A Brief History of Staunton, Virginia

historic jailStaunton, Virginia is the one place in the United States that is most well-known for being the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States. But more than being the birth place of a president, however, the place is home to fine institutions of learning, including Mary Baldwin College, which was in the past a women’s college. The city is where you were also find the Stuart Hall, one of the more well-known preparatory school in the country. It’s also the home of Virginia’s special learning center for the deaf and blind.

Founded in 1747, it had been re-named in recognition of Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife to William Gooch, a Royal Lieutenant-Governor.

John Lewis and his family first settled in the area in 1732. In 1736, William Beverley, a wealthy merchant and planter from Essex, was granted more than 118,000 acres of land in what would later on become Augusta County. In 1746, surveyor Thomas Lewis organized the very first town plat for Beverley. It was initially known as Beverley’s Mill Place.

Staunton is found in a strategic location, literally at the center of the former British colony. It was considered the regional capital of what was referred to as the Northwest Territory of the British Empire just before the American Revolution.

In 1760, Staunton became one of the leading trade centers within the back country. It coordinated the transportation from grain and tobacco to and from England. Staunton thus performed a vital role within the mid-1700s and contributed to the growth of the financial systems from the American Colonies which, consequently, led to the American Revolution.

It became Virginia’s capital in June 1781, when legislators fled Richmond and Charlottesville to avoid being captured by the British forces.

Staunton has a bloody history that included locking up slaves. For example, in 1815, a slave named Henry ran away from the plantation of John G. Wright near Staunton. Wright later placed an advertisement in the Daily National Intelligencer that sought Henry’s return. This ad is notable in the genre because it conveyed notes that Henry had been to the Indies and that he was a good cook.

President Franklin Pierce visited Staunton in August 1855, where he gave an address where he said he was revolted at the thought of the Union’s dissolution.

In the 19th century, Staunton became a center for transportation, trade, and industrial development following the arrival of Virginia Central Railroad in the year 1854. The railroad system allowed for industrial facilities to flourish. Most of Staunton’s factories made blankets, boots, carriages, clothing, footwear, and wagons. In the summer of July 1902, Staunton grew to become a completely independent city.

Staunton is situated in the Shenandoah Valley between the Allegheny Mountain Ridge and the Appalachian Mountains. It is drained by the Lewis Creek, which flows in to the Shenandoah River, which flows in to the Potomac, and finally towards the Chesapeake Bay.

The weather in Staunton is indicated by hot, damp summer season and mild winters. It has a damp subtropical climate according to climate maps.

Despite its historic past, Staunton has been suffering Virginia’s “most unfortunate population declines”. Local immigration rates and birth rates have been unable to compensate for the death rate and the emigration rate. Its population has been on a steady decline since 2008. The city’s population declined by almost four percent from the years 2000 to 2007. This was based on research made by Charles Spar from Virginia University.

Staunton, however, remains strong, with its residents holding on to the city’s rich history.

Guide To The Top 3 Restaurants In Staunton Virginia

great steakIf you’re visiting the small city of Staunton, you should definitely check out the restaurants in the area, as they are known to be some of the best in the state. That’s right, there are lots of really amazing and delicious restaurants located all over Staunton. Whether you’re looking to get some ice cream or perhaps are looking for a fine dining experience, Staunton has got you covered. Thus, this article will serve as a guide on the top 3 restaurants in Staunton Virginia.

The Mill Street Grill in Staunton draw large crowds all throughout the week. The grill is known for its exceptional American cuisine, more specifically, the steaks available. The grill has some of the most delicious steaks that anyone could ever hope for. Thus, it has built up a reputation not only in Staunton, but the whole state of Virginia for being a truly impeccable steakhouse. This grill is a definitely must-visit for anyone who enjoys some great steak and have come to visit the city. In fact, many people may be surprised to hear that some people drive for hours from other parts of the state just to eat at this grill.

It goes without saying that the reviews that have been left for the Mill Street Grill are borderline perfect. Funnily enough, most of the reviews are from guests visiting Staunton, who have visited on the basis of this restaurant! This restaurant more than certainly falls into one of the top 3 restaurants in Staunton.

Byers Street Bistro is another acclaimed eatery located in Staunton. It is famous for American cuisine served at the highest quality. There are lots of restaurants in the city that serve traditional American food, however the Byers Street Bistro is a cut above the rest. The service here is amazing and also the food is quick and delicious. This means that coming to this restaurant makes for a very relaxing and enjoyable time.

Some of the specialties that the restaurant has are such classics as burgers but also other traditional American foods like Cobb Salad. All of the items that are on the menu at Byers Street Bistro are without a doubt delicious. Locals to the area, along with guests, flock to this restaurant throughout the entire week, especially on weekends.

A very special restaurant that is found in Staunton is Zynodoa. As you can tell from the name, it is quite a fancy restaurant that serves extremely unique food. Zynodoa is a contemporary restaurant that focuses on breaking lots of the boundaries that are found in the world of food. If you order food from this business, you can expect to be surprised as they make really unique food that is blissfully tasty. Lots of contemporary restaurants fail as they serve food that is too unconventional and sacrifices taste. This is not the case with Zynodoa, as they provide lots of amazing creations, but still ensure that all of the food tastes absolutely amazing.

Considering that it is a very fancy restaurant, Zynodoa is still quite affordable for many. The prices on their meals range from as low as $10 all the way to around $40, meaning there are options for everyone. This restaurant is certainly very popular amongst the younger crowd in Staunton and rightfully deserves its place as one of the top eateries in the entire city.

These 3 restaurants are certainly the best in Staunton. Whether you’re looking for a great steak or something a little bit different, these restaurants will be able to cater to your needs. Thus, if you’re visiting the area, have a look at these restaurants.

Five Things You Can Do In Staunton Virginia

Woodrow WilsonDo you plan on visiting Staunton, Virginia anytime soon? If you are, then you should know of a few things that you can do while there. With that said, below are a few things to do in Staunton.

  1. Frontier Culture Museum – While in Staunton, you should pay a visit to the Frontier Culture Museum, where you can view some amazing dwellings. This is where you can learn about the people who ended up moving from the Old World to America, and how they created life in the Shenandoah Valley. This living history museum is a must-see for anyone visiting the city, so make sure it is one of your first stops when you are in Staunton.
  2. The American Shakespeare Center – Are you looking for something unique to do in Staunton? If so, then you might be interested in going to the American Shakespeare Center, which is an indoor theatre. The theatre can seat up to 300 people, and Shakespeare’s productions take place all-year-round, so regardless of the time of year you decide to visit Staunton, you can enjoy taking in a show at the American Shakespeare Center.
  3. Woodrow Wilson Library – The Woodrow Wilson library is the only presidential library in the state of Virginia, and this library and museum is a must-see. You will love learning about Woodrow Wilson, as well as about the era that he grew up in. You will not only enjoy walking around the interior of the library and museum, but also the grounds. If you are looking for something fun and educational to do, then make sure the Woodrow Wilson library is one of the first places you visit in Staunton.
  4. Gypsy Hill Park – One of the best parks in the area is the Gypsy Hill Park, and you will enjoy taking in the gorgeous surroundings of the park. Depending on the time of year you go, you can expect to see quite a few geese and ducks in the pond and in other areas of the park. This park is a great place to go and enjoy a nice walk, as well as a good place to just relax and take in the surrounding scenery.
  5. The Camera Heritage Museum – The Camera Heritage Museum is not only a unique museum for cameras, but also a retail store. You will enjoy viewing many types of cameras, especially vintage ones that you rarely see these days. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you find in this museum, especially if you are a fan of cameras. If you want something unique and fun to do in Staunton, then visit the Camera Heritage Museum.

There are many other things to do in Staunton, but the above things are some of the first things you should do if you visit the city. All of the above places are unique in their own way and you will love what they have to offer. When you make a visit to Staunton, make sure you pay a visit to one of the above places that we mentioned.

The Three Top Places To Stay When Visiting Staunton Virginia

hotel roomStaunton, Virginia is noted as one of the best small towns in America, and is the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson. It is located in the Shenandoah Valley, between the Allegheny and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The idyllic mountain scenes bring a melancholy mood to a visit there, as the historical theme is embellished all through the town.

The Wintergreen Resort is a beautiful retreat, geared as a four-season retreat located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Eastern Slope. The resort has 45 holes of golf at the championship level, skiing, snowboarding and other winter amenities. There is a full service, 40,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, and several dining room options.

There are 32 trails available for snowboarding and skiing during the winter, with 5 chairlifts, as the resort has 100% snow making ability.

There is a very fine, award winning tennis program. The accommodations range from 300 condominiums, of a villa style, various rental homes, ranging from studio homes to homes with seven bedrooms. There are various dining options to suit the tastes of the guests. Roughly 40 miles from Staunton, and geared primarily for skiing, the resort has great attraction for all seasons.

The Historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference center located in downtown Staunton is well noted for its elegance and comfort. It has it own indoor pool as well as a fitness and health center. Consisting of 4 floors and 124 rooms it is an excellent place to stay if you are engaged in the activities of downtown Staunton.

You will enjoy the refurbished building which has been restored to its original grandeur, and which has enhanced its reputation as a member of the Historic Hotels of America. The hotel offers various packages, including the Shakespeare Package with two tickets to the nearby Shakespeare Playhouse, the local garden tours, the Hot Glass Festival every April, and the Red Wing Roots Music Festival held in July.

Steeped in history, and the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, there is plenty to do in downtown Staunton with a variety of restaurants and shopping enough to keep any power shopper occupied.

For an excellent hotel with wonderful amenities, the Inn at Old Virginia, located right outside of Staunton is an exceptional place to stay. Breakfast is included each morning to get the day started right. Free internet and no booking or credit card fees are also included.

A rural location, on Commerce Road in Staunton, the hotel is close to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Mary Baldwin College, and the Factory Antique Mall.

There is a business center, a library and conference rooms. Each room is decorated individually and has Select Comfort Beds, free Wi-Fi, and DVD players. Television is inclued free with multiple channels and free telephones.

The homemade breakfast is served in the hotel’s conservatory in a quaint English style. The entire motif of the hotel and the grounds are designed around the original structural integrity of the architecture of the 1700’s as the surrounding grounds and the view of the mountains presents a beautiful setting. All of the buildings are wonderfully appointed with antique furniture and other period accessories.

You are close to nearby popular sites such as the American Shakespeare Theater, The Rockingham County Fairgrounds, where festivals about all year round, as well as many other venues such as golf, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, canoeing and skiing.

The dining facilities abound in the area and you will never want for a dining experience in the area, as restaurants abound for your pleasure in the area.

Farmers Markets In The Staunton Virginia Area

virginia farmers marketJust about anywhere you travel in the United States you will be able to find a good farmers market nearby. This is very true with Staunton, Virginia where there are several farmer’s markets from which to choose.

A farmers market is traditionally a place where you can find home grown produce and home made items such as sausages, meats, pickles, pies, cakes and other goodies. Throw in a good mixture of crafts and perhaps furniture, and you have a good place to spend the day, and pick up some very good fresh produce, flowers, and perhaps some sausage and even meats and such.

Augusta Farmers Market is just such a place in the Staunton area where different growers band together in the spring, summer and fall months to bring a freshness that only can be found at such a place. The market is open from the first Saturday in April until the Saturday just prior Thanksgiving. This market is for growers only, no crafts, but you get the real thing, actually the produce that is grown by the stand holders themselves. It is required that the produce be grown at least within a 50 mile radius of the market.

A “buy local” ethic is the way of the market and the people and visitors of Staunton appreciate the freshness and quality of the produce that includes fresh vegetables of all kinds, fruits, whole grains and other garden items of all kinds. This is truly a market you don’t want to miss. The market is open on Saturdays at the Wharf parking lot on Johnson street downtown in Staunton.

Sunrise Orchards is another favorite spot of residents in and around the Staunton Area. The main emphasis is on the wonderful, great-tasting apples. Sunrise orchards is known for its apples, and here you can pick your own. You can choose from all kinds of different varieties of apples, and mix what you pick in your bag. Enjoy the home-made crafts and candles too, and bring a picnic lunch, as there is space for that too. Don’t forget to pick up the numerous apple recipes too, before you leave.

You certainly don’t want to miss Heartland Harvest, a multigenerational farm kept in the family for the last few generations. They are very mindful of taking care of the soil and growing everything naturally, the way their ancestors did, and they have the quality produce and meats to prove it.

They sell beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, eggs, honey, vegetables, flour baked goods. All of the crops and livestock are grown naturally with no chemicals or pesticides to ensure quality meat and product to you. They also stand at the Augusta Farmers Market and the Waynesboro Farmers Market.

It is very important for the Heartland Harvest folks, the James Showalter family, to offer the very best in home grown food. The people in the surrounding area shop there all the time.

Take some time and visit these markets and you will enter a world that you will never want to leave, as the quality and friendliness speaks for itself.