- Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley region of western
Virginiaand West Virginiais bounded by the Blue Ridge Mountainsto the east and the Appalachian and Allegheny Plateaus to the west. It is located within the Ridge and Valley region and is a portion of the Great Appalachian Valley.
Named for the river which stretches much of its length, the Shenandoah Valley encompasses seven counties in Virginia (Frederick County, Clarke County, Warren County, Shenandoah County, Page County, Rockingham County, and Augusta County) as well as two counties in West Virginia (Berkeley County and Jefferson County). Between Roanoke in the south and Harpers Ferry in the north, where the Shenandoah River joins the Potomac, the Valley contains municipalities of various sizes like Staunton, Harrisonburg, Winchester, Lexington, Waynesboro, and Front Royal. The northern section of the Shenandoah Valley is split in half by the
The Valley contains a number of geologically and historically significant limestone caves:
Luray Caverns, "designated a National Natural Landmarkin 1974"
Grand Caverns, "designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973"
Madison's Cave, "visited by George Washington; mapped and published by Thomas Jefferson"
The word "Shenandoah" was derived from a Native American expression for "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars." The
Valley Pike(or Valley Turnpike) began as a migratory trail for tribes such as the Delaware and Catawba, who called it the Great Warriors Trail. Later colonists called it the Great Wagon Road, and it became the major thoroughfare for immigrants moving by wagonsfrom Pennsylvania and northern Virginia into the backcountry of the South.
The road was refined and paved for motor vehicles. In the 20th century, the Valley Turnpike was a
toll road. Then it was acquired by the Commonwealth of Virginiawhich incorporated it into the state highway system as U.S. Highway 11. For much of its length, the newer Interstate 81parallels the old Valley Pike.
The Shenandoah Valley is a productive agricultural region. Despite the great promise of the rich farmland of the Valley, colonial settlement from the east was mostly barred by the barrier of the
Blue Ridge Mountains. They had been crossed by Governor Alexander Spotswood's legendary Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expeditionat Swift Run Gapin 1716, but settlers did not follow.
Instead, the Valley was first settled by German and then by
Scots-Irishimmigrants from Pennsylvaniain the 1730s. The former were known as "Shenandoah Deitsch." Both stocks came south into the Valley from the Potomac River. The Scots-Irish comprised the largest group of immigrants from the British Isles before the Revolutionary War, and most migrated into the backcountry of the South. [David Hackett Fischer, "Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America", New York: Oxford University Press, 1989,, pp.605-608] This was in contrast to the chiefly English immigrants who had settled the Virginia Tidewater and eastern Piedmont regions.
The Shenandoah Valley was known as the breadbasket of the Confederacy during the
American Civil War. It was the site of battles between Union and Confederate forces.
In the late 20th century, the valley's vineyards began to reach maturity. They constituted the new industry of the Shenandoah Valley
American Viticultural Area.
* [http://www.ci.front-royal.va.us/frat.asp?M=2&P=10&S=0 Front Royal Area Transit] (FRAT) provides weekday transit for the town of Front Royal.
* [http://www.vatransit.org/info_page.htm Page County Transit] The People Movers provides weekday transit for the town of Luray and weekday service between Luray and Front Royal.
* [http://www.winchesterva.gov/transit/ Winchester Transit] provides weekday transit for the city of Winchester.
* [http://www.shenvalleycommuters.com/ Shenandoah Valley Commuter Bus Service] offers weekday commuter bus service from Northern
Shenandoah Valleyincluding Shenandoah County and Warren County to Northern Virginiaand Washington, D.C.including Arlington County and Fairfax County. Origination points in Shenandoah County include Woodstock. Origination points in Warren County include Front Royal and Linden.
Interstate 81is a major route that cuts through the Shenandoah Valley from its northern terminus at the Virginia/ West Virginiaborder through Winchester through Harrisonburg and on south.
2003 Virginia earthquake
Buena Vista, Virginia
Eastern Mennonite University
Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia
James Madison University
Mary Baldwin College
Natural Bridge (Virginia)
Southern Virginia University
Valley Baseball League
* Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign
Valley Campaigns of 1864
Virginia Military Institute
Washington and Lee University
* [http://www.virginia.org/site/features.asp?FeatureID=4 Shenandoah Valley - Official State Tourism Website]
* [http://www.visitshenandoah.org/ Visit Shenandoah Website]
* [http://www.shenandoahvalleyweb.com Shenandoah Valley Web - General Information]
* [http://www.svtc-va.org/ Shenandoah Valley Technology Council]
* [http://www.shenandoahatwar.org/ Shenandoah At War, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation]
* [http://www.civilwartraveler.com/virginia/valley/ CivilWarTraveler.com - Virginia's Valley and Mountains]
* [http://www.valleyconservation.org Valley Conservation Council]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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