We are very thankful the weather cooperated as we hosted the Page County Heritage Association for their June meeting followed by a picnic in the shade of the maple tree.
Founded in 1969, the Heritage Association is dedicated to preserving the rich historical past of the Page Valley and is funded by donations, membership dues, the sale of local history books and proceeds from the Page County Heritage Festival held each year on Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 12-13, 2013) at the Page County fairgrounds.
At the meeting, the Association awarded Luray High School senior, Danyelle McGrady, a $1000 college scholarship for a project she recently completed in her geographical information systems (GIS) class mapping transportation in Page County – from primary use of the Shenandoah River in the 1700-1800s with extensive use of gundalows, to the railroad (completed in 1881) and the development of the highway system.
Attendees also learned of an effort by local citizens to save the Luray Graded School, constructed in 1881 and located across from the courthouse in Luray. There are plans to raze the building in the fall to create 16 parking places. The loss of this historic building has come to the attention of Preservation Virginia which has listed it on the 2013 list of most endangered sites. Discussions are underway to encourage a “stay of execution” and save the landmark by exploring re-use alternatives which could serve as economic development opportunities for Luray and Page County.
Dr. Keller gave a presentation on the Virginia Territory that included West Virginia until the Civil War and the Hubbes received a plaque of appreciation and a check for their considerable amount of volunteer hours to the Association.