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Strasburg, Virginia

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Strasburg, Virginia

Strasburg, Virginia
Strasburg Theater
Strasburg Theater
Flag of Strasburg, Virginia
Official seal of Strasburg, Virginia
Nickname(s): Pot Town[1]
Strasburg, Virginia is located in Virginia
Strasburg, Virginia
Location of Strasburg in Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County Shenandoah
Founded 1761
Incorporated 1871
Founded by Peter Stover
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Timothy Taylor
 • Manager Judson J. Rex
 • Council
 • Total 3.2 sq mi (8.2 km2)
 • Land 3.2 sq mi (8.2 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 578 ft (176 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,398
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 22657
Area code(s) 540
FIPS code 51-76000[2]
GNIS feature ID 1487663[3]

Strasburg is a town in Shenandoah County, Virginia, United States, which was founded in 1761 by Peter Stover. It is the largest town by population in the county and is known for its pottery, antiques, and Civil War history.[4] The population was 6,398 at the 2010 census.


  • History 1
    • Early settlers 1.1
    • Founder 1.2
    • Recent growth 1.3
  • Geography 2
  • Culture 3
    • Museums 3.1
    • Sports teams 3.2
    • Tourism 3.3
  • Demographics 4
  • Education 5
  • Notable people 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Early settlers

German-speaking Pennsylvanians were among the first non-native settlers to arrive in the northern Shenandoah Valley and Strasburg area. The luscious greenery and fertile land were prime targets for immigrant farmers. On August 21, 1734 speculator Henry Willis was granted 2,030 acres (8.2 km2) total of this land by William Gooch, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief.[5] Gooch wished to settle the valley to create a buffer between Native American tribes and the rest of the Virginia colony. During the summer of 1735, Willis sold his entire property to Jacob Funk. Jacob in return, partitioned his new purchase, reselling a part of it to his brother John.[6][7]

In contrast to the English culture found east of the Blue Ridge, Strasburg was settled with family farms and towns rather than plantations; few slaves; and Germanic language, religions, architecture and decorative arts. The thriving agricultural community that developed in the fertile bottomland along the banks of the Shenandoah River boasted scenic views of the Massanutten and Allegheny Mountains. Later nicknamed “Pot Town,” Strasburg also became a center for the production of both utilitarian and fancy earthenware and stoneware pottery. During the 19th and 20th centuries, many residents worked for the railroad industry and at limestone quarries; after WW II, other industries came to Strasburg, including paper and auto parts manufacture. Today Strasburg boasts a growing service economy, museums, charming eateries, numerous antique stores and other shops. Despite its location only 80 miles from Metro D.C. Strasburg has maintained its hospitable small town charm.[8]


Peter Stover (Petrus Stauffer) is considered the founder of the town of Strasburg. Stover was born in 1715 to a German-Swiss father, Christian Stauffer I., in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.[9] Stauffer took his family to America in 1718, to gain religious freedom, and settled in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania where he would live out his entire life.

His son Peter migrated south to Virginia by 1730 and to the Shenandoah Valley as early as 1739. On May 2, 1749 Stover purchased 483 acres (1.95 km2) of land from Jacob Funk, his future father-in-law.[10] The purchase was divided into smaller plots for sale to other settlers[11] and a village was informally established.

Stover applied for a town charter in November 1761 giving the town the official name of Strasburg.[12] The name was taken from Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, France. Some called the area Staufferstadt, the German name for Stoverstown. Ten trustees were named; William Miller, Matthew Harrison, Jacob Bowman, Valentine Smith, Charles Buck, Peter Stover, Isaac Hite, Leonard Batice, John Funk, and Philip Huffman (Hoffman).[13]

Peter eventually married Frainey Funk, before he died August 13, 1799 at the age of 84.[14] He was survived by eight children.[10] Being a philanthropist for most of his life, Stover's will left land and $10,000 to the community to establish schools.[15] A monument resides in Strasburg's Riverview Cemetery honoring Peter Stover, but the whereabouts of his grave is unknown.

Recent growth

Strasburg has experienced rapid growth along its northern corridor due to the fact that Washington D.C. is approximately 80 miles away. Strasburg is expecting an increase in population growth for the next few years to come.


Strasburg is located at (38.990550, −78.358615)[16] in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley. The area is surrounded by the natural boundaries of the Massanutten and Allegheny mountains, as well as the Shenandoah River. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park is located in and around Strasburg.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.2 km2), of which, 3.2 square miles (8.2 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (0.63%) is water. The elevation of the area is 578 ft (176 m).



The most heralded museum in Strasburg is the Strasburg Museum. The building was once home to the Strasburg Stone and Earthenware Manufacturing Company and later was converted to a Southern Railway depot. It operated in this manner until the early 1960s. In 1970 it opened as a museum.[17]

The now closed Stonewall Jackson Museum at Hupp's Hill was redeveloped by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and reopened on May 7, 2011 as the Hupp’s Hill Cedar Creek Museum at Hupp's Hill Civil War Park.[18][19]

Former attractions include the Jeane Dixon Museum and Library and the Museum of American Presidents.

Sports teams

In June 2011, Strasburg welcomed their first Valley Baseball League team called "The Strasburg Express."[20]


Strasburg holds three festivals each year: a Mayfest celebration, an Oktoberfest and a blues festival. The town's Mayfest traditionally begins on a Friday evening in May and includes carnival rides, a fireman's parade, and craft vendors. To celebrate the area's German roots, an Oktoberfest takes place each autumn. This event includes concessions with beverages and food, activities for children and adults, music, and street dancing. While German food and beer is provided, Bavarian culture has been eschewed so as to give the fest a more contemporary feel. The charitable Strasburg Blues Festival, formerly the Colonial Beach Blues Festival, is held in early June, and features internationally renowned musicians in a fairground setting replete with artists, crafters, diverse and eclectic cuisine, strolling performers and myriad vendors.

Cristina's Café offers the finest in American and Tex-Mex haute cuisine in a laid-back, artsy setting. On weekends, the Café opens up its small stage to some of the nation's finest Americana, folk, blues and bluegrass performers. Across the street, in a freshly-painted red building, visitors are invited to discover Populuxe, home to Strasburg's local music company, the Strasburg Blues Society, and its most unusual store. Any attempt to fully describe the merchandise offered for sale - there's everything from vinyl to vintage fashion - would be futile, suffice to say, there is something for the collector of almost anything.

Next door to Populuxe is Shenandoah Valley Art Works, one of the finest art galleries in the Valley. Housed in a beautifully restored 1820 brick Federal building, SVAW features fine art and crafts from more than forty painters, furniture makers, jewelers, potters, wood turners, metal artists, and fabric artists. Find a unique piece of art or souvenir by Virginia artists for your home, office space or for that special someone. Whatever the reason, the work here is of unusually high quality.

At the other end of town, one can find the Strasburg Antique Emporium and Flea Market, both popular destinations for tourists and area shoppers. Just around the corner is Iron Rose, a most unusual clothing and accessories shop. Run by Strasburg's most famous citizen, Danni Leigh, a Nashville country and western star, Iron Rose is a bohemian's dream with the finest in fair trade clothing and accessories, vintage western wear, hobo bags and purses and much much more. And before leaving Strasburg, one should stop in at Frets and Friends, a guitar and musical accessories shop run by Danni's husband, Mike. Mike's a musician by trade, and he's always ready to talk shop and let you plug in and play one of the many rare and vintage guitars for sale.

If you plan to stay overnight, there's the quaint and charming Hotel Strasburg. Built in 1902 as a private hospital, this unusual and eccentric Victorian building boasts rooms furnished with antiques and period details. And it is said by many to be haunted. Stop in at the Hotel's fashionable English pub, The Depot Lounge, to confirm that fact with the locals, who will be happy to regale you with stories of ghostly sightings. The Hotel's restaurant also offers the finest in southern cuisine and has long been a DC corridor favorite.

The Cedar Creek Battlefield and Belle Grove, Hupp House, Strasburg Historic District, Strasburg Museum, Mount Pleasant, and Stoner-Keller House and Mill are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[21][22]


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 4,017 people, 1,773 households, and 1,086 families residing in the town, making it the largest population center in Shenandoah County. The population density was 1,275.5 people per square mile (492.4/km2). There were 1,877 housing units at an average density of 596.0 per square mile (230.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 93.63% White, 4.48% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.42% of the population.

There were 1,773 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $32,724, and the median income for a family was $40,978. Males had a median income of $29,750 versus $21,755 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,697. About 5.3% of families and 9.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 13.6% of those age 65 or over.


Students living in the northern third of Shenandoah County attend one of three public schools located near Strasburg. Kindergarten through fifth grade students attend Sandy Hook Elementary School, while sixth through eighth graders attend Signal Knob Middle School. Located within the town limits, Strasburg High School serves ninth through twelfth graders.

The schools are administrated by the Shenandoah County Public School system, which is located in Woodstock, and the Virginia Department of Education, which is located in Richmond.

Notable people


  1. ^ "Preserve America Community". Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  4. ^ "About the Town/History – Town of Strasburg". Town of Strasburg. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Isaac and John Vanmetre Land Grant assignees, 1730/1734". Archived from the original on June 27, 2008. Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Shenandoah Valley, VA – Early Strasburg Families". Ann Brown. Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  7. ^ "BARD/BEARD in Shenandoah County, Virginia". Robert W. Baird. Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  8. ^ Melton, Babs. "A Brief History of Strasburg". Downtown Strasburg. Town of Strasburg, VA. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Shenandoah Ancestors Online". Alley Blackford. Archived from the original on November 14, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  10. ^ a b "Christian Stover". Trekking Stover Counsins Webpage. Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  11. ^ "IM206: Jacob STOVER (ABOUT 1685 – March 1741)". The Cockrill Family of Sonoma County. Archived from the original on January 27, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Frontier Fort – The Old Hupp Homestead Marker". Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  13. ^ "RootsWeb: WVPIONEERS-L WVPioneers German Element – Chapter 6 – Part 1". Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  14. ^ "The Ancestors/Family Tree of Kim Denny". Kim Denny. Archived from the original on April 21, 2006. Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Tour 5 from A Guide to the Old Dominion". University of Virginia American Studies Program. Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  16. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  17. ^ "Strasburg Museum, Strasburg, Virginia". Calvin Sonner. Retrieved October 5, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park". Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Civil War park, museum to open Saturday". The Northern Virginia Daily. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Strasburg Express > About us". Strasburg Express. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  21. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  22. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/15/11 through 8/19/11. National Park Service. 2011-08-26. 
  23. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 

External links

  • Shenandoah County, VA
  • Shenandoah County Public Schools
  • Sandy Hook Elementary School
  • Signal Knob Middle School
  • Strasburg High School
  • Strasburg Chamber of Commerce
  • Hometown Strasburg
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