168 N. Loudoun Street
Winchester, VA 22601
540.535.0111
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Open Friday-Saturday: 11am-1:30am
Open Sunday 11am-5pm

June 2015 Edition

Family History 

At times history reminds us of how small the world really is.  My uncle passed away recently, he was 91; as the family historian, he had done much research during his long life.  His children were kind enough to pass on to me the wealth of his papers, letters and scribbled notes.

Our family was rooted in Northeastern Pennsylvania. During the Civil War my Great-Great-Great Grandfather (William), his wife (Anna) and all four of their sons served their country for the North.  Anna was a spy for the North, the first woman interred at Congressional Cemetery in Washington D.C., she traveled extensively through the Shenandoah Valley.  In a letter to her eldest son, George she wrote, “If ever this retched battle is over leave this horrible city and find refuge at Winchester, in the Shenandoah Valley.”

During the 3rd Battle of Winchester George’s son was captured and held at the old courthouse in Winchester. He wrote to his father, “There are many here who do not want this war. I am told we will be freed soon and I will come home. Once this business is done I will return, even in captivity I have grown fond of the town.” George’s son never returned, he died before reaching Pennsylvania.  However, George came after the war settled and became a merchant on Main (Loudoun) Street.

I have yet to find the exact location of his store. His only remaining son joined him here briefly but returned to Scranton, Pennsylvania; married and my Grandfather was born. My family did not return to Winchester until 1969 when my father was transferred here by Capitol Records. My father never knew the connection his family had with this community. He died two years before my uncle discovered the facts.

Photo Credit: Sheridan’s final charge at Winchester, chromolithograph by Louis Prang & Company, Sept 19, 1864