Staunton Stories Exhibit celebrates 20 years of Staunton Downtown Development Association

sdda logo2The Staunton Downtown Development Association hosted Staunton Stories, a one-day event to celebrate and document the people that make Downtown Staunton a dynamic and diverse community, to mark its 20-year anniversary.

The event was held at the R. R. Smith Center in March, and SDDA received almost 70 stories and items of memorabilia.

During the event, local residents and business owners were invited to bring up to three original photos or handheld items that told the story of their connection to Staunton. These items included photographs, documents, and memorabilia that relates to local families, businesses, downtown events, activities, social clubs, etc.

The data, digital images, and videos collected at the event have become part of the upcoming exhibit and an online archive housed on the SDDA website. The Staunton Stories Exhibit is being organized in partnership with the Historic Staunton Foundation, NBC Channel 29, Virginia Eagle Distributors, The Artisan Loft, FlyingWarthog Films, and the City of Staunton IT Department.

The Staunton Stories Exhibit Grand Opening is scheduled for Friday, June 17 from 6-9 p.m. at The Artisan Loft. The exhibit will run through July 31 and will consist of items collected at the March event, plus 20 years of photographs and documents depicting a history of Downtown development and SDDA accomplishments. 

“It is an honor to be part of the 20-Year Anniversary of the SDDA and to honor those people and organizations that make this community thrive,” says Julie Markowitz, director of the Staunton Downtown Development Association. “Everyone is invited to come and celebrate with us at The Artisan Loft, a new gallery space located above the Staunton Antiques Center at 19.”

The Staunton Stories Exhibit is funded by a $25,000 Downtown Investment Grant awarded by Virginia Main Street and is part of a series of activities and special promotions that not only commemorate the 20-year anniversary of SDDA but are designed to connect the Staunton Community to Downtown.

The SDDA was founded as a Virginia Main Street organization in 1996 and has been a driving force in the development of Downtown Staunton.

The idea for the March “Staunton Stories” was presented to the SDDA by Heather Cole, historian and newcomer to Staunton. Cole conducted a similar project in Massachusetts — the Massachusetts Memories Road Show — that held public events across the state to digitize family photographs and stories.

For more information about Staunton Stories, visit the SDDA website at

Visit Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast

fox hill logoWelcome to Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast Suites located halfway between Staunton and Lexington, Virginia, offering either B&B Suites or Kitchen Suites.

We invite you to unwind and surround yourself with the beauty and peace of our 38-acre country retreat.  Curl up in the living room by our soaring field-stone fireplace, or relax on the front porch and watch the clouds float over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Our grounds provide endless opportunities to commune with nature:  stroll in the shade along our spring-fed stream as bluebirds swoop by, watch a Blue Heron fish for dinner in our two-tier garden pond as you are serenaded by a chorus of frogs, and wander in our lovely gardens…all the while surrounded by spectacular mountain views.

When you are ready for more activity, you can romp in our meadows and walking trails with your favorite companions:  Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast Suites has been recognized as a favorite pet friendlydoggie destination” in the Shenandoah Valley by Hampton Roads Magazine.

Here you can chose between two lodging options:

All of our Suites have HD Satellite TV with full HBO and Showtime, queen-size beds and lots of space to stretch out and relax; most have Heat-N-Glo fireplaces and private outside entrances. Please visit our B&B Suites or Kitchen Suites pages for detailed descriptions, amenities and pictures of each suite.

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library hosts Flag Day celebration

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Flag Day at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Tuesday, June 14th at 12:00 pm as Museum Curator Andrew Phillips examines the United Sates entry into World War I.

Why did it take so long for the United States to enter the war? Was Woodrow Wilson a pacifist?  Join Andrew in the Education Parlor of the Dolores Lescure Center to learn the answers to these and other question and travel the thorny road that was American neutrality. The presentation is free and open to the public. In addition, the WWPL will be handing out American flags free to guests on Flag Day.

President Woodrow Wilson established Flag Day with a Proclamation on May 30, 1916.  Wilson’s Proclamation began “I, therefore, suggest and request that throughout the nation, and if possible in every community, the 14th day of June be observed as Flag Day with special patriotic exercises, at which means shall be taken to give significant expression to our thoughtful love of America, our comprehension of the great mission of liberty and justice to which we have devoted ourselves as a people, our pride in the history and our enthusiasm for the political program of the nation, our determination to make it greater and purer with each generation, and our resolution to demonstrate to all the world its vital union in sentiment and purpose, accepting only those as true compatriots who feel as we do the compulsion of this supreme allegiance.”

Communities across the nation began celebrating Flag Day on June 14, 1916, and for years to come.  In addition to his Flag Day proclamation, President Wilson gave two major speeches about Flag Day.  On June 14, 1915, the year before the proclamation, he gave an address honoring the flag.  The next year, on June 14, 1916, one month after his proclamation, he gave another Flag Day address describing the proclamation and urging Americans to honor the flag.  Wilson also led the Flag Day parade in Washington D.C. on that first Flag Day.

The idea for Flag Day actually originated in 1885, when a Wisconsin public school teacher decided that his students should celebrate June 14 as “Flag Birthday.”  That day marked the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes in 1777.  In 1949, 33 years after President Wilson’s proclamation, President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress officially designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Those interested in more information about Flag Day or visiting the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum should contact the Presidential Library at (540) 885-0897, ext. 100.