The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
 
Early Page County settlement sought religious freedom in the Shenandoah Valley

Mennonite alter in Elk Run Meeting House, Luray Valley Museum

 

The Luray Valley Museum is located on the sprawling campus of Luray Caverns, one of the largest Shenandoah Valley tourism attractions. In terms of number of annual visitors to this region, it's perhaps only second in size to nearby Shenandoah National Park.  The entire attraction covers several hillside acres rising on the west side of the town of Luray, Va., along U.S. Route 211.

The caverns themselves are clearly the main attraction. Smaller venues are also located there, including antique toy and automobile museums, an outdoor garden maze and rope course, interactive mining sluice activity, carillon tower and others. In 2010, the heritage museum was added.

The heart of the Luray Valley Museum is a visitor center that houses a number of galleries interpreting centuries of Shenandoah Valley history. A collection of authentic 19th century buildings have been painstakingly relocated here from various parts of the county.

Historic artifacts, folk art and other artwork, and old tools, as well as antique furniture, clothing and other items are on display. Various historical periods are represented, ranging from pre-Colonial days to around 1925.

The galleries certainly have something to offer for any age level. There also is a lot there for serious historians.

“The museum is about the everyman,” says Luray Caverns Corp. Senior Vice President, Rod Graves.

“It's about the little guy. And there are a few famous people in here, but even those famous people were everyday people that made America what it is today. And a lot of American culture. This was kind of a gateway to the West. And a lot of that culture was brought out of this place, right here.”

Mr. Graves says that the museum‘s “cornerstone” is a 1536 Bible that had been printed in Switzerland and later accompanied a group of Mennonite immigrant families when they traveled to the American colonies in the early 1700s. The Mennonites were a group associated with the Christian Anabaptist denomination.

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Shenandoah is for it’s SEASAONS

March winds always bring the promise of a new season. The days are longer and warmer, even if the weather is still a bit fickle. We can want to be indoors one moment, outdoors the next. But with each lengthening day, the promise of Spring grows stronger. Indoors or out, there is always something new to discover in the Shenandoah Valley. And so it goes during March!

  Happening today

Fishing Workshop at Murrays Fly Shop in Edinburg, Va.

121 S. Main St. Learn to Fly Cast and Rig Tackle Workshop. March 25, and April 8, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Outdoor casting lawn session: Learn all of the standard and specilized casts as well as roll casts, curve casts and shooting line. This part of the workshop is taught on our casting lawn. Indoors: Learn to rig your tackle, including special knots. Practice gear provided, or bring your own. Admission: $20. For more information, call 540-984-4212 or visit www.murraysflyshop.com


Boxing competition at Virginia Military Institute

Cocke Hall. 2017 USIBA Boxing Nationals. Finals March 25 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 540-464-7852 or visit www.vmi.edu


Bluegrass music concert in Luray, Va.

Luray Fire Department, 1 Fire House Ln. Bluegrass Night. For more information, call 540-743-5585 or visit lurayfiredept.org


Puppet theater performance in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Wonderment Puppet Theater, 412 W. King St. 9th anniversary party follows puppet show. March 25-26. Doors open 12:40. Show Time 1 p.m. Reservations requested. For more information, call 304-258-4074 or visit www.wondermentpuppets.com


Film screening at Court Square Theater in Harrsionburg, Va.

14 Court Square. A United Kingdom. Documentary. PG-13. Shows on  March 25 at 5:45 p.m. 8:15 p.m. March 27-30 at 4:35 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Members: 20 percent off and free popcorn. Tickets: $9.50. Seniors and students, $8.50. Matinees before 5 p.m., $8. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit www.ValleyArts.org


Film screening at Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg, Va.

14 Court Square. Reel Change Documentary Film Festival. Through March 25. Free admission. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit www.ValleyArts.org


Historical commemoration at Kernstown Battlefield in Winchester, Va.

610 Battle Park Dr. 155th anniversary of the First Battle of Kernstown. March 25, 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Historical programs at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on March 26. Guided tours of battlefield, 1854 Pritchard House, the museum and the artillery annex. Living history reenactors. Gift shop.   For more information, call 202-302-9129 or visit www.kernstownbattle.org


Community program at Bowman Library in Stephens City, Va.

871 Tasker Road. Chess at Bowman Library. For teen and tween ages, all skill levels. Play chess and strengthen your skills of the game. Student volunteer-run program. Chess sets and space provided. For more information, call 540-869-9000 or visit www.handleyregional.org


Benefit concert in Staunton, Va.

Lewis Creek Market, 300 Church St. CASA Rocks Benefit Concert and Dinner. The Judy Chops, The Findells, and Moore Lex Park on stand up base and Nathan Moore on electric guitar. 10% of proceeds benefits CASA for Children. Admission: $10.


Theater production at Rouss Center for the Arts in New Market, Va.

9357 N. Congress St. Rose and Walsh. Neil Simon comedy. Performances March 25 at 7:30 p.m. March 26 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For more information, call 1-888-341-7313


Outdoor program at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

336 Belle Grove Road. Plantation History Hike and Luncheon, led by archaeologist Dr. Clarence Geier. Hike covers grounds not normally open to public. Catered BBQ lunch follows hike. Outdoor photo opportunities. Admission: $50 per person. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit bellegrove.org


Historical exhibition at The Heritage Museum in Dayton, Va.

382 High St. Mobile exhibit by the Virginia WWI and WWII Centennial Commission. March 24-25. Regular museum hours: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 540-879-2616 or visit www.valleyheritagemuseum.org


Art exhibition opening reception at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. Winslow McCagg Exhibit Opening and The Sugar Clouds Concert. Reception at 7 p.m. and music at 8 p.m. The Sugar Clouds are an Electro Psychedelic Folk Ensemble from Detroit. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit barnsofrosehill.org


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Coriolanus performance at 2 p.m. The Merchant of Venice performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com


Poetry reading in Luray, Va.

Performing Arts Luray, 1 E. Main St. Poetry Slam. For more information, visit performingartsluray.com


Art exhibition in Staunton, Va.

Staunton Makerspace, 222 South Washington St. Arts and Artisan Maker Faire.


Civil War history program in Winchester, Va.

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. First Battle of Kernstown Commemorative Walking Tour: Kernstown Battlefield on the Pritchard-Grim Farm and the MSV Rose Hill Park. Morning and afternoon walking, break for lunch. Hosted by Kernstown Battlefield Association. Free admission. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.themsv.org


Youth program at Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market, Va.

8895 George Collins Parkway. Family History Day. Youth-oriented activities and special programs interpreting the Civil War. Outdoor activities. Living history demonstrations. Film screening. Family friendly. For all ages. Admission: $3 per person, ages 6 and older. For more information, call 1-866-515-1864 or visit www.vmi.edu/newmarket


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 naturalbridgedragstrip.com


Songwriter concert at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 N Loudoun St. Upstairs - Out Of The Box. Matt Hires and Kyle Cox. For more information, call 540-665-2878 or visit www.brightboxwinchester.com


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 www.renegadeartglass.net


Orchid show in Winchester, Va.

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Orchid Show and Sale: Orchids Galore. March 25-26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn about growing and caring for orchids from experts in the Lord Fairfax Orchid Society. Show and sale. Bring your own orchids. Special beginners class at 1 p.m. March 25. Call 540-247-1052 to register. Admission: Admission: $20. Galleries access included in museum admission fee. Free admission. For more information, visit www.themsv.org


Bluegrass music concert at Shepherdstown Opera House in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

131 W German St. Colebrook Rd. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets: $7. For more information, call 304-876-3704 or visit www.operahouselive.com


Boating competition in Shenandoah, Va.

Shenandoah River Park, Morrison Rd. James Madison University Crew Club Mock Regatta. Free admission.


Auto race at Shenandoah Speedway in Shenandoah, Va.

301 Precision Road. Speedway Open Practice. For more information, visit www.shenandoahspeedway.com.


Poetry reading in Winchester, Va.

Robinson Auditorium at Handley Library, 100 W. Piccadilly St. Book reading by area poet Nicole Yurcaba, an English instructor at Bridgewater College. Hosted by Friends of Handley Regional Library. For more information, call 540-662-9041, extension 31 or visit handleyregional.org


Theater production at Winchester Little Theatre in Winchester, Va.

315 W. Boscawen St. Absolutely Dead. March 10-25. Showtimes: Tuesday through Thursday at 7 p.m. , 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday For more information, visit www.wltonline.org


Theater production in Edinburg, Va.

107 Center St. Theatre Shenandoah presents Evita. Musical. Performances run March 24-26, March 31 and April 1-9. Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Tickets available locally at the Edinburg Mill, and online. Tickets: $15 for adults and $12 for senior and students. For more information, call 540-984-3972 or visit www.theatreshenandoah.org


Art workshop in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. Taking Control of Your Digital Camera, digital photography workshop. March 25, and April 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost: $90, pre-registration required up to three days before start of class. Limited availability. Hosted by Berkeley Arts Council. For more information, visit www.berkeleyartsWV.org


Historical festival at Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market, Va.

8895 George R. Collins Parkway. Family History Day. Hands-on Civil War living history. Historical film presentations. Education-oriented booths. Food, baked goods available for sale. Books for sale. Family friendly. Advance tickets: $ 3 per person. For more information, call 1-866-515-1864 or visit www.vmi.edu/museums-and-archives/virginia-museum-of-the-civil-war


Youth festival in Luray, Va.

Ralph H. Dean Rec. Park. PCSO Easter Egg Hunt For more information, visit townofluray.com


Dinner fundraiser at Natural Bridge Park in Natural Bridge, Va.

Natural Bridge Hotel and Conference Center, 15 Appledore Lane, Jefferson Room. Reverse Raffle Benefit. Dinner for two, cash bar. Win $10,000 and valuable prizes. Overnight lodging available. For more information, call 770-714-6206 or visit rotarylexvalunch.org/reverse-raffle.php


Country music concert at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W Main St. Wilson Fairchild. Tickets: $35. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.waynetheatre.org


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. March 25 and 26 at 11:30 a.m. April 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 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


Benefit walk event in Harrisonburg, Va.

Walk for Hope, hosted by Eastern Mennonite University and co-sponsored by the Austin Frazier Memorial Fund, Eastern Mennonite University, James Madison University, Bridgewater College and Blue Ridge Community College. Honors death of a junior at James Madison University For more information, visit www.emu.edu per studentlife/coachlink/austin-frazier


Choral music concert at Shenandoah University

Armstrong Concert Hall, 702 University Dr. Shenandoah Singers spring concert. Tickets: $15. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs


Historical program in Middletown, Va.

St. Thomas Chapel, 7854 Church St. Dr. Deborah Lee: Religion and the Anti-Slavery Movement.  Hosted by Shenandoah Valley Chapter of Coming to the Table. For more information, call 540-869-3051.


Civil War history program in Harrisonburg, Va.

Melrose Caverns Lodge, Harrisonburg. 5th Annual Red, White, Blue, and Gray Ball. Music by the Shenandoah Valley Minstrels. Social hour at 6 p.m. Ball 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Semi Formal, Period attire or appropriate dress. Benefits Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Hosted by Shenandoah Valley Civil War Era Dancers. $20 singles, $35 couples at the door. For more information, visit www.shenandoahatwar.org


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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.

Hugh Morrison Jr. Archives Photo: Shenandoah County Farmhouse

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.

...photo by Hugh Morrison Jr. Archives Collection