all that grain dust that would be kicked up whenever the millstones were turning: very flammable. Many restored mills in existence today are simply not the originals that had been initially constructed at the site.

Here in the Shenandoah Valley, grist mills faced an additional threat during the Civil War, being a major target of Union Army troops who were intent upon wiping out the fertile and productive Breadbasket of the Confederacy.

But the Burwell-Morgan Mill, located in the Clarke County, Va. village of Millwood, did manage to escape harm during the Civil War. In fact, it reportedly kept very busy during the war years serving both sides.

And then Union raiders tended to go easier with communities on the fringes of the local plantations, where slaves lived. Millwood apparently was one of those tiny villages.

But since Burwell-Morgan Mill had been built back in 1782, this story is really not about the Civil War.

Autumn’s here!
Shenandoah Valley battlefield

Cooler, shorter days. A daily transformation of nature, going on right there in front of our eyes. Outdoor colors flame with beauty and soon the forest trails are covered with leaves. It’s the month that history is recreated on the battlefields lands and fall festivals dot the scenic landscape. As they have done for millennia, the seasons are changing ...and we don’t ever want to miss a minute of it. It’s October in the Valley!

  Happening today

Music and Dancing in Raphine, Va.

Clarks Ole Time Music Center, located at Clarks Lumber Co., 1288 Ridge Road. longtime Friday-night tradition of old-time music and dance from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission: $8 per person, $15 per couple. For more information, call 540-377-2490.

Art exhibition at Smith House Galleries in Harrisonburg, Va.

311 S. Main St. John M. Bell, An Turas: Scotland Journey. Runs through Oct. 27. Photographs and paintings of Scotland. Advance tickets: $27. $30 at the door. For more information, call 540-801-8779 or visit

Halloween season festival in Lexington, Va.

Hulls Drive-In, 2367 North Lee Highway. Annual Hull-o-ween Bash. Costume contests, trunk decorating and pet contest, Trunk-or-Treating. Decorate your trunks, register for contests, and dress up in your costumes. Bring candy to share. Contests and double-feature films included in admission price. Doors open at 5 p.m. Admission: $7 for ages 12 and up, $3 for ages 5-11 and free admisison for ages 4 and under. For more information, call 540-463-2621 or visit

Art exhibition at OASIS Fine Art and Craft in Harrisonburg, Va.

103 S. Main St. Fall Welcomes You, a mixed media show by OASIS artists. Runs through Oct. 31. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit

Public program at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

780 University Blvd, MSC 3705. Meet on the lawn by the pond. Community Tai Chi. Fridays, until Nov. 10, 12:30 p.m. Hosted by Blue Heron Healing Arts. Limited availability. Register online. Admission: $60 for six sessions or $12 per session. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit

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. 4:35 p.m. on Oct. 20, Nov. 3, Feb. 9, March 2 and 16, April 13, 20 and 24, and May 14 2:30 p.m. Graduation Parade. 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 21, Nov. 11, April 21 and May 15 at 2 p.m. at New Market Parade and Ceremony. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit

Outdoor music concert in Staunton, Va.

Sunspots Pavilion, Byers St, in the Wharf district. April through October, music and other types of live performances on outdoor stage. Schedule available online. For more information, call 540-885-0678 or visit

Farmers Market in Glasgow, Va.

Corner of 10 and Kawawha Sts. Open on Fridays from 2:00 6:00 p.m., May thru October. Locally grown produce and fruit, baked goods and crafts. For more information, call 540-817-3163

Theater production at Shenandoah University

1460 University Dr. The Exonerated. Drama. For mature audiences. Performed without an intermission. Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at 2:30 p.m. Hosted by Shenandoah Conservatory Dance Division. Tickets: $15. For more information, call 540-665-4500 or visit

Dance concert at Shenandoah University

1460 University Dr. Fall Dance Concert. Oct. 20-21 at 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at 2:30 p.m. Varied repertoire featuring contemporary, pointe, jazz, and modern works choreographed by dance faculty. Hosted by Shenandoah Conservatory Dance Division. Tickets: $15. For more information, call 540-665-4500 or visit

Lantern-lit caverns tours at Natural Bridge Park in Natural Bridge, Va.

6313 South Lee Highway. Caverns At Natural Bridge. Lantern Tours. Runs Friday and Saturday through October, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Historical-based lantern-lit tour, spooky tales. For ages 10 and older. Admission includes free LED lantern. Admission: Adults, $25. Youth, $18. For more information, call 540-291-2482 or visit

Youth festival in Winchester, Va.

Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, 19 W. Cork St. Spy Night. Dress up in a disguise and take a photo of your alter ego, lift fingerprints, write in invisible ink, break codes, and complete a spy laser obstacle course. For more information, call 540-722-2020 or visit

Outdoor program at Shenandoah National Park

Big Meadows Area, mile 51, inside the Rapidan Camp Gate. Night Skies. Astronomy program. Bring a blanket, chair, and flashlight. Hosted by Delaware North. Weather permitting. Free admission. For more information, call 1-877-847-1919 or visit

Theater production at Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg, Va.

14-F Court Square. Agnes of God. Valley Playhouse production. Drama. Shows continue on Oct 19-21 at 7:30 p.m.Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. Theater members save 20 percent and receive free popcorn Tickets: Adults, $9.50. Seniors, $8.50. Matinees before 5 p.m., $8. Advance tickets: $12 adult, $10 for seniors. $14 adult, 12 for seniors at the door. For more information, visit

Art program in Harrisonburg, Va.

Larkin Arts, Wine-Riner Galleries, 61 Court Square. 2017 National Juried Art Show. Oct. 6-28, Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Cash and prizes awarded compeition participants. For more information, visit

Civil War history program in Shenandoah County, Va.

Meet at the Ramseurs Hill parking area, 1864 Battlefield Road. History at Sunset program series: Close Up. On your life. A Tour of the Battle of Fishers Hill. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit

Art workshop at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

Pavilion, 780 University Blvd. Martha Crider Henderson: En Plein Aire Sessions, continuing on Sept. 22, and Oct. 6 and 20, 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. Bring an easel, canvas, pencils, paints, and brushes. All skill levels. Automatic rain date: the Saturday following current session date and time. Limited availability. Reservations required. Admission: $12. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit

Theater production at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Much Ado. Hosted by American Shakespeare Center. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit

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

Ramseurs Hill, 1864 Battlefield Road, Fisher`s Hill, Va. History at Sunset series. Close up. On your life. Tour of the Battle of Fishers Hill. Battlefield tour via car-caravan and walking outdoors. Ranger-led presentation. 90 minutes to two hours. Free admission. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit

Theater production in Edinburg, Va.

Theatre Shenandoah, 507 Center St. Agatha Christie mystery, The Mousetrap. Shows on Oct. 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, Oct. 22, and 29 at 2:30 p.m.  Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students. For more information, call 540-984-3972 or visit

Rock music concert at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 N. Loudoun St. Orange Sunshine presents A `67 Flashback. Music of the 60s and 70s. Celebrates 50th anniversary of Beatles St. Peppers album. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, call 540-665-2878 or visit

Halloween season festival in Stephens City, Va.

Family Drive-In Theater, 5890 Valley Pk. Halloween Event Weekends. Oct 20-21 and Oct 27-28. Trunk or treating, costume contest, haunted trail, bounce house, magic show, and seasonal movies. not all activities are available every night. For more information, 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. Oct. 20-21, 23-28 at 11:30 a. m. 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

Halloween season festival in Luray, Va.

Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Camp Resort, 2250 US Highway 211 East. Halloween Ghosts and Goblins Weekend. Oct. 20-22. Wagon rides, trick-or-treating, Pumpkin Painting contest. Prizes. Haunted Pavilion. For more information, visit

Rock music concert in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Opera House theater, 131 West German St. Litz performs funk, jam, go-go, soul, electronica and more. For more information, call 304-876-3704 or visit

Outdoor festival in Winchester, Va.

Wilsons Wild Animal Park, 985 W. Parkins Mill Rd. Pumpkin Patch and Hayrides. Runs Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 5. Event included in admission price. For more information, call 540-662-5715

Americana music concert in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W Main St. Seth Glier, Matt Nakoa perform folk music. Tickets: $22. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit

Rock music concert in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Opera House theater, 131 West German St. Litz performs funk, jam, go-go, soul, electronica and more. For more information, call 304-876-3704 or visit

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

168 N. Dry Well Rd. Fast and Furious Friday Nite, Bike Night-Dragon Style plus Bonfire Nite. Racing schedule subject to change. For more information, call 540-291-3724 or visit

Click here to see more things to do...


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.

Cullers Overlook, Shenandoah River State Park in Warren County, Va.

Also known as Andy Guest State Park, its hiking trails provide scenic views of the Shenandoah River and Massanutten Mountain Range.

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