The Most Civil War Markers in Virginia

The Winchester – Frederick County area has the highest concentration of Civil War Markers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  This will be an ongoing blog where we continually update the marker locations, content, condition, etc.

Click here for an overview of them all, Mapped out on Google Maps:

A “Malicious Design” “Burning the Winchester Medical College” 39°11’06.8″N 78°10’13.4″W

Abram’s Delight
   “Best Wishes to all at your house”    39° 10.135′ N, 78° 9.636′ W

Attack and Defend: The Confederate Left Flank   “As though ten thousand devils were after them”

Battle of Cedar Creek      “Union left flank”     39° 2.093′ N, 78° 15.427′ W

Battle of Rutherford’s Farm “Union Victory” 39°13’14.6″N 78°07’52.4″W

Beal’s Brigade Holds the Fence Line – Death of Knowlton “A tremendous blow to us”

Breathed’s Confederate Horse Artillery “My best comrade is gone!”

Civil War Earthworks “Where they are compelled by nature…to resort to it” 39°12’23.6″N 78°09’50.6″W

Constructing Star Fort “It was hard work” 39°12’22.3″N 78°09’50.3″W

Duval’s Attack “Hurry up boys, they need help up there”

Dwight’s Stabilizes the Union Right – Charge of the 114th New York “A perfect sheet of lead”

Fort Collier “I never saw such a sight”     39°12’05.6″N 78°09’16.7″W

Frederick County Courthouse     “Witness to war”  39°11’04.0″N 78°09’55.2″W

General Fitz Hugh Lee’s Position “They sighted their guns by the sound”

Glen Burnie
 “Winchester is a very pleasant place to stay in, sir” 39°11’12.5″N 78°10’47.0″W

Jackson’s Headquarters “I am quite comfortable” 39°11’21.5″N 78°09’55.3″W

John Rutherford’s Farm “Interrupted by war”  39°13’14.7″N 78°07’52.4″W

Jordan Springs “Healing springs”    39°12’58.0″N 78°05’03.9″W

Loyal Quaker and Brave Slave “Rebecca Wright and Thomas Laws” 39°11’13.7″N 78°09’51.8″W

Newtown “Burnings and hangings” 39°04’47.8″N 78°13’15.8″W

Rose Hill
“I do not recollect having ever heard such a roar of musketry” 39°09’05.5″N 78°13’14.8″W

Rutherford’s Farm “In the path of battle” 39°13’14.7″N 78°07’52.3″W

Second Battle of Winchester “The guns in Star Fort greeted them” 39°12’22.6″N 78°09’48.4″W

Second Battle of Winchester “A scene I shall never forget” 39°12’21.7″N 78°09’51.7″W

Second Battle of Winchester “Louisiana Tigers capture West Fort”   39°12’53.8″N 78°11’29.7″W

Shawnee Springs Hospital
“Clearing and evacuation facility” 39°10’17.9″N 78°09’43.8″W

Sheridan Renews the Attack “You haven’t begun to fight yet”

Stephenson’s Depot “The Thermoplae of my campaign” 39°13’46.9″N 78°06’35.9″W

Taylor Hotel “Packed with Confederate wounded” 39°11’06.6″N 78°09’54.7″W

The Middle Field “Have this thing stopped at once!”

The Union Attack Across Redbud Run “Bullets, shot, shell, and shrapnel rained on us like hail”

Third Battle of Winchester “The enemy with the fort, hastily evacuated” 39°12’22.2″N 78°09’50.4″W

Third Battle of Winchester – MISSING “One moving mass of glittering steel” 39°13’47.4″N 78°06’35.7″W

Third Battle of Winchester “A gathering of future leaders”    39°12’36.4″N 78°07’38.7″W

Winchester “The Valley Campaigns” 39°11’01.4″N 78°09’50.3″W

How to Enjoy the 4th of July Around Winchester

Yes, you can definitely get your fireworks fun tickets punched here over the Independence Day holiday. I’ve taken a look at those plus a few other activities that will round out your long weekend when you come visit us here in the Winchester area.  I’ve broken these down by date and as always, please let me know if I missed something?

Sunday, July 1st

Newsies at the Shenandoah University Summer Music Theatre (closing night)

Image from Shenandoah University

No, this isn’t very much in the vein of Independence Day, but it sure is a great show and a unique way to start your weekend.  And in case you haven’t been to see a Shenandoah University Summer Music Theatre show, this isn’t some little community theatre.  These are some of the best collegiate theatre students in the country (many of whom go straight to work on Broadway).

As for this show, set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged “newsies,” who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.  Tickets just $36 (discounts for seniors and youth).  Sunday’s show begins at 2:30pm.  Order here.

Wednesday, July 3rd

Rockin’ Independence Eve in Old Town Winchester

This is the region’s premiere Independence Day celebration!  Come enjoy Rockin’ Independence Eve, an All-American event in Old Town Winchester Wednesday, July 3 from 12pm to 9:30pm.

Live music will be set up at the Taylor Pavilion. A beer and wine garden, the Snow White Grill Hamburger Eating Contest, water pong and cornhole will also be available.

Numerous kids’ activities will be located throughout the Loudoun Street Mall on the Old Civil War Court House lawn – don’t forget your kid’s bathing suits so they can enjoy the nearby splash pad!

The evening will be capped off with an impressive fireworks show.  The fireworks will be launched from near the Mount Hebron Cemetery, and will be viewable from several different locations throughout Old Town Winchester, but the best place to view the fireworks show will be from North Kent Street (sorry, due to safety reasons no viewing is allowed from the roof of the Autoparks).





6 Totally Unexpected Finds in and around Winchester

There’s a certain advantage to being the new guy in town (in addition to being able to say “oops, sorry, I’m new here” when I mess something up).  I’m on a mission to discover things, and pretty much everything is new and exciting.  My wife and I have definitely stumbled across some pretty cool stuff, and a number of things have been so unexpected I felt compelled to do a whole blog post about them.  I’m still finding new stuff, so this is in no way an exhaustive list, and I’ll be adding to it in the future.  I encourage you to get out there and find something even more unexpected and let us know about it!  Never stop exploring, even especially in your own backyard.

A Virginia Oyster Trail Restaurant  

So we’re a few hours from the Eastern Shore here in Winchester – didn’t stop us from getting the first inland location on the internationally recognized Virginia Oyster Trail. George’s Food and Spirits Restaurant (attached to the beautiful George Washington Hotel in Old Town Winchester) proudly serves Rappahannock oysters, and just recently got the trail designation. See, we just saved you a trip to get some great oysters.  You’re welcome.   103 E. Piccadilly Street, Winchester, VA 22601

A Japanese-Inspired B&B  

Even a lot of the locals I speak to aren’t aware of this gem located out near Star Tannery, a beautiful 25-30 minute drive SW of Winchester.  Pembroke Springs Retreat is idyllically situated in a small valley with gorgeous sweeping views of the Great North Mountain.  Traditional spring-fed baths, outstanding food, surprising hiking trails, and truly unique rooms featuring different levels of Japanese style can be found here.  This is a pretty grown-up destination, though, so you’ve got a good excuse to leave the kids at home with the grandparents when you visit (“Sorry Mom & Dad, they don’t allow kids under 4 – here they are.  See you in a few days!”).  6238 Wardensville Grade, Star Tannery, VA 22654

Hiking, Vistas and a Waterfall  

No, seriously, this is right here in Frederick County.  Haven’t heard of the Tuscarora Trail?  Well, this is the Appalachian Trail’s cooler, tougher brother.  Under constant development by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), this 252-mile bypass route (and official side trail) for the Appalachian Trail goes just west of Winchester.  A lot of this is ridgeline on or near the Virginia/West Virginia border, and a bunch also goes through the George Washington National Forest.  Well marked but way less busy than the AT with arguably much better vistas in this region (and a small waterfall near Pinnacle Ridge), you’ll definitely be able to one-up all your buddies who think they’ve done all of Virginia’s AT.  Check out PATC Map F and L (available locally at Mountain Trails in Old Town) for more detail, including shelters, access points, and POI’s.  We’re also working to get all of these trails on Google Maps (a pretty time consuming project – it’s in the works!).  Access points in the George Washington National Forest here, Shawnee Land here, and Gore here.

A Yoga Healing Trail  

Bust out your crunchy granola and head on over to this free trail, hidden right here in the city.  A surprisingly quiet, relaxing and meandering spur from the city’s Green Circle Trail, this is located just steps from the Visitor Center.  We saw (and heard) a ton of birds in the tall, healthy canopy of mature trees that make for a great sunny-day hike, making this a relaxing and enjoyable jaunt for anyone (even if you don’t do yoga).  And yes, there are even signs saying its okay to go ahead and hug the trees. Parking lot near 1313 Opequon Ave, Winchester VA 22601

Free Mountain Spring Water  

No, please don’t take your prized Corkcicle tumbler that you just picked up at Simply Charming down to Abrams Creek in the city and start sipping.  We’re talking about underground fed, crystal clear, amazing mountain spring water, tapped and running 24 hours a day in at least two locations we’ve found.  Just to be clear, this is ‘drink at your own risk’ water as it’s not regulated by anyone.  Good, now we can tell you where to find it.  One is on Hwy 48/55 (aka Wardensville Pike) right here, and one is at the entrance to Pembroke Springs Retreat on Wardensville Grade, right here.


A Jazz Café 

Another great spot that a lot of locals I speak to don’t know about.  Stephen’s Jazz Café is a really cool spot with great food located in Winchester right next door to John Kirby’s house.  John Kirby, if you didn’t know, was a big band era jazz musician from Winchester.  Stephen’s has regular live performances, many of which tap into the amazingly talented Shenandoah University Conservatory students musicians.  See, we just saved you another trip into Northern Virginia.  You’ve got a great jazz experience right here!  440 N Kent St, Winchester, VA 22601

Side note, I know there’s an incredible and deep history here in the Winchester area (that includes but is so much larger than the Civil War), but that’s such a big and different topic that we’ll do a whole different post along those lines…

*Disclaimer – no businesses paid us or gave us anything to be on this list – we just love making all these discoveries, as we hope you do when you visit!


7 Unique Boutiques in Winchester

All images by Megan Valentine on behalf of the Winchester-Frederick Co. Tourism Office

Living in the Winchester area my entire life, I’ve been able to scope out all the hot spots for shopping. So as my week-long internship with the Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office was coming to an end, I was sent on a mission to check out the local boutiques. My first initial thought was sign me up, but then it occurred to me, this could lead to trouble and some money spent. Nonetheless, I hit the ground running and got to visit a majority of the boutiques in Winchester. A few hours later, I came back with a compiled list of the boutiques I visited (along with an idea for a new wardrobe). I’ve listed below a brief overview of those shops I visited*. I definitely encourage you to take the time to visit a few of these great local boutiques. ~Megan


The Black Rose

“Dine, shop & relax”. This flourishing business is currently in their 6th year of business, and constantly expanding. With their newest addition, The Black Rose is your one stop shop. You can enjoy some freshly brewed coffee or tea and an all-natural sandwich with California flair, all while browsing the latest fashion collections such as Natural Life, Global Mamas and Soul Flower. But why stop there? The Black Rose Boutique now offers an exclusive Skincare Studio. Plus, this quaint boutique supports local and global artisans. 11 S Loudoun Street, Winchester, VA 22601

Scarpa Alta

Scarpa Alta has been in business for 12 years with 6 years at their current location. This cozy boutique offers a casual feel and is for “every woman.” Scarpa Alta has it all, from current fashion clothing to shoes and accessories to match. They will help keep your style and wardrobe fresh and up to date. Scarpa Alta carries lines such as Free People, Citizens of Humanity, Toms, Sam Edelman, and so much more. 10 S Loudoun Street, Winchester, VA 22601

Posh Pets Boutique

Here’s a boutique you don’t see every day, Posh Pets. Our furry friends need some TLC, too. “We’re more than a pet store” is a pretty spot-on quote. They offer all natural and holistic products to our 4-legged friends. Along with food, Posh Pets offers trainings, grooming, and pet sitting services. Posh Pets also works closely with the SPCA, Dakota’s Dream, and Shirley’s Angel Boxer Rescue. This family owned operation has been in business for 4 years and is open 7 days a week. 16 S Loudoun Street, Winchester, VA 22601

Simply Charming

This locally owned and operated business has been a success since their opening in 2004. The vision of Simply Charming is to empower women in the community. Simply Charming has a homey feel that’s comfortable and inviting. The staff is quick to help when they’re needed and strive to help you feel your best. This charming boutique stays up-to-date with current and trending brands such as Hobo, Corkcicle, Scout Bags, Ronaldo Jewelry and much more. Simply Charming provides much more than clothing, they offer shoes, accessories, and even household items. 28 W Piccadilly Street, Winchester, VA 22601


This up-scale boutique has continued to grow throughout its 27 years of business. Kimberly’s carries a multitude of merchandise, “from baby to sympathy notes.” The success of Kimberly’s created the need for a second building, Kids at Kimberly’s, which is located directly next to Kimberly’s. Unlike many boutiques, Kimberly’s goes the extra mile to incorporate the men in the community with McKee’s. McKee’s has its own separate entrance in the bottom of Kimberly’s, and this is the ultimate upscale man cave. The entire store offers brands such as Southern Tide, Vineyard Vines, Lily Pulitzer, Spartina and so much more. I like to consider Kimberly’s the “Nordstrom of Boutiques.” 135 N Braddock Street, Winchester, VA 22601

Abija Blue

Abija Blue hasn’t been around as long as the others – they’ve only been open for about 3 years – but don’t let this fool you. Abija Blue carries the finest handmade goodies, both locally and globally crafted. With the needs of customers constantly changing, Abija Blue is hoping to become our area’s next gourmet shop. The hope for the future is to continue selling the same great artisan crafts, but also delve into the side of fine wines and hand-crafted sauces. Be on the lookout for this upcoming change. 126 N Loudoun Street, Winchester, VA 22601

Lantz’s Pharmacy and Gifts

This flourishing business has been a part of the Stephens City community for 27 years. When you hear the name “Lantz’s Pharmacy and Gifts” you admittedly don’t automatically think of a boutique, and that’s how Lantz’s differs from anyone else on this list. The pharmacy is a huge aspect of Lantz’s, but they’ve expanded their store to be much more than that. Lantz’s is a “gift boutique.” They offer a diverse place to shop with prices ranging from $10 to $200. When people think of Lantz’s, they want to be known as the “happy place”. Lantz’s offers a variety of products from some big brand names such as Spartina, Vera Bradley, Chamilia and Simply Southern that includes shoes, handbags, and accessories to candles, cards, and collectibles. 5015 Main Street, Stephens city, VA 22655

*Nobody gave us any advertising money, discounts or other consideration to be on this list – in fact, they already made some money from us visiting (and shopping) to write this blog 🙂

Coming soon:  Some cool finds that you probably wouldn’t expect here in the Winchester area, a look at where to get some awesome local ice cream, and a guide to catching some great local bands and performances…