SOME INTERESTING INCIDENTS.
Spotswood’s Expedition of 1716 and the University
Pageant of 1909.
All Virginians, and doubtless all Americans, are familiar with the expedition Gov. Alexander Spotswood, with a party of 20 or 30, made across the Blue Ridge in 1716, leaving Williamsburg August 20, and reaching Williamsburg, on the return, September 17.
John Fontaine, one of the party, tells in his journal of the party drinking the health of the King and the royal family on top of the mountain, Sept. 5, and of their coming down into the valley in the evening. On the 6th they crossed the river; on the 7th they went back over the mountain.
There is some confusion in Fontaine’s account; but it is generally agreed that Spotswood and his party came over the Ridge at Swift Run Gap, and down to the river at or near Elkton. Says Fontaine:
We crossed the river, which we called Euphrates. It is very deep; the main course of the water is north; it is fourscore yards wide in the narrowest part. We drank some healths on the other side, and returned; after which I went a swimming in it. We could not find any fordable place, except the one by which we crossed, and it was deep in several places. I got some grasshoppers and fished; and another and I, we catched a dish of fish, some perch, and a fish they called chub. The others went a hunting, and killed deer and turkeys. The Governor had graving irons, but could not grave any thing, the stones were so hard. I graved my name on a tree by the river side; and the Governor buried a bottle with a paper inclosed, on which he writ that he took possession of this place in the name and for King George the First of England. We had a good dinner, and after it we got the men together, and loaded all their arms, and we drank the King’s health in Burgundy, and fired a volley, and all the rest of the Royal Family in claret, and a volley. We drank the Governor’s health and fired another volley. We had several sorts of
Liquors, viz., Virginia red wine and white wine, Irish usquebaugh, brandy, shrub, two sorts of rum, champaign, canary, cherry, punch, water, cider, etc. – From John Fontaine’s Journal of Sept. 6, 1716.
In 1724 Hugh Jones wrote of the Spotswood expedition as follows:
Governor Spotswood, when he undertook the great discovery of the Passage over the Mountains, attended with a sufficient guard, and pioneers and gentlemen, with a sufficient stock of provision, with abundant fatigue passed these Mountains, and cut his Majesty’s name in a rock upon the highest of them, naming it Mount George; and in complaisance the gentlemen, from the Governor’s name, called the mountain next in height Mount Alexander.
For this expedition they were obliged to provide a great quantity of horse shoes, (things seldom used in the lower parts of the country, where there are few stones;) upon which account the Governor, upon their return, presented each of his companions with a golden horse shoe, (some of which I have seen studded with valuable stones, resembling the heads of nails,) with this inscription on the one side: Sic juvat transcendere montes; and on the other is written the tramontane order.
This he instituted to encourage gentlemen to venture backwards, and make discoveries and new settlements; any gentleman being entitled to wear this Golden Shoe that can prove his having drunk his Majesty’s health upon Mount George.
Tradition says that Stephen Harnsberger came over with Spotswood, or shortly after him. The Harnsbergers were among the early settlers about Elkton. Stephen Harnsberger, it is said, gave his gold horseshoe to a younger Stephen Harnsberger, who went to George in 1792 or 1793. Jos. M. C. Harnsberger, late of Port Republic, saw this horseshoe while on a visit to Georgia.(1)
In 1909 the teachers of Rockingham, in attendance upon the University of Virginia summer school, personated Spotswood and his knights in the 4th of July historical pageant, participated in by 1000 persons from more than 20 different States. Prof. C. J. Heatwole played the Governor. A song written for the occasion, “Rockingham,” was sung to the tune, “Die Wacht am Rhein.”(2)
(1) Related to me by Capt. J. S. Harnsberger (page 360).
(2) On Spotswood’s expedition, see Wayland’s “German Element,” pp.
The Coming of the Lincolns.
In 1908 Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Lincoln Pennybacker (page 295) told me that some time prior to the Revolution John Lincoln came from Pennsylvania and bought land on Linville Creek. This place is a short distance below Wenger’s Mill. The house now occupied by Mr. S. M. Bowman, built about 1800 by Capt. Jacob Lincoln (1751-1822), is at or near the original Lincoln homestead. The old Lincoln graveyard is nearby on the hill.
John Lincoln had five sons, Abraham, John, Jacob, Thomas, and Isaac. Jacob (Capt. Jacob), grandfather of Mrs. Pennybacker, was the only one of the five to remain in Virginia. Abraham, with his little son Thomas, aged about 4, went in 1781 or 1782 to Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln, later President, was born in Kentucky Feb. 12, 1809, when Thomas was about 31.
Daniel Boone on Linville Creek.
In the spring of 1750, when Daniel Boone was 15 or 16, his parents left Pennsylvania for North Carolina. It was autumn, 1751, a year and a half later, before they reached their destination. Tradition says they tarried for a year or more in what is now Rockingham County, Va. – on Linville Creek, six miles north of Harrisonburg.(3) It is understood that the Boones and the Lincolns were acquaintances in Pennsylvania. If the Lincolns had already come to Virginia, the Boones were doubtless their guests on Linville Creek; if the Lincolns followed, they may have been directed to Linville Creek by the Boones. The Bryans were also early residents on Linville Creek, and the William Bryan who married Boone’s sister probably went to North Carolina from this section. There is also a tradition that Henry Miller, founder of Miller’s
7, 8; on the 1909 pageant see Charlottesville Daily Progress, July 9, 1909; Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 11, 1909; U. Va. Alumni Bulletin, October, 1909.
(3) Thwaites’ Daniel Boone, pp. 15-17; Bruce’s Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road, pp. 13, 14.
Iron Works on Mossy Creek, was a cousin to Boone, and hunted and trapped with him over this region about 1750.(4)
Valentine Sevier’s Sale Bill.
Reference has already been made (p. 349) to Valentine Sevier’s numerous land sales on and near Smith’s Creek and Long Meadow from 1753 to 1773. The following document, recorded at Staunton, is apropos. It shows, for one thing, that Sevier (father of Gen. John Sevier) was in 1763 a resident of what is now Shenandoah County. Possibly this was about the time his son founded New Market.
Know all men by these presents that I Valentine Severe of Frederick County & Collony of Virginia farmer for & in Consideration of the sum of forty two pounds Ten Shillings and Seven pence Current Lawfull money of Virginia to me in hand paid by Andrew bird of Augusta County in Colony aforesd. Miller(5) where of I do hereby acknowledge the Receipt and my Self therewith fully & Entirely Satisfied have Bargained Sold Set over & Delivered and by these presents in plain & open market – according to the just and true form of Law in that case made and provided do bargain Sell Set over and Deliver into the sd. Andrew Bird and his heirs Exrs. admrs. and assigns The Following Cattle Goods and Chattles Viz five Cows one with a young calf a two year Old heifer & three yearlings four feather Beds with all their Coverings & furniture to them belonging withall my hogs and all my wearing apparral and all the Pewter and all other my housefurniture withall my Iron pots and pans & three Smooth Bore Guns And every part and parcel of my movable Estate too tedious to mention in particulars all my Tools and Implements of Husbandry &c To Have and to Hold the said Bargained premises unto the said Andrew Bird his heirs Exrs. Admrs. & Assigns to the only proper use and Behoof of the said Andrew Bird his Exrs. Adminrs. And Assigns forever And I the sd. Valentine Sevire for myself my heirs Exrs. & adminrs. the said Bargained Premises unto Andrew Bird his heirs Exrs. & Administrators and assigns against all and all manner of persons Shall and will warrant and for ever Defend by these presents In Witness whereof together with the Delivery of these premises I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal This Eighteenth Day of April in the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred and Sixty three 1763
Sealed and Delivered Valentine Sevire (L.S.)
in presence of
(4) See Wayland’s “German Element,” page 206.
(5) Bird’s mill was on Smith’s Creek, a short distance above New Market, just across the line in what is now Rockingham County.
The Influenza of 1807.
In December, 1807, Dr. Peachy Harrison, of Harrisonburg, wrote a scientific paper for the Philadelphia Medical Museum. More than a hundred years later, without my searching for it, or even having known of it, a copy of this paper came to my hand. It deals mainly with the influenza epidemic of 1807, but also gives many interesting facts about Rockingham a hundred years ago. Accordingly, certain paragraphs, chiefly the first, are herewith presented.
Rockingham, of which Harrisonburg is the county-town, and distant from Philadelphia about 260 miles, is bounded on the north-west by the North Mountain, from which the Shenandoah River derives several important branches; and on the south-east by the Blue Ridge, which are distant from each other between twenty and thirty miles. The soil, throughout a great portion of the county, is calcareous, and is well adapted to the cultivation of wheat, rye, maize, red clover, and, in the low grounds formed by the small creeks, where argil predominates, timothy and blue grass constitute excellent meadows. This district of country abounds with perennial springs; but the water they yield holds so much lime in solution, or, to use the common phrase, is so hard, as to require breaking, before it is fit to be used in washing clothes; for, when this precaution is not taken, the soap is decomposed, and its cleansing power entirely destroyed. Fruit of every kind is an uncertain crop, except along the mountains, and there, apples in many orchards are rendered unfit for use, by what is called the bitter rot, a disease of which the cause, so far as I have been able to learn, has not been well ascertained. Whether the default in the fruit arises from some cause inherent in the tree, or some external source unconnected with the condition of the tree, is matter, it seems to me, of great doubt. The evil, however, is a serous one; and one that renders the rearing of an apple orchard, in this country, at this time, a labour of uncertain advantage.(6) This disease of apple orchards was unknown till of late years. Orchards are said to have been much less injured by it this season than they were several seasons past.
South winds are generally the precursors of our rains; northeastwardly winds bring our deep snows; and those from the north-west accompany dry, and are perhaps the cause of our coldest weather; these prevail through a large portion of the year. All our hurricanes come
(6) Science, or blind chance and time, controlled by a beneficent Providence, has certainly wrought encouraging changes in Rockingham orchards since 1807.
from this direction; they were more frequent and destructive last spring than they were ever known before in this country. Bilious fevers are not natives of our soil. We had our share of them, however, in the extraordinary autumn of 1804. In common seasons, pure remittents and intermittents are scarcely known, at least as generated by causes existing in our own country: they have been caught in other places. We are occasionally visited by fevers, but they mostly prevail in cold weather, and are of typhous character. In the winter of 1805-6, cases of this fever were frequent, and, in every instance of which I had any knowledge, the appeared to me to be the offspring of domestic filthiness. They occurred, in every instance, in circumstances favourable to the accumulation and putrification of human excretions, viz: in crowded and unventilated cabins, and in families not remarkable for their cleanliness.(7)
The winter of 1806-7 was among the severest ever experienced in this latitude. In months of March and April, a catarrh, accompanied with more or less pneumonic symptoms, prevailed pretty generally through the town and its vicinity. It resembled, in almost every important particular, the late influenza. The most remarkable differences were, more acute pains of the thorax, a more obstinate cough, and requiring a more free use of the lancet.
It was remarkably healthy, both in town and country, from the last of April until the appearance of the influenza, which was about the 8th of September. My colleague, Dr. Cravens, and Mr. Benjamin Smith, were the first subjects of it, within the circle of my acquaintance and observation. They had returned, on the evening of the 5th, from Tyger’s Valley, distant from this, in a north-west direction, about a hundred miles. On the evening of the 8th Dr. Cravens was seized with chilliness, soreness in his muscles, pains in his head and bones; coryza, fever, and cough soon succeeded. The pain of the head was seated over the right eye, and was the most distressing of all his symptoms. On the morning of the 9th, Mr. Benjamin Smith, who lives two miles out of town, saw him; in the evening of the same day he was seized with symptoms of influenza. They saw on their journey no complaint similar to, or what they had a right to believe was the influenza. They saw no one labouring under it after their return. From this time until the 11th, I knew of no other cases in either town or county, and have good reason to believe there were none; for at this time we had begun to expect its appearance, having heard that it had successively attacked Winchester, Woodstock, and New Market. * * * * * Very soon after its appearance in town [Harrisonburg], it fell on the adjoining neighborhoods, and, by the 12th of October, it was only heard of in the remotest parts of the county,
(7) It is hoped and believed that the progress of a century in Rockingham has been attended with as much improvement in domestic conditions as in fruit growing.
and had entirely disappeared by the 23rd of this month. The comet was not observed in this place until about the 26th of September, and was no more to be seen after the 12th of November. There was a deficiency of rain during the months of October and November. The wind generally stood north-west.
A Case of Body Snatching.
An extract from the reminiscences of Maria Graham Carr. The time referred to is about 1820.
There were two men hanged in Harrisonburg. Ben Hopkins was hung on top of the hill where Sherdlins’ vineyard was afterward located.(8) Sprouce, who killed his wife in Fluvanna Co., was brought to Harrisonburg, tried, condemned, and hung in the woods back of Mr. Rutherford’s house [east of town]. I saw the procession pass on its way to the gallows: Sprouce, with several preachers, among them Mr. Smith, who sat beside him on the coffin, talking to him. As it was raining, Mr. Smith took off his overcoat and put it around Sprouce’s shoulders, talking to him and trying to make him understand his condition; but Sprouce took no heed, but was looking at the crowd. His wagon was surrounded by fifty mounted soldiers, well armed. Then came hundreds of men and women shipping up their horses, trying to get as near as they could to the wagon. I could not bear to look at it, only for a few moments. The medical students came from Staunton, with a covered carry-all, determined to have Sprouce’s body. As soon as the hanging was over they buried the body right under the gallows. The Harrisonburg students wanted the body and were determined to have it if they had to fight for it. The Staunton students took up the body as soon as the people were gone, and hid it in some brush wood. The Harrisonburg students, after having searched for some time, found the body, put it across a horse, and went four or five miles around on the west side of the town, and hid the body in Mr. Gibbon’s tan house. Afterwards the body was taken to the log house where I went to school, where it was then skinned and [the skin] tanned. The Presbyterian prayer meeting was held every Wednesday evening in this log house, and we did not know that Sprouce’s body was above us.
A Rockinghamer’s Visit to Philadelphia in 1847.
We took the cars about 14 miles below Cumberland [they had ridden horseback to that point from West Rockingham] and went the same day to Baltimore, a distance of 160 or 170 miles; the scenery on the road was highly interesting, varied – and sublime. Baltimore is a place of great trade – the shipping is very extensive. In the morning when we left
(8) See pages 238, 365
Baltimore, we passed many Wharfs with immense shipping, for the distance of between one and two miles. – The scenery, from Baltimore to Philadelphia was beautiful and sublime. Much of the way you have the Chesapeake bay in view, and cross a bridge 1 ¼ miles long over a river, or rather arm of the bay; and another Bridge of ¾ miles long. Soon after, we crossed the Susquehannah River on a steam boat, and ere long came in sight of Delaware River, which we had often in view until we arrived at Philadelphia. This is a city – the beauty and grandeur of which baffles description – the elegance and size of its houses – the beauty and cleanliness of its streets – and the handsome and splendid manner which they have in displaying their goods, through window lights of from 4 to 7 feet long and proportionably wide! Here we also saw ships of an enormous size: many more things might be mention(ed) among which are the State House, Gerard College and the Fairmount Waterworks, where by machinery, the water is elevated up a prodigious height into basons, to supply the whole City with water. Should I be spared and blest with health a few years longer I think of visiting Philadelphia once more: especially if I succeed in selling my Musical Map or Scale. – From a letter written March 26, 1847, by Joseph Funk of Rockingham County, Va., to his daughter in Missouri.
On the evening of June 6, 1862, Gen. Turner Ashby was shot and killed while leading an infantry charge against the Pennsylvania Bucktails. The place of his death, now marked by a monument, is about two miles south of Harrisonburg. (See pages 141, 179, 318.) Gen. Thos. L. Kane, commanding the Bucktails, a brother of the famous arctic explorer, Elisha Kent Kane, was captured; and at the same time, in a cavalry fight near at hand, Ashby’s men, led by Munford, captured Sir Percy Wyndham, whose highest ambition was to capture Ashby.
Ashby’s body lay nest day in the house of Dr. Geo. W. Kemper, Port Republic, wrapped in the Confederate flag. Col. O’Ferrall says that at evening the flag and bier were wet with the tears of strong men. The next day, Sunday, June 8, while Cross Keys was being fought, the body was taken to Charlottesville and buried.
On October 10, 1912, when the Daughters of the Confederacy of Virginia, in convention at Harrisonburg, went out to decorate the Ashby monument, there was in the company one,
Mrs. J. E. Alexander, who fifty years before, had followed Ashby’s body to the grave at Charlottesville.
It is said that on the morning of June 8, 1862, before the battle of Cross Keys opened, Jackson, who was at Madison Hall, the guest of Dr. G. W. Kemper, was cut off from the North River bridge at Port Republic by a detachment of Shield’s men, who seized the village and planted a battery at the village end of the bridge; and that Jackson, wearing a rain-coat over his uniform, dashed up, ordered the battery to another position, and thus got the opportunity to cross the bridge to his own men.(9) Whether he actually got the Federal battery moved by his order or not, there seems to be no doubt that he most narrowly escaped capture.
Elder John Kline, a prominent minister of the Dunker Church (page 250), was distinguished for high character and good works, but his goings and comings upon missions of his office aroused the suspicions of an evil time, and when he did not heed either the threats of foes or the warnings of friends he was waylaid and shot. The deed was committed near his home, near Broadway, June 15, 1864. He was a martyr to duty and the works of peace.(10)
The three Confederate scouts referred to on page 148, above, were Frank Shaver, Campbell, and Martin. Shaver, who lived near Pleasant Valley, and who died in 1895, was the one who killed Meigs. He and his companions were planning to get on the high hills between the Warm Springs Pike and the Valley Pike, to locate the Federals by their night campfires, and would gladly have ridden away from Meigs and his companions without firing a shot. Shaver,
(9) See Mauzy’s Genealogical Record, pp. 37, 38; also, pp. 142, 143, above.
(10) See Zigler’s History of the Brethren, pp. 143, 144.
Campbell, and Martin left the Pike, by the old east-going road, near D. T. Click’s. Meigs and his men followed, crossed the line now occupied by the C. W. Railroad, and mounted the first terrace of the hill. Then the Confederates turned, and in a moment the fight was over. Martin was wounded. He was taken by Shaver and Campbell to Robt. Wright’s near Spring Creek, where he was attended by Dr. T. H. B. Brown (page 316).(11)
Wm. C. Thurman, who died in Richmond almshouse in 1906, was a notable figure in Rockingham for many years. First a Baptist, he joined the Dunker Church at Greenmount in 1865, and was at once put into the ministry. Soon he began to preach new doctrines, and to fix a time, near at hand, for the second Advent. He won followers – perhaps a hundred – chiefly good people; and in time he was expelled from the church. He and his followers continued their activities, and the movement culminated in September, 1868, when, upon the appointed day, the saints assembled at a farm house near Dayton, to await the Lord’s coming. The day passed, the evening came, but not the fulfillment of the leader’s prophecy. A second time was fixed, and a second expectation failed, when, in April, 1875, a small company waited long at a well known home near Harrisonburg. Thurman was in the county occasionally as late as 1878, perhaps later.
Sidney Lanier at Rockingham Springs.
Sidney Lanier, the great Southern poet and musician, spent six weeks at Rockingham Springs, near McGaheysville, in the summer of 1879, and wrote there his splendid book, “Science of English Verse.” The cottage he and his family occupied is still standing, and the room in which he worked is very much as he left it. The summer was full of varied
(11) See Rockingham Daily Record, April 8, 1912; O’Ferrall’s Forty Years of Active Service, pp. 128, 129.
incidents that give charm and color to the poet’s notable achievement. In literature, Rockingham has had no more pleasing distinction than that conferred upon her those rich summer days by Sidney Lanier.(12)
In 1885, one evening in the dark, eight young men met in a fence corner, near Dale Enterprise, and sat on a log. There were tired but not exhausted; they were in the dark, but were seeking light. They organized a society for mutual improvement: they decided to buy books and read them, and to talk together of what they read. In Hartman’s carpenter shop, in Heatwole’s wash house, somewhere they continued to meet, some waling three miles to the place. Their motives were misunderstood, their aims questioned, the outcome dreaded, and they were often in straits; but finally a man built them a house, and a woman became their “god-mother.” The society lived about 20 years, and grew in numbers and in favor.
This is history, not a fairy tale. One of the original eight is dean of the dental department of the University of Maryland; another was lately chairman of the board of supervisors of Rockingham County; another is an educator known over Virginia. Of those who came in later, one is a distinguished pulpit orator, another a writer of national reputation; and many are filling honorable places worthily. I give as many names as I have been able to find:
The Eight: T. O. Heatwole, Frank A. Heatwole, C. J. Heatwole, Aldine Heatwole, John J. Heatwole, John R. Swartz, Wm. T. Swartz, L. F. Ritchie.
Of those who came in later: D. Hopkins Ralston, W. J. Showalter, D. I. Suter, P. G. Suter, E. J. Suter, Chas. Senger. Henry Senger.
Miss Tyreetta P. Minnich, at teacher, was god-mother; and Mr. David A. Heatwole built the house. – See page 224.
(12) See “Sidney Lanier at Rockingham Springs,” an illustrated volume published in 1912 by Ruebush-Elkins Co., Dayton, Va.
The first piano in Rockingham (John Graham’s) was bought in London in 1805 for L100. Mrs. M. G. Carr, Graham’s granddaughter, gave it in 1888 to the Chicago Historical Society.
It is said that the successful conclusion of the War of 1812 was celebrated by the people of Rockingham in a barbecue on the top of Mole Hill. An ox-roast was the chief feature, the poor beast having been spared long enough to carry his own weight to the summit.(13)
In 1842 an Act of Assembly was passed allowing Henry Juet Gray, son of Robt. Gray, to have a slave, Randolph, taught to read and write. Young Gray was blind. Wishing to become a teacher of the blind, he needed a servant who could read and write. His father, Robert Gray, undertook to indemnify the public against any possible injury which might result from the slave’s misconduct.
During the last year 2,000 lbs. of walnut kernels were shipped by rail from Broadway depot in this County. They sold in the Baltimore market at 30 cents per pound, bringing the handsome sum of $600 for these small and seemingly worthless things. These walnut kernels were gathered mainly by poor children in Brock’s Gap who had no other way in which to turn and honest penny. They are used in making candy. – Rockingham Register, January 10, 1873.
In April, 1875, Lewiston, the brick mansion below Port Republic, formerly the home of Gen. S. H. Lewis, was burned.
In June, 1878, “the crop of hay on the Court House Green brought three dollars and the purchaser gathered it.”
On November 27, 1878, Peter Paul was drowned in Dry River; four days later William Lewis, brother of Sen. John F. Lewis, was drowned in the South Shenandoah River.
As late as 1879 pig iron was hauled to Harrisonburg from Shenandoah Iron Works (Page County). In early days iron ore was hauled from Dale Enterprise to Miller’s Iron Works on Mossy Creek.
In 1879 the Moffett Liquor Law of Virginia was adopted in Texas, and the Moffett bell-punch register was ordered from Virginia in large quantities. – Moffett was a Rockinghamer (pages 357, 358).
(13) Rev. L. J. Heatwole, of near Mole Hill, relates this.
At the January court, 1881, 476 sleighs were reported in Harrisonburg. (See page 174.)
In the summer of 1909 the annual meeting of the Church of the Brethren brought together at Assembly Park, near Harrisonburg, over 30,000 people – the largest assembly ever in the county.
In this connection it may be appropriate to chronicle the visits of certain famous men to Rockingham County.
Mrs. Carr heard Lorenzo Dow preach in the northeast corner of the court yard, and saw the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay pass through Harrisonburg.
In March, 1866, and April, 1881, Dr. Geo. W. Bagby lectured in Harrisonburg; in October, 1866, B. J. Lossing was in Harrisonburg, at Cross Keys, Port Republic, and other places preparing his illustrated history of the war. In May, 1868, Gen. D. H. Hill lectured in Harrisonburg on “Southern Literature and the Southern People.” In September, 1868, Gen. Th. L. Price of Missouri was a visitor in the county; and in September, 1869, Gen. John B. Magruder lectured in Harrisonburg on “Mexico, Maximilian, and Carlotta.” In June, 1874, President Grant passed through, stopping a few minutes at the railway station. In July, 1879, Gen. Wm, Mahone visited Harrisonburg, and in August following Gen. Beauregard was at Rawley Springs and Harrisonburg. In September, 1880, Zeb B. Vance made a couple of political speeches in Harrisonburg; in October, 1883, Fitzhugh Lee spoke on Court Square; and in 1884 Dr. J. L. M. Curry lectured in Harrisonburg. In 1884 Dr. T. DeW. Talmage was at Rawley, and on July 29, 1896, he spoke at Assembly Park. Sam Jones was here frequently in the 90’s. John W. Daniel spoke in the county in 1891, 1894, 1896, and 1897. In August, 1895, Gen. John B. Gordon delivered his lecture, “Last Days of the Confederacy,” as Assembly Park. On Oct. 15, 1897, Eduard Remenyi played in Harrisonburg. In May, 1899, President McKinley passed through the Valley, stopping awhile in Harrisonburg.