Shenandoah Valley History: Interesting Facts You Should Know

Shenandoah Valley HistoryFall in Shenandoah Valley is a sight you don’t want to miss. Whether you follow the predictions of the media and prognosticators to visit before, during, or after peak time the valley will show its true beauty. There is much more to Shenandoah than just its pretty looks, let’s take a look back into Shenandoah Valley history to see what else it has to offer.

Shenandoah Valley History Facts & Information

  1. Shenandoah Caverns have been open since 1922. This huge tourist attraction is unique because it has an elevator inside the cavern. The Shenandoah Caverns were featured in National Geographic for their unusual “bacon” formations.
  2. The American Civil War was fought here. There were many battles fought in the area between 1861 and 1865, but the most notable is the American Civil War. For a look back into preserved American history, head over to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District
  3. Over 400 men, women, and children lived in Shenandoah Valley National Park in the 1930s. The Shenandoah Valley National Park was established in the 1930s when people were actually living on the grounds. The residents were widely spread throughout the area until 1942 when the land was used for the army. 
  4. The Shenandoah Skyline Drive spans 105 miles. This beautiful scenic route is a popular tourist attraction. Skyline Drive is one of the recommended places to go once the seasons are changing to fully encompass the beauty Shenandoah Valley has to offer. This route is the only public road throughout the park and offers 75 different overlooks so you are guaranteed to see the allure of the valley.
  5. Luray Caverns features 11 different caverns as well as paved pathways. After limestone enclosed rocks from the valley, the caverns were formed. At approximately 100 feet in thickness, these caverns are definitely a sight to be seen.
  6. The Shenandoah Valley is so large that it resides in nine different counties in Virginia and two counties in West Virginia. Five more counties can be added to the count when the cultural region is included.
  7. Shenandoah Valley is home to Virginia’s oldest rocks. These rocks are older than one billion years old. They are typically deep forming igneous rocks, such as granite.
  8. Shenandoah National Park is the only place you can find the Shenandoah salamander. This endangered species is a member of the family Plethodontidae, which means that they do not have any lungs and “breathe” through their skin. Fully grown, the salamander will only reach 7-10 cm. These specific salamanders are known to survive up to 25 years. If you go during the day you may not be able to find the Shenandoah salamander because they are primarily nocturnal, so make sure you visit in the late evening and bring a flashlight!
  9. President Herbert Hoover once resided in Shenandoah National Park. During their summer retreat, President Hoover and his wife lived in Rapidan Camp. Now a restored historical attraction, Shenandoah National Park offers ranger-guided tours of the area.

Plan a Trip!

Start planning your trip to Shenandoah Valley where the scenes are beautiful and the history is rich. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy in such a wonderful place. Less than a 45 minute drive from By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages, this would make the perfect day trip with plenty of time to come back and relax. If you’re interested in what else Shenandoah Valley has to offer, make sure to download our free Vacation Guide!


Photo Credit: Jeffry N. Curtis / Flickr