The Fort Valley Museum’s Annual Appreciation Dinner and Program will be held on Wednesday, May 9th, at the Fort Valley Fire Hall, beginning with a meet and greet at 6:00 p.m.
The catered buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. will be followed by a special program detailing life here in Fort Valley during World War II. Narrated by Hank Zimmerman, it will include facts and tales from the war years, music of the period sung by “Triple Creek,” with Con Burch, Deborah Selby Taylor, and Angie Vann (our own version of the “Andrews Sisters”?), and a skit presented by the Dorham family.
Recognition of our Museum volunteers–those who are so indispensable to the existence of the Museum–and a short Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Fort Valley Museum will round out the evening. We very much hope to enlarge our pool of docents in order to open Trinity Church’s reference room and new exhibits to the public for one weekend each month, so bring your calendars and be prepared to sign up!
Please plan to join us at the Fort Valley Fire Department, 7088 Fort Valley Road, at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9th. Cost of the dinner is $16.00 per plate, payable in advance or at the door.
Contact Dorothy Corder (540-933-6332, firstname.lastname@example.org), John Gaunt (540-933-6690, email@example.com), or Dianne Maggard (firstname.lastname@example.org) for reservations, which must be made no later than May 2nd.
New at the Old Brick Church are: an attractive Historic Brick Walkway which makes the building more accessible, and a new AC and heating system. We are in the midst of two important campaigns: the annual Capital Funds Campaign (letters go out within the week,) and a major effort to enlarge our pool of docents to tend the Museum on weekends. Each docent will be asked to bring their calendar and commit to at least two afternoons during the season.
For many years, Jim Trott contributed his time and talents to the service of the Fort Valley community, and he made several important additions to our life at the Museum. A talented and creative photographer, his many years with the National Geographic Society served him well in providing us with views of our surroundings. Taken away from us by one of nature’s cruel maladies, his friends and family fondly remember Jim for his friendship, his wit and his many acts of kindness, affection and support.
• Shenandoah County Historical Society Annual Banquet – Tues., May 15, VFW in Edinburg, 6:00 p.m.
• Fort Valley Museum Season Opens Memorial Day Weekend – May 2627
• 15th Annual Ice Cream Social – Sun., July 29, 2:005:00 p.m.
• Christmas in October – Sat. & Sun., October 27th & 28th
This season, our big display at the back of the Old Brick Church continues to cover Fort Valley involvement in both World Wars I and II, and we are expanding the collection of memorabilia from World War II. If you have any World War II related items that you would be willing to loan us, we would very much appreciate it! Please contact Dorothy Corder at 540-933-6332 (email@example.com)We hope to have Trinity Church open to visitors one weekend per month. Attractions there are the displays of individual Fort churches, a spinning exhibit, a new display about how Fort folks listened to music in the early 20th century, and the archives/research room facilities. Exhibits in the Fort Valley Museum do change, and we’re always looking for better ways to honor and illustrate Fort Valley’s past. Please don’t hesitate to come forward with your ideas about new exhibits or better ways to showcase what we have.
In 1830, Fort Valley farmer Daniel Munch donated a two acre piece of land, which he specified be used for a church and school. He also asked that the church be known as a Free Church, one that was open to all Protestant denominations. It was here that The Old Brick Church, at Dry Run, was built. The one-room church was made of locally fired red bricks and featured an upstairs gallery built for slaves who might attend church with their masters. Over the next century, the church was home to at least five different denominations, and was in constant use. After the final congregation worshiping there built its own church in 1949, the Old Brick Church became a community meeting place.
By the 1970s, the building was becoming run-down. In 1972, the Old Brick Church trustees decided that the space should be used for a museum. The building was then re-deeded to the trustees of an entirely new community organization, the Fort Valley Museum, Inc. On the weekend of July 4, 1974 the Fort Valley Museum opened its doors to the public for the very first time. Since that time it has served the Fort Valley community by gathering, preserving, and showcasing items from its past. In 2004, under new leadership, the Museum was painted and spruced up. Its expanded activities included an Oral History program and the first Ice Cream Social. In December of 2008, the trustees of the Trinity Brethren Church generously deeded their church building and its surrounding property to the Museum. The Trinity Church space now houses displays on the history of Fort Valley Churches and organizations, an office, and the nucleus of an archive. Plans are under way for a “Hands-on Children’s Room” and a Genealogy Room.
The Fort Valley Museum is a bright and welcoming community museum that depicts Fort Valley’s past history. Exhibits include: The Church; The One-room School, The Fort’s 19th century Cold-blast Iron Furnaces (along with the history of cast iron stove plates found locally), The Seven Fountains Resort (1850-1888), The Home, The Farm, The Country Store, Music in the Fort, and a recently donated collection of local Shenandoah Valley Pottery.
In addition to the original Museum building, the Old Brick Church (circa 1830), the Trinity Brethren Church (1904) on Dry Run Road became a part of the Museum in 2008. This lovely old church is open to the public on special occasions and by request. It currently houses a religious and organizational history of the Fort, and a newly created spinning exhibit. In progress are a portrait room and an archive and genealogical resource room.
The Fort Valley Museum is open each Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day Weekend through October.
Hours: 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 2:00-5:00 p.m. on Sundays.
8631 Fort Valley Road; the intersection of the main Fort Valley Road with Dry Run Road.
From Front Royal or Strasburg, take Rte. 55 to Rte 678, Fort Valley Road. Turn south on 678, travel about 10 miles. The museum is on the right at Dry Run Road. From Edinburg (U.S. 11 north), turn right (east) on Rte 675 to T-intersection at King’s Crossing. Turn left (north) on Rte. 678, go about 8 miles. The museum is on the left at Dry Run Road.
John Gaunt - President
Dorothy Corder - Vice President
Debbi Dellinger - Treasurer
Dianne Maggard and Meg Trott - Corresponding Secretaries
Eileen Drinkwater - Recording Secretary
Dorothy Corder - Curator
Meg Trott - Archivist
Philip Crisman, Jr.
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Website development and maintaince contributed by Hank Zimmerman