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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Front Royal in Warren County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Massanutten

 
 
The Massanutten Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 30, 2007
1. The Massanutten Marker
Inscription. An unusual name for an unusual mountain. Totally isolated within the Shenandoah Valley, fifty-mile-long Massanutten Mountain begins and ends abruptly. From here you can see its north end. Called simply "The Massanutten," the mountain today is part of George Washington National Forest. The origin of the name "Massanutten" is unclear.

Signal Knob
The high point near the end of the Massanutten is Signal Knob. During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers used Signal Knob as an observation and signal post. Message signals were relayed to stations farther south, and on to Richmond. The Union Army may have used Signal Knob for brief periods as well.

Why does Massanutten rise like it does?
Whereever rock layers are exposed at the surface, they erode. Harder layers "resist" erosion and remain as ridges; softer layers erode into valleys. Long, parallel lines of resistant Massanutten Sandstone form Massanutten's ridges. To the north and south the sandstone dips below the surface and Massanutten ends.
 
Erected by Shenandoah National Park.
 
Location. 38° 51.513′ N, 78° 12.568′ W. Marker is near Front Royal, Virginia, in Warren County. Marker is on Skyline Drive, on the right when traveling
Close Up of the Cross Section image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 7, 2009
2. Close Up of the Cross Section
south. Click for map. Located at the Signal Knob Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. Marker is in this post office area: Front Royal VA 22630, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Indian Old Fields (approx. 1.1 miles away); Asbury Chapel (approx. 2.5 miles away); Belle Boyd and Jackson (approx. 2.9 miles away); Belle Boyd (approx. 3.1 miles away); William E. Carson (approx. 3.4 miles away); Prospect Hill Cemetery (approx. 3.9 miles away); Mosby's Men (approx. 3.9 miles away); Warren County High School and Massive Resistance (approx. 4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Front Royal.
 
More about this marker. The lower half of the marker shows a panorama of the valley below, with highlights to North Mountain (16 miles), South Fork of the Shenandoah River, Massanutten Mountain (For 50 miles, Massanutten Mountain's two parallel ridges split the Shenandoah Valley in half), Signal Knob (Civil War signal point). On the upper right is a Cross section of rock layers beneath Massanutten Mountain.
 
Additional comments.
1. The Meaning of the Word “Massanutten”
The word “massanutten”
The Massanutten Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 30, 2007
3. The Massanutten Marker
With Massanutten and Signal Knob in the background.
comes from the Cherokee Indian word meaning “bread basket.” I donít know how they would have known this however considering the only way this is made clear is by flying over the range. They were truly people of the land. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted November 14, 2009, by Jonathan Wilde of Stephen City, Virginia.

 
Categories. Natural FeaturesWar, US Civil
 
The Massanutten Mountain and Signal Knob image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 30, 2007
4. The Massanutten Mountain and Signal Knob
The mountain overlooks Front Royal and Strasburg (to the west side). In between the two ridges of Massanutten is Fort Valley, effectively a valley within a valley.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,806 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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