Farms, Factories, and the Frontlines: Shenandoah County in the World Wars

Farms, Factories, and the Frontlines: Exploring Shenandoah County's Role in WWI and WWII

From 1917-1918 and again from 1941-1945 the United States was involved in two catastrophic World Wars. These conflicts touched the lives of almost everyone in the nation at that time.

The Shenandoah County Library is happy to partner with Shenandoah County, the Shenandoah County Historical Society, other local historic organizations, and the state of Virginia's WWI and WWII Commission to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI and the 75th anniversary of WWII between 2016 and 2020. Our efforts, and statewide initiatives, are designed to:

Honor our veterans
Inspire a desire to learn more about the role our communities played in World War I and World War II
Connect historic sites with visitors interested in these conflicts
Preserve the history of these wars
Read below to learn about upcoming events, our county museum trail, and much more.

Historic Resources

The Truban Archives at the Shenandoah County Library is the area's primary repository of documents and photographs related to the World Wars. As part of this commemoration we have launched a major effort to collect materials related to the conflicts and to provide access to these online through our digital archives. You can see our online WWI and WWII collections at archives.countylib.org. Anyone willing to any physical items related to these conflicts, or to have them scanned and returned, should contact the archives at (540)984-8200 or email our archivist at zhottel@countylib.org.

WWI/WWII Museum Trail

The following local museums and historic sites will have displays related to World War I and World War II throughout the commemoration period.

Strasburg Museum, 440 E King St, Strasburg, VA
Edinburg Mill, 214 S. Main St., Edinburg VA
Mt. Jackson Museum, 5901 Main St, Mt Jackson, VA
Fort Valley Museum, 8631 Fort Valley Road, Fort Valley VA

Community Theatre

In 1940 William Dalke and his family completed a new movie theatre on this site in Woodstock. At the time it was one of two theatres operated by the Dalkes in Woodstock and one of several in their chain of movie houses in Shenandoah County. When it…

Fort Valley Manganese Mines

When Europe went to war in August of 1914 the residents of Fort Valley Virginia could have scarcely realized how important their small community would become to the US economy. During the late 1800s a manganese mine had operated in Fort Valley to…

New Market Observation Tower

After Pearl Harbor Americans feared that their communities could be targeted by the enemy, so a civil defense organization was created. Though officials realized the risk of attack was slight, they supported Civil Defense to help monitor military…

Edinburg Observation Tower

After Pearl Harbor Americans feared that their communities could be targeted by the enemy, so a civil defense organization was created. Though officials realized the risk of attack was slight, they supported Civil Defense to help monitor military…

St. Peter's Lutheran Church

In the late 1700s, Shenandoah County residents who were members of the Lutheran and Reformed denominations banded together to form Frieden’s Union Church west of Toms Brook. This served the needs of Toms Brook’s residents until the mid-1800s when…

Shenvalee

The Shenvalee began in 1926 when Roland F. Hill came to New Market and purchased what was then called the “Dr. Strayer Farm.” Hill would use the land to create a resort hotel and golf course. Local newspaper publisher John G. Miller would eventually…

Historic Courthouse

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…

Strasburg Emporium

In 1907 the Strasburg Textile Manufacturing Company opened on this site. The company manufactured various finished silk products. In 1934 Charles Pratt purchased the company and focused on producing silk casket linings using raw materials imported…

Ashby District Honor Board

During both WWI and WWII, country residents sought ways to memorialize their family members, friends, and neighbors who were serving in the armed forces. One of the most popular ways they found was by erecting an honor board. These wooden signs…

Casey Jones/Woodstock Brew House

Starting in the 1920s, clothing and textile manufacturing became prominent industries in the Shenandoah Valley. One group that operated in the area was the Casey Jones Work-Clothes Company. They opened plants in Woodstock, Mt. Jackson, Shenandoah,…