Historic Valley Road subject of program

A year ago the Smith Center filled to capacity with people eager to learn more about the historic road that runs the length of the Shenandoah Valley. Now, back by popular demand, the Augusta County Historical Society will present another program on that historic highway—the Great Valley Road of Virginia—on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m.

Three collaborators on the book about the road, publisher George Thompson, photographer Scott Jost, and author Ken Keller will talk about the road from their perspectives. Following the program, the new paperback version of The Great Valley Road of Virginia: Shenandoah Landscapes from Prehistory to the Present will be available for sale and autographing.

Today we know it as U.S. Route 11, but that same storied road has been known as the Great Wagon Road, the Warriors Path, the Valley Pike, and the Great Valley Road at various times during its history. It ranks among America’s oldest, most historic, and most geographically significant roads. On Thursday, January 19, learn more about the great road’s story.

The program focuses on the University of Virginia Press 320-page book that contains a series of essays edited by Warren Hofstra and Karl Raitz about the road. Featured in the book are a number of photographs taken by Jost, a Bridgewater College professor, of sites along U.S. Rt. 11. Keller, who has a chapter in the book, has completed extensive research on the turnpike. George Thompson, founder and director of the Center for American Places and the co-publisher of the book, provided the initial vision for the book project.

The program will take place in the second floor lecture room of the Smith Center. Following the program the Augusta County Historical Society will make copies of the new softcover edition available for purchase and autographing. The book has over 100 illustrations, engravings, and maps. One reviewer noted that “those interested in cultural landscapes in general, and highway landscapes in particular, will love the book, as will anyone with an interest in the Shenandoah Valley.”

The program, sponsored by the Augusta County Historical Society, is free to society members. A $5 fee will be charged to non-members. For more information, contact the ACHS office at 540-248-4151 or augustachs@ntelos.net, or visit www.augustacountyhs.org.


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