Historical Fun in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Harrisonburg is a city in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and it was founded in the 18th century. It has a number of historical attractions including the following:
1) Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District
During the Civil War, the Shenandoah Valley served as the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy.” It had a lot of mills and grain, and it was conveniently near roads and railroads. The area includes the Civil War Orientation Center at the Hardesty-Higgins House which provides information about Civil War sites in the area. The Orientation Center has a large map and a Civil War timeline.

2) Harrsionburg Downtown Historic District
The historic district of Harrisonburg boasts architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors can enjoy walking tours, art museums and historic churches. Court Square, which is in the center of the district, is home to the court house. The Hardest-Higgins House is one of a few buildings from the antebellum period. The Queen Anne Joshua Wilton House, which is now a bed and breakfast, was built in 1890.

3) Bus Tours of Civil War Sites
The Blue Ridge bus company will visit such places as Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters, the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, the Turner Ashby Monument and the New Market Battlefield Historical Park. The last is also home to the Hall of Valor, a museum that includes a timeline of the Civil War. The tours are seasonal and take place every Thursday. The buses leave from the Massanutten Resort.

4) The Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center
Members of the Mennonite and Brethren traditions have lived in the Shenandoah Valley for two centuries and have kept a low profile for much of that time. The Center educates both visitors and followers of the Mennonite and Brethren traditions about the history and beliefs of the two groups. Visitors can tour the various historic buildings which include a one-room schoolhouse, a log cabin, a smithy, and a wash house.

5) The Shenandoah National Park
The Shenandoah National Park was established as such in 1935—but people have been living in the area for centuries. The park has several Civil War sites associated with it and is also home to Rapidan Camp, a summer retreat established and used by President Hoover and his wife.
About the Author: Jenny is a guest contributor from By the Side of the Road Inn, a beautiful Harrisonburg inn located just near all these wonderfully historic attractions.

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