Shenandoah County Museums

Tour curated by: Shenandoah County Library

Shenandoah County residents have always been interested in their history. As early as the 1820s, published works began to emerge that interpreted the Valley’s past. Various festivals, displays, pageants, and lectures added to these efforts as the 19th and 20th century passed by.

In the 1950s citizens began to create organized groups that would preserve the area’s history and tell its story. Between 1960 and 1990, historic organizations emerged in the Towns of Woodstock, Strasburg, Mt. Jackson, New Market, and Edinburg. During this period, other efforts spurred the creation of historic organizations designed to tell the story of Shenandoah County, Fort Valley, and the Hottel-Keller family. Many of these groups opened museums during that period or assumed responsibility to events that would enhance the connection between the past and the present.

Today there are eight local history organizations/museums. These are:

-The Strasburg Museum www.strasburgmuseum.org
-The Strasburg Heritage Association www.strasburgvaheritage.org
-Hottel Keller Memorial Inc. (Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum) www.hottelkeller.org/
-Fort Valley Museum www.fortvalleymuseum.org/
-Edinburg Heritage Foundation (Shenandoah Valley Cultural Heritage Museum at the Edinburg Mill) www.edinburgmill.com/
-Mt. Jackson Museum
-New Market Historical Society www.newmarkethistoricalsociety.org/
-Shenandoah County Historical Society (Historic Shenandoah County Courthouse Museum) www.shenandoahcountyhistoricalsociety.org/
-Woodstock Museum of Shenandoah County www.woodstockmuseumva.org/

In addition, Shenandoah County is home to the Shenandoah County Library’s Truban Archives (countylib.org), Virginia Military Institute’s Virginia Civil War Museum, and a portion of the Cedar Creek-Belle Grove National Park. Be sure to visit each of these sites to discover the history of our area and the story of how it is told.

Locations for Tour

This land was settled by the George F. Hupp, Sr. family in the 1750’s. Him, and his descendants, became successful farmers and local leaders. During the Civil War, this position was important strategic point. Both Union and Confederate forces…

Around 1890 the building that now houses the Strasburg Museum was constructed by the Strasburg Stone and Earthenware Manufacturing Company. Organization by Strasburg resident Dr. Granville Brown, this company operated a large steam pottery plant on…

Sometime after occupying Hupp’s Hill on October 20, 1864, Federal troops belong to the second division, VI Corps of General Phillip Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah began work on a series of fortifications to protect themselves from Confederate…

In 1750 George Keller, husband of Barbara Hottel, received a land grant from Lord Thomas Fairfax. This 400 acre portion of land became the Keller home when he and his family settles there ca. 1760. Surrounding this property was land owned by…

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…

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 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…

In 1848 George Grandstaff built this mill to serve the needs of local farmers. It produced processed flour from the Valley's two major crops, wheat and corn. During the Civil War the Mill was threatened by Union troops under General Phillip…

In 1830, Fort Valley resident Daniel Munch donated two acres of land to house a school and church. He required that the church be available for all Protestant denominations. The one room church building that was constructed there was made of locally…

In 2008 a second building, Trinity Brethren Church, became part of the Fort Valley Museum. The trustees of that congregation were no longer able to support the building due to a decline in membership and transferred ownership top the museum to ensure…

In 1807 John Strayer constructed the front portion of this building at the corner of the Valley Pike and what was then the Sperryville Turnpike. The structure held both his home and mercantile business that sold hardware, clothing, and paint.…

As part of his 1864 campaign, Union General Ulysses S. Grant ordered Federal forces under General Franz Sigel to march through the Shenandoah Valley and destroy the railroad and Confederate Army’s base of supplies. This 9,000 man force began to…