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Strasburg in Shenandoah County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hupp's "Little Gem"

How Strata Shaped Strategy: The Hupp's Hill Civil War/Karst Interpretive Walking Trail

 
 
Hupp's "Little Gem" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 31, 2020
1. Hupp's "Little Gem" Marker
Inscription.  
Hupp's Hill
Mirroring the story of many Valley settlers, during the mid-1600s a German family surnamed Hupp disembarked in Philadelphia settling first in Pennsylvania's York and Lancaster Counties before migrating south along the Great Wagon Road into the Great Valley of Virginia in 1732. In 1755 the Hupps built a fortified home at the bottom of their Hill, thus helping to plug a gap in George Washington's chain of military forts along Virginia's frontier. To ensure survival during possible enemy siege, the civilian fort contained three gun ports and was built over a constant source of fresh water which originates in the Hill's strata and seeps out of the karstic spring behind the fort.

Shawnee Indians reputedly showed the Hupps the entrance to Crystal Caverns. Archaic Culture (c. 8,000 - 3000 BP) artifacts that reveal that the cave had been used as a temporary shelter, a mine for raw materials, and possibly a ceremonial center for thousands of years. The Hupps found their cave's constant 55-degree temperature and beautiful passages well-suited for food storage and for the candle in parties that they termed
Hupp's "Little Gem" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 31, 2020
2. Hupp's "Little Gem" Marker
illuminations. Generations of children "played hooky" from school and their chores by hiding in the cave's depths, sometimes complaining about the cave's "toe-thumpers," the protruding rocks in the phreatic zone on which they stubbed their bare toes.

As the family prospered from large land grants, George W. Hupp built an imposing home across the Pike from the Frontier Fort. The Hupp Manion provided a comfortable headquarters for Generals Nathaniel P. Banks in 1862 and Philip Sheridan in 1864, while their troops encamped on the heights above.

During the early 1920s, Bruce Hupp opened an amusement park at the top of the Hill offering tours of Crystal Caverns, two observation towers for viewing the relict Civil War trenches, a museum (later converted to a skating rink), two livery stables, miniature golf course, overnight accommodations, and open-air concerts presented by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Cowboy Copas, Patsy Cline, and others, using a sinkhole as a natural amphitheater.

Hupp's Hill Battleground Park opened in 1991 and the museum was recast as Stonewall Jackson Museum at Hupp's Hill Historic Park in 1997. Crystal Caverns at Hupp's Hill, "A Little Gem in the Shenandoah Valley," opened in 1998 as as the only Virginia cave operated as a museum. The Hupp's Hill Civil War Karst Interpretive Walking
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Trail opened in 2010.
 
Erected by Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation. (Marker Number CWK 13.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraForts and CastlesSettlements & SettlersWar, French and Indian. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, Strasburg, How Strata Shaped Strategy: The Hupp's Hill Civil War/Karst Interpretive Walking Trail series list.
 
Location. 39° 0.026′ N, 78° 20.927′ W. Marker is in Strasburg, Virginia, in Shenandoah County. Marker can be reached from Old Valley Pike (U.S. 11) 0.1 miles west of Signal Knob Drive, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 33231 Old Valley Pike, Strasburg VA 22657, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crystal Caverns Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); Lower Cave (within shouting distance of this marker); Hupp’s Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); Trail Head (within shouting distance of this marker); The Shenandoah Valley / Battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864 (within shouting distance of this marker); Field Fortifications (within shouting distance of this marker); Signal Knob
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(within shouting distance of this marker); A Natural Bombproof (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Strasburg.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 31, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 31, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Mar. 8, 2021