At the top of the Shenandoah Valley and Virginia, Winchester was once Shawnee Indian camping grounds to which Pennsylvania Quakers came to settle in 1732. In the mid-1700’s, Frederick County became the military and political training ground for George Washington, who came here at the age of sixteen to survey the lands of Thomas, the Sixth lord Fairfax. Washington built Fort Loudoun during the French and Indian War and, at twenty-six, was elected to his first public office as the county’s representative to the House of Burgesses.
During the Revolutionary War, Daniel Morgan’s Rifleman from Frederick County were among the first who came to Washington’s aid against the British. War prisoners were housed in Winchester and the neighboring countryside.
Winchester was a strategic prize of great importance during the Civil War. In Confederate hands, on excellent roads to the north and east, it was a serious threat to the supply lines of the Union armies trying to reach Richmond – the heart of the Confederacy. In the hands of the Union army, Winchester made Confederate raids and invasion of the north risky and opened a protected avenue for Union troop movements south through a valley from which they could attack on the flanks and rear of Lee’s main armies. Thus, Winchester and Frederick County became the scene of six battles during the Civil War, and the city itself changed flags around seventy times during the four year conflict, it is said thirteen times in one day. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson demonstrated his military leadership in the Valley Campaign. Winchester was familiar to him not only as a military objective, but also as his home during the winter of 1861-1862. Here he enjoyed the companionship of his wife for the last winter. His headquarters is located on North Braddock Street and is open in the spring and summer months.
In Winchester and Frederick County the visitor will see many relics of the area’s history: the tomb of Lord Fairfax in the yard of Christ Episcopal Church; the home and grave of General Daniel Morgan, hero of the Revolutionary War; George Washington’s headquarters: the headquarters of “Stonewall” Jackson: the headquarters of the Union General Philip Sheridan,from which he started his 12 mile ride on October 19, 1864, to rally his retreating army at Cedar Creek- the ride made famous by Thomas Buchanon Read’s poem, “Sheridan’s Ride”; the Hollingsworth house, Abram’s Delight, built in 1754 and now completely furnished with relics of the 18th century; houses of the Revolutionary era; the National Cemetery and the Confederate Cemetery with thousands of heroes graves; the ruins of an old church used as barracks during the Revolutionary War; the Hopewell Meeting House, established in 1734: Belle Grove Plantation, 1794; and many others.
The George Washington Hotel A Wyndham Grand Hotel Winchester
Historic elegance meets modern amenities — a Roman-style indoor pool, restaurant, trendy lounge and spa services — at the highly rated George Washington Hotel - a Wyndham Historic Hotel. The five-story George Washington Hotel - a Wyndham Historic Hotel features 90 stylish rooms in an elegant Georgian Revival-style building. All accommodations include pillowtop mattresses, flat-panel TVs, coffeemakers, hairdryers, work areas and free morning newspapers. Some rooms have fireplaces, and many boast prime views of Winchester's historic district. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. Head to the lobby for a look at the original desk, from when the property opened in 1924, as well as marble floors and soaring ceilings. Don't miss the indoor Roman-style pool, complete with columns and a hot tub. Both the restaurant and lobby's bar area are trendy and popular among the locals. Guests interesting in a pampering take advantage of the in-room spa services, while those needing to work head for the 24-hour business center. You'll find meeting facilities, banquet rooms and a ballroom on-site. Dry cleaning and laundry services are available, as is parking (for a fee). The entire property is non-smoking. Located in the heart of Winchester's historic district, the George Washington Hotel - a Wyndham Historic Hotel is walking distance from Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters, the Old Court House Civil War Museum, the Winchester National Cemetery and the annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. Shenandoah University is two miles away. Winchester Regional Airport is a four-mile drive, and Washington-Dulles International Airport is 50 miles away. our guests heap high praise on the "beautiful and classy" George Washington Hotel, especially its "fabulous" pool area, "fantastic" beds and "great downtown location.
Hotel website: https://tinyurl.com/ybgqdnyt
History of Handley Regional Library
Judge John Handley of Scranton, Pennsylvania left $250,000 in his will to “ . . . open a Public Library for the free use of the people of the city of Winchester forever.” The Handley Trustees hired architects J. Stewart Barney and Henry Otis Chapman of New York who designed the building in Beaux-Arts style. The Handley Library opened in 1913 at a cost of $149,198 for the building and furnishings. An addition was added to the building in 1979 and a complete renovation, designed by Dennis Kowal Architects, was completed in 2001.
In 1979 the library became a regional library when Frederick County and then in 1981 Clarke County joined the system. The first public library in Clarke County, part of the regional system, opened in June 1985 and was operated by volunteers for the first two years.