Last week we were part of a Landmark Events history tour, this time in our own neck of the woods, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. We began in Lexington and made our way up through Staunton, Port Republic and New Market, each day exploring some of the highlights of these towns and listening to stories of what happened at each location, all told through a lens of recognizing God's providential hand through history.
Historian Bill Potter led our group as we learned of key people and events, particularly during the Civil War era, as many battles were fought throughout the Valley region. Our first day started in Lexington, where General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's home still stands.
We wandered the gardens outside and toured the rooms of the house while hearing about the life of this famous man.
Our next stop was the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, where not only Jackson's statue and gravesite is found, but also where many other notable soldiers and family members involved in the war are buried.
We took photos, wandered the cemetery looking for significant stones, and enjoyed a conversation with Mr. Turley, who was an excellent tour facilitator.
We then continued on to Washington and Lee University, where Robert E. Lee is buried and commemorated.
Virginia Military Institute (VMI), also in Lexington, was our final destination for the day.
The 3 of us (Dad, Jonathan, and I) then raced home from Lexington to get ready for an ice cream social we'd planned for tour attendees that evening.
It was fun to welcome everyone to the Valley and to spend some time getting to know new faces.
Young and old spread out on our deck and the grass to eat, talk, and play.
The event was such a success that we decided to host it again for tour group #2!