West of the Blue Ridge Series: Agriculture

Your music selection for this installment is “The Black Nag/Morrison’s Jig.”

Kurtz Cultural Center Exhibits
Entrance panel to “West of the Blue Ridge” with scythe from Edward Durrell Collection, COSI, Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry and “Over the Blue Ridge” photograph by James N. Holmes.

In 1729-1730, Jacob Stover petitioned to create a 13th colony from the Virginia interior and bring Swiss-German farmers as settlers. This was a departure from the pattern of settlement in the east of Virginia, where grants were typically made to the wealthy English. The petition to the Colonial government struck at a fateful time. The Shenandoah Valley had been a place of escape for slaves fleeing a James River plantation in 1727. Although they were captured, the idea of the Valley becoming a haven for escapees had been planted in Virginia Governor William Gooch’s mind. This petition offered a way to settle the land and simultaneously not endanger the English elites.

Gooch denied the petition for the new colony, but approved immigrant farmers settling the Valley. The grants were to be made to “persons of low degree in life who are known amongst their equals as morally honest.” The stipulation was to have one family for every 1,000 acres. Attracted by the prospects of inexpensive and rich farmland, successive waves of Scotch-Irish and German immigrants settled in the valley.

“The necessary labors of the farms along the frontiers were performed with every danger and difficulty imaginable. The whole population of the frontiers, huddled together in their little forts, left the country with every appearance of a deserted region; and such would have been the opinion of a traveler concerning it, if he had not seen here and there some small fields of corn or other grain in a growing state.” — Samuel Kercheval, 1850

"West of the Blue Ridge" Exhibit
Various farm implements were displayed, including a 19th century grain flail from Jefferson County Museum, Charlestown, West Virginia; a cowbell and a cow hobble from the Edward Durrell Collection, COSI, Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry; and an early 1800s sleigh from a local collector.

At first farmers in Old Frederick County raised crops and animals mostly for their own subsistence, but the rich soil and moderate climate combined to make the Valley the most important wheat-producing region in the Upper South by 1800. The change to wheat as a primary cash crop instead of tobacco as in eastern Virginia was said by Samuel Kercheval to have been inspired by the French Revolution in 1794, when all kinds of bread stuffs became enormously expensive. Wheat and flour production enriched the region for years afterward. In addition to wheat, local farms produced rye, oats, corn, and hay said to be “superior in quality and quantity” than average.

Advertisement publicizing the repair of Sperry’s Mill on Redbud Run, said “not to be an elegant building, but sufficiently calculated for the reception of a large quantity of wheat.” – Winchester Advertiser, May 7, 1788

By the American Revolution the average Valley resident owned between 100 and 400 acres: increasingly, however, larger tracts of land were concentrated in the hands of a select few and tenancy was on the rise. To the west of the Opequon Creek, small family farms characterized the landscape: few people held more than 100 acres. On these small farms, families worked together in the fields. Samuel Kercheval remembered, “Many females were most expert mowers and reapers.” The yoke displayed from the Edward Durrell Collection, COSI, Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry, is the size worn by a woman or a child.

By contrast, the eastern Virginians who settled in east Frederick County in the 1780s and 1790s recreated Tidewater plantation society. These farms were set up with grand manor houses and large-scale agricultural production. Larger farms like Vaucluse outside of Stephens City could also have mills for flour production on site. Foreseeing the growth in agriculture, in 1785 Nathaniel Burwell and his partner, Daniel Morgan, established a merchant mill to buy, sell, and mill local grain and export flour in Millwood. Along with the positives of a successful commercial crop on the local economy, wheat and the large-scale agricultural endeavors helped spread slavery in the Valley. By 1800 approximately 5,000 enslaved African-Americans lived in Old Frederick County, a little more than 32% of the population.

Slavery as an institution was not universally embraced by the Valley settlers. In 1782, Virginia law made the private manumission of enslaved individuals permissible. In an attempt to further this work, a group of Frederick County residents petitioned the Legislature in 1785 to outlaw slavery. Although unsuccessful in this early abolitionist attempt, Winchester became a haven for free African-Americans. Free African-Americans were required by law to register in their place of residence and to carry on their person at all times written proof of their status. Dennis Johnston was among the twenty-one Frederick County slaves manumitted by planter Robert Carter in 1799 and issued a certificate of freedom. His name, along with many other locally-recognizable names, appears in the Winchester 1833 Free Negroes and Mulattoes list available at the Library of Virginia.

Join us next time on November 19 to examine the commerce west of the Blue Ridge!

Friday Roundup: Upcoming Events and Feedback

Submit your feedback for two City projects currently approved in the five-year Capital Improvement Plan. Your feedback is requested for the Millwood Avenue Traffic Improvements and Green Circle Trail Phase IV Options by November 19, 2021.

The French and Indian War Foundation and Winchester Public Schools invite you to a lecture “Handley High School: The Jeffersonian Soul of Winchester” by Dr. Carl J. Ekberg on October 24, 2 PM, in the Patsy Cline Auditorium at Handley High School. The event is free and open to the public.

Would you like a fact sheet to help guide you through the HTC-GO bill mentioned in the last Friday Roundup post? Check out the National’s Trust’s fact sheet to help you understand why this update is a potential boon to nonprofits working with historic buildings.

From the National Trust Forum is a notice of the 2021 Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds Annual Meeting “Reclaiming African-American Cemeteries in your Community.” The event will be held Saturday October 23, 2021 virtually from 10 AM – 3 PM. All who are interested in cemetery conservation are invited to attend the meeting at no cost. However, to join the meeting online you must register in advance. To register go to Eventbrite or the Facebook for PAHallowedGrounds.

For a bit of levity familiar to old house enthusiasts and timely to the season, check out the “My House in October” comic by Brian Gordon at Fowl Language Comics. We approve of fixing up your scary facade when the weather permits, though! For just such a story, stop by WMRA’s coverage of the Bath County Pools Restoration Is Back On…Again to check in on this Endangered Property highlighted by Preservation Virginia in 2010.

124 W. Boscawen St.
Work on the side porch is progressing at 124 W. Boscawen Street. Take a peek next time you pass by!

Friday Roundup: Welcome to October!

Thanks for your patience as we hold the announcement of the house line up for the Holiday House Tour. We can confirm tickets will be available for purchase starting November 15 at the Bough & Dough Shop at the Hexagon House, Kimberly’s, Winchester Book Gallery, and the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center. An online purchase option will also be available, along with a digital version of the program booklet.

To tide you over until we have more updates on the tour side, we’ve prepared a visual guide for our Bough and Dough Shop. The schedule for 2021 is going to be a little different than our past years’, so to help you plan what days the shop will be open, we have created a calendar below. Be sure to visit the Hexagon House on the days highlighted in yellow to do some local shopping between 10 AM and 5 PM. Please note we are reducing the shop floor space to just the kitchen and the greenery on the back porch this year.

We will most likely be in need of evergreen cuttings for the “bough” side of the shop. If you have plans to trim or remove cedar, pine, juniper, boxwood, magnolia, holly, or other greenery in late November, we will be grateful to accept your clippings at the Hexagon House during the Shop. We recommend making large drop offs prior to 10 AM, after 5 PM, or on our closed days to prevent congestion in the parking lot with shoppers. Volunteers may be able to trim and haul smaller plants for you. If you have questions about greenery donations, please contact us at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577.

PreserveCast has an interview up with Merrill Hoopengardner to talk about the historic tax credit. From the podcast description: “In mid-September, House Democratic-led committees approved a more detailed $3.5 trillion package of bills with HTC enhancements similar to the HTC-GO (H.R. 2294). Next in the legislative process, the bill must move to the House floor, pass the House, pass the Senate, and be signed into law. Washington insiders believe that a final bill will be negotiated with the Senate before it goes to the House floor and is likely to be significantly reduced in both size and scope. If passed, the infrastructure bill would include the most substantial enhancements to the Historic Tax Credit in a generation. To support the efforts in getting these provisions across the finish line, please reach out to all Democratic Senators and ask them to support the HTC enhancement provisions included in the House infrastructure bill. To learn more about how you can contact your representative, click here.

Fall Fauna
Deer visited the backyard at the Hexagon House this week.

Friday Roundup Grab Bag

Paper bag update: We are so tickled with the paper bag drop off response! Thank you to everyone who has helped out. We are mostly looking for smaller bags at this point – think sandwich bags or small gift bags instead of the grocery store bags. The contactless drop off bin will remain outside on the back porch for your convenience.

French & Indian War Weekend: On September 25 at 10 am, see French and Indian War history come to life at Abram’s Delight Museum (located across from the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center) on S. Pleasant Valley Road. Event provided for free to the public by the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society.

Historical program: The Friends of Handley Regional Library System present an informative free local historical program in the Handley Library Robinson Auditorium on September 25 at 2 pm entitled “Judge Richard Parker: A Man of His Times.”  Judge Richard Parker was born in Richmond, Virginia and studied law at the University of Virginia. He was elected judge of the thirteenth judicial circuit in 1851. He was living in Winchester when he served as the judge in the trial of John Brown and his men after the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. 

On-demand training: The National Preservation Institute has a number of of demand online courses related to cultural resource management. There are both free and paid courses available. If you are looking to brush up or learn new skills, check out their course offerings.

Yellowjacket update: The Hexagon House is still inundated with yellowjackets. The board room remains completely unusable at this time. Please be patient, as the interior and porch swarms are more resistant to treatment than the yard nests.

Holiday House Tour sponsorships: There’s still time to reserve a spot in our Holiday House Tour program booklet. Full, half and business card size spaces are still available. If you’re interested in reserving a spot, contact PHW at phwinc.org@gmail.com for more information.

West of the Blue Ridge Series: Winchester’s Founding

The music selection for this installment is “Northfield.

“Winchester is built on a small hill; it is a collection of brick houses and painted frame houses. Well cultivated plantations, adjoining each other, surround the base of the cone on which the town is situated; on the side of the mountains which form an amphitheater, other plantations can be seen. A black and deep soil, which requires only light tillage, yields abundant harvests. Nature is in all her magnificence there!” –Ferdinand Bayard, 1797

Away, I'm Bound Away
Jenny Powers, curator for the “Away, I’m Bound Away” exhibit, January 12, 1995.

The land grants in the Shenandoah Valley were planned as a buffer between the eastern established settlements of Virginia and the French colonies and Native Americans to the west. German, Swiss, and Scotch-Irish immigrant farmers were recruited to settle the Shenandoah Valley in the 1730s. The vast land grants to settlers like Joist Hite, Alexander Ross, and John and Isaac Van Meter (with stipulations for them to recruit one family for every thousand acres) practically ensured the newcomers to the Valley would not be English elites, like the majority of the Tidewater Virginians, but self-reliant and independent farmers from more modest backgrounds.

The new settlements were located in a travel route designated by the Treaty of Albany for the Native Americans, and unsurprisingly, conflict arose between the two groups. Settlers pleaded to the Colonial government for assistance. In 1738, Frederick and Augusta counties were formed – the first counties created west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The formation allowed settlers to organize and protect themselves with a local militia.

Exhibit launches birthday fete
Three generations of direct descendants from James Wood review a plan of the original 26 lots laid out in downtown Winchester at the “James Wood and the Founding of Winchester” exhibit, April 1994.

About the same time, James Wood was commissioned in 1734 by the College of William and Mary to survey Orange County, the “parent” county for Frederick. Although his early life remains shrouded in mystery, this surveying commission is his oldest documentation in the colonies. As part of his privilege as a surveyor, Wood claimed 1241 acres in the area that would become his home Glen Burnie and the future site of Winchester.

Wood had already received his commission to be clerk of court for Frederick County, but there was no court to speak of initially. The Colonial government had waited to order the establishment of the county court, reasoning that the people who had settled here were “not yet understanding the English language.” The settlers continued in a state of judicial limbo until tensions between the Iroquois and the settlers forced the issue in 1743.

As a surveyor, and therefore a prominent citizen who had likely amassed some wealth from his industry and appointed offices, Wood received court approval to form Winchester’s original lots in the modern-day downtown. In March of 1744, Wood announced he had surveyed twenty-six half-acre lots and two thirty-three foot streets (Loudoun and Boscawen) to create a county town. As part of the agreement, Wood donated parcels for public use, encompassing the lots between today’s Loudoun, Cameron, and Boscawen streets and Rouss Avenue. The Treaty of Lancaster, also signed in the founding year of 1744, helped quell the disputes between settlers and the Iroquois and drive peaceful trade through the town.

Despite Winchester appearing on paper as a sure bet for the county seat, Thomas, Lord Fairfax, the proprietor of the Northern Neck, had other ideas. As described by T. K. Cartmell, “We know that many of the present inhabitants of the old town have had handed down to them the belief that Lord Fairfax actually sliced off from his immense holdings a sufficient quantity of land, and gave, or dedicated, it for the use of the citizens of the County for the purpose of a county seat, that eventually developed into the far-famed Valley City. Such impressions are wrong; and should have been corrected years ago.” Fairfax indeed gave nothing to Winchester and wanted Stephensburg (Stephens City) to have the honor of county seat. It was established in 1758 and according to one description, “was settled almost exclusively by Germans, whose descendants long preserved the customs and language of their ancestors.”

James Wood and the Founding of Winchester Exhibit
“Ye Public Lotts of Winchester,” enlargement from the Neill Wood original of the same name, 1932.

The court selected Winchester through the lobbying of James Wood, who “served a toddy to the judge with the deciding vote.” Winchester became the Valley’s leading commercial, judicial and governmental center within several decades. The first courthouse was built between 1747 and 1751. Concentrated residential and commercial patterns in the town, an early water system (1808) and paved streets (1809), two weekly newspapers and a book publishing industry were indications of Winchester’s increasing urbanization. The vigorous economy encouraged a number of artisans, merchants, and tavern keepers to settle there. Equally important were the free African-Americans that Winchester attracted after 1782 when Virginia law made the private manumission of enslaved individuals permissible. By 1785 the Lower Shenandoah Valley was no longer the edge of the frontier.

Join us for the next installment looking at some of the agricultural history of the Valley on October 15!

Friday Roundup: Donation Updates and the Kurtz Business Enterprise

This week at the office, we’ve been working on filing newspaper clippings relating primarily to PHW’s Annual Meetings and Preservation Awards. While working on these files, we noticed a good number of gaps in the 1960-1980 range of Annual Meetings. If you happen to come across any invitations, newspaper clippings, notices for election of board members, or similar bits, please feel free to drop them off at the PHW office. Likewise, if you or a building you know of received an award from PHW and you don’t see it on our past award page, please let us know which award category, who/where the project was, and what year so we can correct our listings.

We are also extra thankful for a donor who dropped off a large quantity of paper shopping bags for our Bough and Dough Shop this week. We have temporarily taken in the drop-off bin while we sort through and see if there are some gaps in our needs left. We’ll update our needs soon, but from the looks of it, we will probably be looking for smaller gift bag types specifically next week.

As a belated nod to Labor Day, below we have reprinted and lightly edited for clarity selections from Danny Fisseha’s paper “The Kurtz Building – In Connection with the Business of the Community” from the oral history project of the Kurtz Building, 1988, for your reading pleasure this week.

The Kurtz Building
The Kurtz Building, 2 North Cameron Street, is the location most associated with Capt. Kurtz’s furniture and funerary business.

Captain George W. Kurtz – soldier, cabinet maker and the oldest and best known funeral director in Virginia at the time of his death, died on November 14, 1926 at the age of eighty-nine. As a young man he learned how to make cabinets. He then worked with Stephen Stackhouse making furniture and coffins, which led him to his lifelong business.

In 1868, after serving in the Continental Morgan Guards and the 5th Virginia Infantry Stone­wall Brigade[1], Capt. Kurtz established a furniture business in Winchester, Virginia. In 1876 or 1877[2] he bought the warehouse at Cameron and Boscawen Streets. Here, with the help of the railroad track coming straight to Winchester, he established his business of undertaking in the northwestern part of the state. He made most of his furniture himself and his clientele was mostly upper and middle class. On the other side of his furniture business, he also had a cabinet making business employing five other workers. He was appointed to the first Virginia State Board of Embalmers and served for a quarter of a century by a successive appointments starting June 1894 through 1922.

Despite the initial success of the business, it began to experience a decline by the end of his life. The loss of the rail system directly serving the building and competition from other funeral providers exerted the initial pressure. The biggest blow came after his death. It was uncovered that Kurtz never paid any income tax from 1868 to 1926. The federal government sent a bookkeeper at the expense of the Kurtz family to transcribe the records from the start of the business; consequently this cost them a great deal of money as back taxes were assessed and paid. The business was kept running by his daughter, Miss Lucy, and other close relatives until the 1960s to reach its 100th anniversary. Shortly after, the competition and loss of profit forced the business to shut down and the Kurtz Building was sold.

Kurtz Memorabilia
Miss Lucy Kurtz looks at a display of photographs and memorabilia, including an image of her father George W. Kurtz, in the center right hand frame. Photograph donated to PHW by Godfrey O’Rear (Jr.?), 2000

Friday Roundup: Labor Day Weekend Miscellany

The PHW Office will be closed on Monday, September 6 for the holiday. We’ll be back on Tuesday!

We’ve had a few questions pertaining to our Holiday House Tour and Bough & Dough Shop calls for help. For our paper bag donation request, we are looking for all sizes of bags, from small gift bags/sandwich bag up to full size paper grocery bags. Any donations are welcome, and can be left in a bin on the back porch of the Hexagon House at any time. For volunteering obligations as a Holiday House Tour docent, plan to have a shift of about two hours during the Sunday tour. You may also have around half an hour to forty-five minutes of script training and house walkthroughs before the event. Docents are NOT expected to memorize scripts. If you have other questions, just let us know!

The Patsy Cline Block Party returns this Saturday, September 4, in the 600 block of South Kent Street! The event takes place between 10 AM and 4 PM. Come out to celebrate Patsy’s life and music, the designation of the Patsy Cline House as a National Historic Landmark, and the tenth anniversary of the event. The block party is free to attend, but house tours, which will begin at 11:30 AM, will cost $5.

The Comprehensive Plan Update open house and public hearing was held August 31. If you couldn’t attend in person, you can still get up to speed before submitting your feedback through the upcoming online form by reviewing the Comp Plan Update materials and watching the presentation and public hearing online. Stop by Rouss City Hall during regular business hours (main floor-Level 2F) to view the open house exhibits through September 14.

Ghost Sign on North Kent St.
The ghost sign on the Fairfax Lane side of 300 N. Kent, where Melvin Lewis operated a grocery store from about 1936-1962.

As part of our ongoing image captioning project on our social media, the ghost sign for the E. N. Hardy Grocery Store at 300-302 North Kent Street came up in the queue this week. When we spotted the ghost sign and took a quick picture of it in the spring, we didn’t get time to research it. The photo caption project provided the perfect chance to look through the copies of the city directories we have here at the PHW office. Sure enough, we came across one directory entry in 1929 for the 302 N. Kent half of the duplex as the location for E. N. Hardy, grocer. His business appears to have been short-lived, as the 302 side of the building was constructed around 1927, and it was changed to residential use by the time of the 1936 city directory. The grocery business instead moved to the 300 N. Kent half and was operated by Melvin Lewis until about 1962. Thanks to Linda Fiddler for providing her memories of going to the store every day, Stephen Brown for providing the information Melvin and his wife Ruth lived on Woodland Avenue and she worked for Judge Henry Whiting, and Scott Straub for providing Melvin’s draft card confirming he was a self-employed grocer at 300 N. Kent St.

Calling all photographers! The City’s 2022 annual informational calendar photo contest is now open. Click here for the free to enter online submission form. The deadline to submit up to five qualifying photos is November 1, 2021

We are always surprised to find more photos lurking in our program file folders to scan. This week, we uncovered a sampling of products from Arise Studio, which set up a mobile shop in December 1990 as part of a fundraiser for the Kurtz Cultural Center. The timing of the find was fortuitous, as the fundraiser helped the dedicated Patsy Cline display go into the first floor visitor’s center and gift shop area of the building. Take a peek at the five photos at the top of our photostream, and jog your memory of the display with the photo below!

Kurtz Cultural Center
The Patsy Cline memorial display case in the Kurtz Cultural Center, during a program for the “James Wood and the Founding of Winchester” exhibit, 1994.

Friday Roundup: Comprehensive Plan and Selected Reading

Comprehensive Plan Update: If you want to see what the Planning Commission is recommending for future land use in the city, stop by City Hall on Tuesday, August 31 at 5:30 pm to talk with staff and review exhibits. At 6:30 pm, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and they want to hear your thoughts. Written comments can be submitted but must be received by 5 pm on August 27 to be provided to the Commission prior to the meeting.

If you are traveling to Colonial Williamsburg this fall, you may want to keep an eye out at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum for a silver tankard made by Paul Revere. You can learn more about the item at the History Blog.

Visit the Public Domain Review for a photo essay Porch Memories by Federica Soletta. As we’ve already touched on here at PHW, porches are uniquely embedded in American architecture and culture. Combining historic images and small vignettes helps bring the photos to life and highlight the porch as a scene of American life.

Some of our best finds in the tracing of historic stories are from the Virginia Chronicle newspaper collections. The Library of Virginia dedicated a blog post to the worldwide tour these scanned and searchable pages take before they become accessible to researchers online.

Strong Towns blog posted a four part series on the alley in America. Catch all four parts in The American Alley: A Hidden Resource, Origins of the American Alley, End of the American Alley, and Rediscovering the Forgotten Human Scale. The series has been collected into a free downloadable ebook, also available on their blog.

PHW Summer Newsletter Online

The summer edition of the newsletter is now available on our website! Printed versions are in the mail, but you can grab a peek now.

As part of the summer newsletter, we have included two forms pertaining to our Holiday House Tour. First, we are once again planning to produce a program booklet to accompany the tour this year, and so we begin our request for sponsors. Sizes and rates are the same this year as in the past, and the PHW Office can provide more particulars if you are new to the booklet advertising opportunities. Click here for the sponsorship form.

Second, since we took a break from heavy volunteer usage in 2020, we have included a volunteer form as well. We are always in need of volunteers during the Holiday House Tour, and this time we’ve broken down the volunteer options a bit more so you can be paired up with a job you are comfortable with. Click here for the volunteer form.

Sponsorship and volunteer forms can be returned by email to phwinc.org@gmail.com or by snail mail to PHW, 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601.

West of the Blue Ridge Series: Introduction

Welcome to a new series of articles that will be posted once a month from now until June 2022. As the PHW Office will be closed for all business on a number of Fridays for the next year, we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to highlight some of our older collected work from our Kurtz Cultural Center era. To produce and compile this series, we will be utilizing a number of the major exhibits hosted in the KCC during the 1990s, including the titular “West of the Blue Ridge” and “James Wood & the Founding of Winchester,” with additional information from the Shenandoah University exhibit “Valley Pioneer Artists and Those Who Continue” (itself the starting point for much of the “West of the Blue Ridge” exhibit) and others.

The posts will draw from exhibit texts, student and teacher guides to the exhibits, the digitized exhibit images, printed materials, press releases, and even the playlist of music that accompanied the “West of the Blue Ridge” exhibit. We hope this series will be nostalgic if you experienced it the first time, and informative if this is your first brush with this part of Winchester’s history.

Kurtz Cultural Center
Workers ready displays for the “West of the Blue Ridge” exhibit at the Kurtz Cultural Center in 1993.

Believe it or not, Winchester, Virginia was once the “Williamsburg of the West.” In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the lower Shenandoah Valley was a prosperous and bustling crossroads for western migration. The region was a gateway to the southern backcountry and the new western territories: across Valley roads moved people, goods, services, and ideas. Winchester, founded in 1744, was already the largest and most significant city west of the Blue Ridge after the American Revolution, when Americans were looking to the west of their new nation.

The series’ name “West of the Blue Ridge” derives from a petition in which area residents asked the state legislature to build a courthouse in Winchester because they were tired of traveling east of the Blue Ridge. In the petition, local people emphasized that they were different from people east of the Blue Ridge. About 40 percent of the population at the time was non-English, and the settlers kept many of their traditions alive, including through their decorative arts.

Whether on a large plantation or a small farm in Old Frederick County, agriculture formed the daily lives of Valley residents. By the American Revolution greater and more specialized crop production had combined with increasingly diverse manufacturing to form a sophisticated local economy. As part of this commercial expansion, Winchester became a thriving city that enticed merchants, craftsmen, physicians, attorneys, and their families to settle there. Winchester flourished at the crossroads of transportation routes west and south, becoming the largest city west of the Blue Ridge. We’ll explore more of the town growth in next month’s installment on September 17!

Varle, C. & Jones, B. (1809) Map of Frederick, Berkeley, & Jefferson counties in the state of Virginia. [Philadelphia: s.n] [Map] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2008621756/.

“As this town is standing on the main roads to Pittsburg, Wheelen, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Warm and other springs, many strangers pass through it, which, besides the great intercourse it occasions, gives a gaity [sic] to the place, and has a great influence on the inhabitants.” – Charles Varle, 1809