The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
After three centuries, it’s still a family affair in Waynesboro, Va.

Early map of Waynesboro, Va.


Waynesboro, Va. is named after American Revolutionary Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne, but the town's story actually goes back before that. Europeans first laid eyes on the Shenandoah Valley as early as 1707, when John Lederer became the first white man to hike over what is now Shenandoah National Park.

Eight years later, acting Colonial Virginia Gov. Alexander Spottswood and his band of “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe” crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains to behold a beautiful valley and winding river.

They christened the river the “Euphrates,” but that name never stuck. Apparently the name of a legendary Native American princess ultimately seemed to be a better fit for this extraordinary place.

Of course, Virginia was a British colony in the 19th Century and huge chunks of American land had been divvied up and distributed as grants among the English noblemen who were fortunate enough to have good connections with the Crown. As colonists spread westward, the grants included land in the Shenandoah Valley.

As new settlements began to form near gaps in the Blue Ridge mountains, two early settler families, the Alexanders and the Stuarts, arrived from Scotland via Rockfish Gap, which today provides I-64 drivers a scenic route through the mountains.

These two founding families are being celebrated at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum in Waynesboro, with a special exhibit that runs until the end of February, 2017. 

Valley history: Celebrate it at any time of year

February may certainly be one of the quietest months of the year. It’s after the Holidays, but before the warm Spring months. We never know what February weather is going to be like. It’s a good time of year to search for American roots as one can only do in the Shenandoah Valley. The more history you uncover, the more there always is to discover.

  Happening today

Public program at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Va.

Blandy Experimental Farm library. Invasive Species Information Session. Free admission. For more information, call 804-641-1642 or visit

Museum tours in Winchester, Va.

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Gallery Walkabout. Explore the galleries. Weather permitting. Free admission. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit

Youth photo exhibition in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. Youth Art Month. Retrospective exhibit of student photographs created over the years in the local boys and girls club photography program. Runs Feb. 22 through April 1. Gallery hours: Wednesdays through Fridays, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Reception March 4 from 5p.m.-7 p.m. Hosted by Berkeley Arts Council. For more information, call 304-620-7277 or visit

Health program at Eastern Mennonite University

Suter Science Center. Dr. Jennifer Bryant, associate professor of biopharmaceutical sciences at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University, presents Home Improvement for Your Heart: Cardiac Remodeling and Collagen VI.  For more information, call 540-432-4211 or visit

Film screening at Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg, Va.

41-F Court Square. 20th Century Women. Rated R. Show schedule continues Feb. 19-23, 2 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. daily. Members save 20 percent and get free popcorn. Tickets: $9.50 for adults. $8.50 for seniors and students. $8 for matinees before 5 p.m. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit

International Cafe at Mary Baldwin University

Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement. Dr. Daniel Metraux, professor emeritus of Asian studies: U.S. and China Relations in the Trump Era. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-887-7113 or visit

Downtown festival in Winchester, Va.

Old Town Restaurant Week. Feb. 20 - 25. Participating restaurants offer three courses for $30 per person Hosted by Old Town Winchester. For more information, call 540-535-3660 or visit

Winter Hours schedule at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Va.

235 East Beverley St. Interpretive and, self-guided tours through the museum and the period garden, and the President`s Shop open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays, and 12 p.m. through 5 p.m. on Sundays. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays during January and February. Normal hours resume on March 1. For more information, call 540-885-0897 or visit

Bluegrass music jam sessions in Lexington, Va.

Blue Sky Bakery, 16 Lee Ave. Live bluegrass music every Wednesday morning. Bring a musical instrument to jam with, or just listen.

Art exhibition at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W. Main St. A group of artists present Properties of Imagination-The Art of Fine Craft. Runs through Feb. 26. Open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or during theater performances. For more information, call 540-943-9999 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.

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Virginia

The arboretum has been a part of James Madison University campus since 1985, consisting of 125 acres of unspoiled forest land and hiking trails, including this small swinging suspension bridge.

About Manny Jose

Manny Jose has loved the Shenandoah Valley since the mid-1970s when he came to the area as a university student. He moved back to the Valley permanently in 1999. Subsequently, since 2012, he has been passionately taking photographs to capture the scenic beauty, rich history, unique people groups and cultures, and current happenings in the Valley. by Manny Jose