Mt. Jackson Virginia

Tour curated by: Shenandoah County Library

A tour of historic sites in the town of Mt. Jackson.

The Town of Mt. Jackson began with an Act of Assembly on January 27, 1826. The state made the decision, over the objection of some locals, to name the village, formerly known as Mt. Pleasant, after Andrew Jackson.

Two Turnpikes, the Valley and Howard's Lick defined the town. The first, the major north south highway in the area, passed through the center of town and defined downtown. The latter originated in town and traveled to resorts in Orkney Springs and West Virginia. These two roads brought thousands of travelers to and through Mt. Jackson during the antebellum period.

In 1858 the railroad arrived. The terminus of the Manassas Gap Railroad reached the town before construction ended as a result of the Civil War.

During that conflict the Confederate States of America established a large hospital complex in Mt. Jackson.

Today the town's economy is a mix of tourism, agriculture, and industry. It contains a thriving downtown and commercial district.

Locations for Tour

In 1884 local businessman J.I. Triplett founded the Mt. National Bank with $50,000 of capital. Triplett was a well-established commercial leader who was responsible for operating several mills, electric power plants, banks and stores in Shenandoah…

On February 14, 1925 the Triplett High and Vocational School in Mt. Jackson Virginia burned to the ground. Soon community activists, including Dr. J.I. Triplett responded and raised enough money to construct a new school on the same site. Local…

As early as 1844 a Lutheran congregation existed in Mt. Jackson Virginia. Though they did not have their own building, they had regular meetings in the town’s Union Church. However the Lutherans outgrew the Union Church and decided to build their…

Trains first arrived at Mt. Jackson in 1859 when the Manassas Gap Railroad completed construction of a new line that terminated in the town. Though the railroad intended to extend the route to Harrisonburg, money had run short. Anyone wishing to…

In 1877 the Shenandoah County School Board purchased a one-half acre lot to build a new school in Mt. Jackson. This would be the first county operated, public school in the town. The new structure would be finished the following year. It was part of…

On March 30, 1786 Methodist members of the community now called Mt. Jackson purchased a one acre plot of land near Red Banks for five shillings. Eventually they built a church called Bethel Ford Methodist Meeting House on this site. Over time, the…

Sometime after the Civil War, Levi Rinker of Mt. Jackson donated a plot of land to that town’s African American community to serve as their cemetery. Later, an additional lot owned by Amanda Thorpe was also deeded to the cemetery. This separate…

In 1955 Triplett and Vehrencamp closed their downtown store and reopened under the name Vehrencamp's on the north end of town. This new structure had been operating as the Rinker Brother's Filling Station but originally had been the Mt.…

Throughout the 20th century, one of Mt. Jackson’s most prominent commercial establishments was Triplett and Vehrencamp, a farm supply and hardware business. Located on Main Street, near the current town hall, this organization occupied a sprawling…

This structure was constructed in the 1920s to house Mt. Jackson’s growing number of commercial establishments. Originally it was known as the Carroll Building. It is a two story, wood frame establishment, with business space on the first floor and…

This two story, frame, L shaped, Queen Anne home was constructed around 1904. Dr. Folley, a local medical practitioner, lived here and had his office and examination room in this house. Today it is an apartment building.

In the early part of the 20th century, Mr. S. Lonas of Mt. Jackson constructed this building to house his mercantile business. Like many merchants at the time, Lonas dealt in most any time of merchandise customers wanted. His inventory included…

In his will, dated June 16, 1822, Reuben Moore gave one-half acre of land in Mt. Jackson for the use of a meeting house, school house, and burying ground to be used by “all Christian Ministers of any society.” Though Moore would not die until…

This structure was built around 1900. It is a two story, wood frame, L. Shape building. Originally it was a carpenter shop. Later it was converted into a residence and owned by the Fadley family for many years.

In 1884 Dr. J.I. Triplett opened the Mt. Jackson National Bank in this building. It was the first national bank in Shenandoah County and the only one for over a decade. From 1863 until 1935 the Treasury Department allowed certain banks to be…

This two story, wood frame structure was completed in the early 19th century. It was constructed of v-notch logs, a typical German building design. Today it is covered in weatherboarding. A kitchen and dining room were added in the rear. The original…

This house was constructed around 1825. Before this, a log cabin that was home to Riley Moore, an original European resident of the area, stood at the site. The house is a Federal Style structure with interior chimneys. Locally it is known as…

Around 1805 the Pennybacker family built this home in Mt. Jackson. Drawing upon their great wealth gained through the operation of several local iron furnaces, the Pennbackers were able to construct on of the most opulent structures in town. In the…

This house is probably one of the oldest in Mt. Jackson. It was constructed around 1800 by Aaron Allen, a descendant of Benjamin Allen the original European owner of the land on which Mt. Jackson stands today. In 1849 it and several other houses…

This small frame structure was built in the early 19th century and became known as the Jordan property. It has served Mt. Jackson in various ways. Primarily it has been a commercial institution, providing a home to many town businesses. Initially…

This two story, brick structure, is one of numerous early 19th century Federal style buildings in the town of Mt. Jackson. The house was built around 1830 by Alexander Pollock, one of the individuals who helped sponsor Mt. Jackson’s town charter…

In 1927, the Maryland Manufacturing Company opened a new plant in Mt. Jackson Virginia. This organization was associated with the Casey Jones Work-Clothes Company and made jeans, overalls, and other clothing for the US Navy and factories around the…

Around 1880, John P. Lonas of Mt. Jackson built this 2 story, l-shaped, Queen Anne style house near the south end of town. Lonas was a mercantile dealer and the success of his business is reflected in the size and design of his home. Eventually the…

At the turn of the 20th century, C.M. Shannon of Mt. Jackson built this structure. On the first floor was his growing hardware business. On the second was his family’s living quarters. During this period, the downtown communities in each of…

This two story, wood frame structure is typical of many downtown buildings in the area. It was built around 1913 by the Evans family. Walter Evans operated a barbershop on the first floor along with his wife, Mae’s tea room. They lived on the…

In 1938, Burgess Nelson, a local businessman and Gulf Oil Dealer, built this theatre in Mt. Jackson. It was the first purpose built theatre in town and was modeled after the Rosalind Theatre in New York City. The theatre’s popular Art Deco style,…

Around 1886 this building was constructed in the center of Mt. Jackson. It was designed as a typical downtown structure, with commercial space on the first floor and apartments on the second. Eventually it became the Hawkins restaurant, operated by…

In 1931 a group of concerned residents banded together to form the Mt. Jackson Fire Company. Their first fire engine was built on a 1931 Packard touring car chassis by company members. It was stored in a shed owned by Rufus “Boots” Lindamood in…

Just before the Civil War, a group of Mt. Jackson residents built this structure to house a local hotel. While the war interfered with their plans at first, an 1871 map does indicate that the building housed a hotel and post office. At that time, it…

In the 1920s, Charles Richard Shannon demolished an old house on this site and erected a new building to serve as the town’s post office. Apartments were housed on the second floor. His son, James Shannon became the Postmaster for the town of Mt.…

Around 1886, Margaret Muse Pennybacker completed this house. Her ancestors had been influential commercial leaders in the area and had acquired a great fortune from numerous iron furnaces. They had also been major slaveholders and harsh taskmasters.…

In 1897 Samuel Lonas purchased a mill at this site during Joseph Maphis’ bankruptcy sale. The “Maphis Mill” as it was commonly called had been constructed shortly after the Civil War when Joseph Maphis had acquired the land and rebuilt a mill…

In the summer of 1939 Charles Bowman, a Mt. Jackson Orchard Owner, and his two sons Gordon and Courtland traveled to New York State to purchase the bankrupt Gilbert Apple Products plant just north of Mt. Jackson Virginia. This 80,000 square foot, two…

On April 14, 1880 the Shenandoah Herald reported that B.F. Myers of Mt. Jackson had been granted a license to keep an ordinary and retail liquor store in that town. The exact location of this establishment and dates when it operated are unknown.

According to the Shenandoah Gazateer and Geography Supplement, Doris Proctor operated a saloon in Mt. Jackson Virginia.

Built in 1836 the Central Hotel was designed to serve individuals travelling on the Valley Turnpike. Providing spirits would have been part of its mission from the beginning. Who the early operators of the site where is unknown, but in the 1880s…

Along with most other county towns, Mt. Jackson had an active Council of Temperance during the late 19th and early 20th century. The group promoted restrictions on the sale of alcohol, in some cases including a complete ban. One of the earliest…

On April 14, 1880 the Shenandoah Herald newspaper reported Robert Wilson of Mt. Jackson Virginia had been granted a license to keep and ordinary and retail liquor store in Mt. Jackson Virginia. The exact location of the business and when it operated…

On May 12 1893 the Shenandoah Herald reported L.H. Knighton of Mt. Jackson had been granted licenses to operate an ordinary and to sell retail liquor at the Willard House which he operated. The exact location of the Willard House and when it operated…

On October 5, 1837 an advertisement in the Woodstock Sentinal newspaper announced S.M.B. Stewart of Mt. Jackson was selling his tavern on Main Street in that community. The sale bill reported it was a "large and commodious" public house…

On March 17, 1964 the Mt. Jackson Town Council certified a petition from its citizens asking the state ABC Board to construct a liquor store in the town. On August 11th of that year the board approved the request, noting a referendum was not needed…

On March 17, 1964 the Mt. Jackson Town Council certified a petition from its citizens asking the state ABC Board to construct a liquor store in the town. On August 11th of that year the board approved the request, noting a referendum was not needed…