Shenandoah Valley History Comes Alive in Four New Local History Collections
Posted on: October 27, 2023
The history of the Shenandoah Valley just got more accessible! JMU Libraries Special Collections recently acquired and processed four important collections that document the history of the beautiful valley that is home to JMU.
“It was really a treat to arrange and describe these materials and, through that process, gain a better understanding of the people and stories documented,” noted Tiffany Cole, Special Collections Archivist. “We’re so excited to make these local history collections available to the larger community of researchers.”
Kate Morris, Head of Special Collections, said, “These newly processed collections represent acquisitions from the past few years and we are excited to make these collections available to folks interested in researching valley life.”
The new collections, which researchers (and anyone!) can now use, include:
Charles Grattan Price Jr. Collection on “Tweetsie” and the Shenandoah Central Railroad
This collection documents a narrow-gauge railroad and locomotive, nicknamed “Tweetsie,” that operated from 1953 to 1954 in Penn Laird. Railroad enthusiasts and country music fans will appreciate that this collection documents the “Gene Autry Deal,” a failed business agreement between the Singing Cowboy and the railroad. Find correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other documents. We have digitized all the photographs in this collection, as well as a short home video, and made them available online. This collection was generously donated by C. Grattan “Butch” Price III, son of C. Grattan Price Jr.
Learn more about the Charles Grattan Price Jr. collection.
Tisinger Family Collection of Shenandoah County Land Surveys
Hundreds of nineteenth-century Shenandoah County land deeds, surveys, and more are available in this collection from William Tisinger (1816-1887), a teacher and land surveyor. Specific locations covered by the land surveys include Orkney Springs, New Market, Edinburg, and others.
Learn more about the Tisinger Family collection.
Rupp Family Papers
One family’s existence in New Market in the nineteenth century is documented in this collection, featuring correspondence, photographs, drawings, and more. Notably, the collection covers the work of William F. Rupp (1834-1908), a German-born painter. Rupp’s work includes frescoes in Rader’s Lutheran Church in Timberville and the Shenandoah County Courthouse in Woodstock. One sketchbook of his drawings includes a birds-eye view of Luray that was eventually published in the noted 1993 book Folk and Decorative Art of the Shenandoah Valley.
Learn more about the Rupp Family Papers collection.
George M. Neese Papers
In this collection, dating back to 1859, are the personal papers and correspondence of a Confederate soldier, George M. Neese (1839-1921), of New Market. One of the items in the collection is the draft manuscript of a book based on Neese’s diaries about his experiences during the Civil War. This book, Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery, was published in 1911.
Learn more about the George M. Neese Papers collection.
Categorised in: JMU Libraries News, Special Collections News