Woodstock Virginia

Tour curated by: Shenandoah County Library and Woodstock Museum

A tour of historic sites within the Town of Woodstock.

Woodstock is the fourth oldest town in Virginia. Steeped in history, the town was home to the famed Revolutionary Peter Muhlenberg, who came in 1772 to serve as a Lutheran pastor. He is most remembered for his fiery 1776 sermon in which he called his congregation to arms casting away his robes to reveal his uniform for the Continental Army proclaiming there is “a time to pray and a time to fight and now is a time to fight”.

The town features various historic sites from the Revolution, Antebellum period, Civil War, and the early 20th century. The majority of these are located inside the old town boundaries which extend from North to South Street, and from Commerce to Water Streets. Notable among these is the area surrounding Court Square which for decades was the town, and county's, commercial center.

Locations for Tour

In April 1795 county justices ordered construction of a new stone courthouse on this lot. It would be constructed of native valley limestone. Courthouses served as a symbol of law and order. For this reason, county leaders designed the building to be…

Constructed in 1906, this building replaced a stone jail that had been built 100 years earlier. That structure featured a jail yard, wooden fence, and small, dark cells that were called the “dungeon.” This new jail was designed to improve…

In the summer of 1908 the Woodstock School Trustees completed this new, brick High School to serve as the area’s Graded and High School. Plans for it were started in 1906 and construction began the following year. A private donation of $3,000,…

Founded in 1823 after a disastrous fire, the Woodstock Fire Department is an all-volunteer organization that serves the residents of Woodstock and Shenandoah County. From approximately 1883 until today the fire department has been located on Court…

In 1868 members of Woodstock African American community banded together to construct a church building on this site. Though the date this congregation was formed is lost to us, it most was around this time when African Americans were enjoying the…

Massanutten Academy began in September of 1899 when the Virginia Classis of the Reformed Church opened the school in the residence of former US Senator H.H. Riddleberger which had been enlarged to serve as classrooms and the boy’s dormitory. The…

In 1777 public records show that a house on this lot was willed to Anthony Knicely’s wife upon his death. This is most likely the first reference to the structure that is now known as the Wickham House. The original portion of this house is on the…

Around 1772 the front portion of this house, made of dressed limestone, was built on Muhlenberg Street in Woodstock. It was one of the few houses in town that was not a log structure. This fact highlights the wealth and privilege associated with the…

In 1834 Dr. John G. Schmitt, a Swiss immigrant, arrived in Woodstock Virginia. Schmitt, who was physician, soon opened a drug store on Main Street. In those days, before modern medical practices, a doctor often served as both your doctor and…

Trains belong to the Manassas Gap Railroad first arrived in Woodstock on August 27, 1856. The following year, a two stall engine house was constructed near this site. This structure would be destroyed during the Civil War. In 1885 a depot was built…

Despite the attention given to passenger service and its depots, the main railroad business in Woodstock and Shenandoah County was freight. The region exported hundreds of carloads of agricultural products each year while importing heavy machinery,…

In November 1769 the Governor, Council, and Burgesses of the Colony of Virginia approved an act that created the Beckford Parish of the Episcopal, then Anglican Church. As defined, Beckford covered what is now Shenandoah County Virginia. Since the…

St. John’s Bosco is a product of the influx of Irish immigrants who came to Shenandoah County in the mid to late 19th century to work on the local railroads. Two of these individuals, Michael Geary and Patrick Reiley, organized and built the…

Methodist Francis Ausbury, one of the first two Methodist Bishops in the United States, visited this area numerous times between 1790 and 1809. At the time, Methodist ministers and pastors from other denominations spent most of their time on…

The first Lutheran Church in Woodstock predated the arrival of the town’s founder Jacob Mueller. Local German residents had felt the need for a place to practice their Lutheran faith and had therefore constructed a modest wooden structure in the…

As early as 1906, Woodstock’s African American community was using this land as a burial site. Prior to this, most African Americans had been buried in the town’s slave cemeteries where many of their ancestors rested. This new site, named…

In 1822 the Rev. William H. Foote, a Presbyterian, began preaching in Shenandoah County. He noted that when he arrived there were three members of that denomination in the county, one in Woodstock and two in Strasburg. That number would grow…

Members of the Christian Church, also called the Disciples of Christ, have worshiped in Woodstock since the mid-19th century. Though few records exist, we do know they held their first meetings in the Courthouse alongside the Episcopalians and…

Members of the Christian Church, also called the Disciples of Christ, have worshiped in Woodstock since the mid-19th century. Though few records exist, we do know they held their first meetings in the Courthouse alongside the Episcopalians and…

On September 16, 1951 the Shenandoah County Memorial Hospital was dedicated in Woodstock Virginia. This was the result of a massive fundraising campaign that lasted just over five years. Prior to the completion of the hospital, individual doctors…

In 1886 a group of local businessmen, farmers, and community leaders banded together to form the Shenandoah County Agricultural Society. This organization was designed to promote the area’s agricultural, commercial, and industrial products to…

This building in downtown Woodstock has been used for many purposes. Though no evidence exists to show when the structure was built, we do know that it was in existence in 1845 when the Gatewood family occupied the house. At the time John Gatewood…