The Frontier Culture Museum: Lantern Tours 2015

There’s a sense of excitement this time of year. From watching holiday parades with friends to the special Christmas desserts made with family members, it seems that there is something special going on almost every day of the month. What happens when you add a dash of history to the mix? You get Lantern Tours of the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia!

The lantern-lit tours at this living history museum will take you back in time to villages around the world: “Visitors will enjoy vignettes at England, Ireland, Germany, 1820s America, and 1850s America including a Mummer’s play near the Irish Forge and a horse-drawn wagon ride from the Old World to the New World.” You’ll also enjoy post-tour refreshments and live music in the Dairy Barn Lecture Hall to complete the experience. Ready to take a step back in time for the holiday season?

Fast Facts:

Where: The Frontier Culture Museum, 1290 Richmond Road, Staunton, VA 24401

When: December 18-23, 2015, 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

Cost: Cost: Adults $15.00, Children $8.00 (Reservations are requires, so click here to grab your tickets now.)

Lodging: A Shenandoah Valley B&B!

Happy Holidays! We look forward to seeing you here in the Shenandoah Valley.

Attend Fall Festival Living History Day at Grand Caverns

If you caught a past blog of ours, then you may have learned a bit about the famous Grand Caverns of Grottoes, Virginia. But a tour of the caverns isn’t the only excitement you can experience at this historic location. Coming up on October 3, 2015, you’ll have the chance to experience Fall Festival Living History Day. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or just a casual observer of the past, you won’t want to miss this event!

Here are a few details about what you can expect to find and enjoy at this year’s festival:

  1. Artifact Identification: Bring you arrowheads, stone tools, and other historic artifacts, and let the Massanutten Chapter of the Virginia Archeological Society help you identify their past.
  2. Re-enactment Groups: “Re-enactment groups from different time periods will be demonstrating the daily life of a Civil War, WWII, and Vietnam Era Soldier throughout the day.”
  3. Vehicle Displays: Observe an array of military, classic, and antique vehicles.
  4. A Ballroom Dance: Held inside the Ballroom of Grand Caverns, you’ll have the opportunity to end the festival with an authentic ball from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (It’s not required, but if you feel so inclined, feel free to wear period attire!)

Don’t forget to book your room at a Shenandoah Valley B&B to complete your Living History experience. We look forward to seeing you!


The Second Battle of Kernstown: 150th Anniversary Commemoration

“In July 1864 the main focus of the war in Virginia had shifted to the Richmond area where the Union army had hopes of swiftly ending the war. Only secondary attention was being paid to the Shenandoah Valley with the only Union presence being Gen. George Crook in Winchester with a force of less than 12,000. With the tragic loss in 1863 of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson who died at Chancellorsville from friendly fire from his own pickets, the Confederate forces in the Valley were now led by Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early” (Kernstown Battle).

The Second Battle of Kernstown was the last Confederate victory in the Shenandoah Valley, the beginning of Sheridan’s 1864 Valley Campaign, and preceding the end of the war by only nine months.

This year is the 150th Anniversary Commemoration of the Second Battle of Kernstown, and you have the opportunity to take a step back in time at the 1864 Pritchard House on the Kernstown Battlefield. Enjoy living history demonstrations, artillery displays, guided tours, motor coach tours, period fashion shows, and an appearance by the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile.

Quick Facts:

Where: The Pritchard-Grim Farm, Winchester, VA
When: July 19-20, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Admission: Free
Lodging: A BBHSV Bed and Breakfast, of course!

Source: John Paul Strain

Source: John Paul Strain

May Day at the Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, Virginia

Visiting the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia almost feels like you’ve been transported to the past. Between the replica houses, the costumed actors, and the demonstrations of daily life in the 17th, 18th, and 19th Century, history really does come to life right before your eyes. Furthermore, the Frontier Culture Museum offers a number of festivals throughout the year, and one upcoming event is the May Day Festival.

May Day is a celebration of spring, and the Frontier Culture Museum’s activities reflect a number of traditional activities from historic England, Ireland, and Germany. “In medieval England, people would celebrate the start of spring by going out to the country or woods—‘going a-maying’—and gathering greenery and flowers, or ‘bringing in the may’” (Infoplease).

On Saturday, May 3, 2014, take part in the available food, drink, children’s activities, and celebratory games. Enjoy the antics of the Mummers—costumed pantomimes—at the German and Irish farms, and, of course, join in a lively dance around the Maypole. Festivities begin at noon and run through 5:00 p.m.

(Need nearby lodging? How about a BBHSV member inn:

Photo by Katie Currid

Photo by Katie Currid

Explore History at Killahevlin in Front Royal, VA


There is no doubt that no matter where you set foot in Virginia, you will be in an area that is rich with the past. Many of our BBHSV members are links to history in and of themselves, and it is that history that makes inns like Killahevlin Bed and Breakfast such a wonderfully unique experience.

The Gaelic name “Killahevlin” has its origins in Northern Ireland, the childhood home of Irish immigrant William Edward Carson. In 1885 when Carson was only 15 years old, he moved to the United States, where he “took over his father’s lime-manufacturing plant at Riverton” (Encyclopedia Virginia). He eventually constructed his new home in Front Royal, an Edwardian-styled mansion that still stands proudly today and welcome guests within its walls.

Killahevlin’s past involves a greater history than just its edifice and its creator, however.   The site on which the mansion is built has its roots in the American Civil War, where its “vantage point proved to be a strategic location for Union troop encampment” (VAIrish). Furthermore, it is believed that two members of the controversial Confederate 43rd Battalion (also known as “Mosby’s Men”) were executed at this very location.

In 1993, Killahevlin was the Virginia Landmarks Register as well as the National Register of Historic Places, solidifying its position in history. Now the establishment is owned and run by Tom and Kathy Conkey, who describe their B&B as “Southern hospitality meets Irish charm.” They blend both American history and Irish history with a wealth of modern amenities, creating a charmingly casual vicinity that promises fun and relaxation.

Killahevlin Bed and Breakfast