Tomorrow, I am going to Staunton, VA, about 2 hours south of where I live in Northern Virginia, for a book signing for The Travelers at the The The Sacred Circle Bookstore. Just a few months ago I visited Staunton for the first time. As I walked the streets, I fell in love the quaint, small town – the classic, narrow 3 story buildings pressed together lining brick sidewalks, the large windows inviting me into the stores, the street lamps, the restaurants. (It also helped that Staunton’s main street has 3 book stores in a one block radius, one of which is The Sacred Circle.)
While I love all bookstores, The Sacred Circle itself “sells an eclectic selection of books, art, music and gifts representing the wonderful diversity of our planet’s spiritual and cultural heritage.” So, basically my kind of place, just like the city itself.
Of course, being me, after my visit I subsequently researched everything I could about the Staunton. Here are some highlights in case you’re interested in Staunton, VA. It’s a great city worth a visit.
Maybe come visit it on Saturday, Novmeber 12, and come to The Sacred Circle at 1pm and see me at my book signing for The Travelers!
For the History Buff
- For nearly 11,000 years, Native Americans were the only inhabitants the Shenandoah Valley, where Staunton is located.
- Founded in 1747, Staunton, known as “The Queen City” of the Shenandoah Valley, and named after Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of the colonial governor of Virginia, William Gooch.
- The Augusta Female Seminary was founded in 1842, for example, and the Wesleyan Female Institute in 1846.
- Birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th US President
- Statler Brothers, country music legends
For the lover are arts and culture
There is no shortage of arts and culture in Staunton. Here are just a few examples.
- American Shakespeare Center at the Blackfriars Playhouse, a replica of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre
- Heifetz International Music Institute
- The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library
- Museum of American Frontier Culture
- The Dwell Collective art gallery
- Beverley Street Studio School
For those like education
Staunton is home of:
- Mary Baldwin University, historically a women’s college
- Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind
For the budding architect
- The recently restored Stonewall Jackson Hotel, which originally opened in 1924, was designed by H.L. Stevens and is considered a fitting example of the renowned American architect’s work in the Colonial Revivalist style.
- The Collins Architectural Drawing Archive includes over 1,100 project files and is currently housed in the R.R. Smith Center for History & Art.
For the Film Fanatic
The following movies and shows used Staunton, VA for parts of filming.
- American Civil War film Gods and Generals.
- Hearts in Atlantis
- Showtime’s Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker
- Evan Almighty
For the Ghost Chaser
If the stories are to be believed, Staunton is practically overrun with ghosts. If you want a good ghost story, then this is the place for you.
- Staunton Train Depot is said to be haunted by ghosts from soldiers, victims of fires and train crashes.
- “Richard,” the blue-uniformed soldier, roams Mary Baldwin College and loves to cause trouble
- The “Yellow Peril” spirit dwells in the upstairs barracks of the Virginia Military Institute
- Civil War soldiers haunt the Lafayette Inn and The Selma House