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

Historic Strasburg

Stop #4

Historic Strasburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 23, 2020
1. Historic Strasburg Marker
Inscription.  The Town Run is to your right. One source of the stream comes from a spring several blocks north at Hupp's Homestead. Bruce Hupp had his commercial watercress beds there. Often he boarded the train at Strasburg Depot in the morning, delivered his fresh greens to Alexandria markets, and returned via train by early afternoon.

At one time, Town Run was divided: one branch ran through Jeremiah Keister's garden (the present carwash), continued under a house at King Street and under the street providing water to operate Funk's Tannery (where Town Hall is located) and Obed Chandler's tannery on block beyond. The second branch is the straight canal you see today. The streams rejoined at Queen Street and continued to wind to the Shenandoah River.

About 1742, Samuel Funk built a grist mill near the confluence of Town Run and the river. Strasburg was not officially established and the area was commonly referred to as "Funk's Mill settlement at the Shenandoah." In describing the vast region, early trappers and hunters called it "the valley of the senedoes." The ancient Senedo tribe was gone long before the first whites explored the valley,
Historic Strasburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 23, 2020
2. Historic Strasburg Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
but it is thought that the melodic name "Shenandoah," meaning "Clear-eyed Daughter of the Stars," is derived from Senedo.

The log house behind you was built in 1777. The land was sold by Peter Stover, the town's founder, with the stipulation that a house be built within one year. The rear wing was erected first and used as a tannery. The two-story front came later and eventually the space between the two structures was boarded in. Notice the neatly dovetailed logs at the building's corners. The property was conveyed to the Town of Strasburg in 1940 and deeded to the local Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 1995.

Brother Sirone, a Sabbatarian monk and master craftsman, arrived in Strasburg with a potter's wheel in 1761. That same year Strasburg was established by the Virginia House of Burgess in an act introduced by Representative George Washington. The pottery industry was very important to Strasburg. Four potteries were located across the street:
-Jeremiah Keister, 1880
-William H. Lehew, 1890
-George Miller, 1890-1899
-Luther D. Funkhouser, 1899-1905

Bishop Francis Asbury's "Journal" records his presence in the Shenandoah Valley between 1794 and 1806. His work is thought to be the beginning of Methodism here. In 1835 trustees of a small Methodist congregation paid Adam Keister $55 for a lot at the northwest corner of Holliday and Washington
Log house image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 23, 2020
3. Log house
The marker stands just to the left of the house.
Streets. Their plan to build the Strasburg United Methodist Church finally came to life in 1876 when a frame structure was completed. The present Gothic Revival church replaced the original building in 1905.

As yo uwalk to Stop #5 at Fort Street, notice the lovely examples of Folk Victorian style homes that date from the late 19th and very early 20th Centuries. (Marker Number 4.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1742.
Location. 38° 59.401′ N, 78° 21.622′ W. Marker is in Strasburg, Virginia, in Shenandoah County. Marker is at the intersection of West Washington Street and North Water Street, on the right when traveling east on West Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. American Legion (a few steps from this marker); Stonewall's Surprise (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Historic Strasburg (about 400 feet away); This Fertile Land (about 400 feet away); Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church (about
Railroad Bridge over Town Run image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2007
4. Railroad Bridge over Town Run
The car wash referenced on the marker is to the left of this bridge, and was the site of Jeremiah Keister's garden. Water Street is blocked at this point to through traffic.
700 feet away); a different marker also named Historic Strasburg (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Historic Strasburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); Open House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Strasburg.
More about this marker. On the upper left of the marker is a tour stop map indicating the location of this marker with a red star. On the lower right is a street map of Strasburg from 1878.
Also see . . .  Strasburg Historic District. (PDF) This application for National Register of Historic Places offers many details regarding the locations described on the marker. (Submitted on November 11, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Additional commentary.
1. Samuel Funk Mill?
Jacob Funk and brother, John, settled the Strasburg, VA area. Jacob (b 1695) was the first to move from PA to VA in 1735. The 2030 acres he bought stretched from Tumbling Run northward, encompassing the present town of Strasburg. “Jacob probably had his home on what is now called Town Run. ... He, like his brother John, built a mill in the early 1740’s, which he refers to in his will.” – Daniel Bly. Their younger brother, Samuel, spent the years 1739-1750 in PA as a monk at the Ephrata Cloisters. Jacob’s son, Jacob, and John’s son, Henry, founded Funkstown MD.
    — Submitted
Hupp Homestead image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 28, 2012
5. Hupp Homestead
The "Frontier Fort", where Bruce Hupp grew watercress for sale in Alexandria.
March 25, 2010, by Dennis Long of St Marys, Ohio.
Watercress image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 14, 2014
6. Watercress
blooming in Town Run near the railroad bridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 11, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,846 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 24, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   4. submitted on November 11, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on May 29, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Nov. 30, 2021