Ramble On

Monday, February 6, 2012

Luray's 200th Anniversary!

This year Luray is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding.  Although Mary and I had work commitments that kept away from the kick-off celebrations, it looks like we missed a special evening.  Fortunately, Saturday’s events were just the beginning of a year-long observation of the anniversary.

There was good coverage in the Page News + Courier of all the festivities, and I am starting to see some rave reviews on Facebook.  In the PN + C’s coverage, Pam Flasch, director of the bicentennial committee, described a “first night” style of evening – and despite the threat of rain, it came off and was well attended – here’s a picture of Pam holding one of the anniversary buttons (photo is from the Celebrate Luray website, see link below).

Besides the speeches you would expect at an event like this, all the shops stayed open, and there was live music at quite a few venues around town. 

The paper’s coverage summarized Luray’s history since its establishment in 1812, but it omits a favorite anecdote of mine about the evolution of the town as County Seat. Page County was carved out of two counties, and at that time, the mountains were still a formidable barrier to the east and west.  People who lived in what is now Page County had to travel over to Mount Jackson Woodstock (thanks, J.D. Wayne, for the corrections!) to do local government business, a trip that required overnight at a minimum, but more typically meant you’d be away for two or three days.

As I understand it, the Virginia House of Delegates responded with the establishment of the new county after residents complained about the inconvenience of the travel.  Land was given then by Isaac Ruffner to establish the town of Luray, which would become the county seat.

Here’s the link to the website about the anniversary.  It will be updated as new events are added to the schedule…Mary and I will look forward to joining our friends very soon!

1 comment:

J.D. Wayne said...

A minor correction in your account of Luray's history. Before 1831, when Page County was organized,the county court and other records for this area were held in Woodstock, not Mt. Jackson. Woodstock has been the Shenandoah County seat since 1772.