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About the Town/History

The Town of Strasburg is located in north-central Shenandoah County at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley. It is the largest of the six communities in Shenandoah County and is part of the Davis Magisterial District. The town lies on the North Fork Shenandoah River in a small basin formed by the river as it loops through the Valley with one of its major loops creating a peninsula just south of town known as Sandy Hook. Geographically the town is generally surrounded by natural barriers with the Shenandoah River and Three Top Mountain lying to the south and east, and historic Cedar Creek and Little North Mountain lying to the north and west.

The town's early growth and settlement was primarily due to its location at the crossroads of major routes of travel and this is still true today. U.S. Rt. 11 and VA Rt. 55 intersect in the center of town and I-81 is located approximately one and one-half miles to the west and north of the downtown with two interchanges serving the town. I-66 joins I-81 about four miles north of town and provides direct access to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. The town is located ten miles west of Front Royal, 81 miles west of Washington, D.C., 18 miles south of Winchester, and 15 miles east of the West Virginia State Line.

The Town of Strasburg was charted in 1761 and incorporated in 1922. It is well known for its pottery, antiques, Civil War history, and breathtaking views. The pottery industry began circa 1761 with at least seventeen potters producing earthen and stoneware commercially. The Strasburg Museum building was constructed in 1891 for use as a steam pottery until circa 1909 when the last pottery closed. In 1913, the Southern Railroad Company purchased the building and it served as a freight and passenger depot until the 1960s. It later became a museum and opened to the public as a National Historic Landmark in 1970. Displays include a large collection of original Strasburg Pottery, antiques, Civil War articles, Native American artifacts, farm tools, a red caboose, and a working model railroad depicting Strasburg and the Southern Railway in the 1930s.

Strasburg was an important part of the Valley Campaign in the early part of the Civil War and Stonewall Jackson knew its streets and often used its hostelry. It was he who made Strasburg "the fountainhead of Rail Traffic for the South", when he captured enemy engines in Martinsburg, West Virginia and pulled them by horse across roads to return them to the rails in Strasburg. From there they were sent south for the Confederate cause. During the closing phases of the war, Strasburg was again in the midst of the action. It is between Cedar Creek Battlefield on the north and Fisher's Hill Battlefield on the south, both accessible to the public. It is in the heart of the counties burned by Sheridan to eliminate the productivity of this "breadbasket of the Confederacy".

 

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