I love the thought of showing off my town in pictures but February around here is pretty quiet, more quiet than usual in this town of just over 6,000 people. Still I have plenty of photos in my archives to give a decent tour.
Let’s start at The Strasburg Museum, which is not opened this time of year but will be in May until October. The building the museum calls home, built in 1890, was once Strasburg Stone and Earthenware Manufacturing Company. Strasburg experienced a boom period during the late 1890’s in the pottery business and at one time was known as “Pot Town” because of it. In 1909 the boom was over and Strasburg Stone and Earthenware closed it’s doors. Four years later the Southern Railway Company converted the building into a passenger and freight depot where it remained a center of the railroad’s presence in Strasburg until the early 1960’s. In 1970, the same year it was designated as a National Historic Landmark, the Strasburg Museum leased the abandoned structure from the railroad and transformed it into a museum. Later the museum organization took ownership of the building.
A block from the museum is The Strasburg Emporium. The Emporium boasts more than 100 dealers and artisans and 1.4 acres of antiques, rare coins, vintage clothing, jewelry, and artifacts, enough to meet every budget. There are several other flea markets and antique dealers in Strasburg making it a great destination for shoppers and browsers alike.
Next we’ll head west to the center of town. Locals often refer to this area as Main Street and there is even a lunch counter here called Main Street Sweets & Café but the correct name is King Street. The town office can be found on King Street and information about shopping, restaurants, and a walking tour are available in the lobby. If you are here during business hours stop in and see the art display on the walls. New artists are featured bi-monthly.
We will detour from King Street for a moment, and stroll down Holliday Street to stop at the Hotel Strasburg, an iconic feature of our town and a must see when visiting. There are many ways to enjoy the Hotel. The pub room has free popcorn, a fully stocked bar and a reasonably priced menu with options cooked to please all comers. For a more elegant choice the dining room offers a quiet setting that won’t break the bank. Rooms are available for weary travelers and since, the Hotel was first designed as a hospital when it was built in 1902, and has its share of tales of ghosts and scandals, just ask.
If we continue up the hill from the hotel we are headed to Sandy Hook. In this direction we’ll cross over the bridge that spans the Shenandoah River. We will also find our three schools; the high school, elementary, and the middle school and one of the best places in town to see the sun set.
Heading back downtown make a quick stop at The Strasburg Presbyterian Church. Built in 1830 it is the oldest church in Shenandoah County and the oldest building still standing in Strasburg. The church was a hospital during the civil war for both sides and the Riverview Cemetery next door has the graves of both union and confederate soldiers.
Traveling west we will see the finished street-scape project which has done much to beautify our downtown (the east side is slated to begin in the spring). If you enjoy architecture, Strasburg features many historic homes, churches, and other architectural gems. The well maintained Strasburg Post Office, completed in 1936 is a wonderful example of the colonial revival style popular during the time it was built.
The Spangler Mill/Old Mill Tavern on the southern border has been a fixture in the town of Strasburg since it was built in 1797. In 1938 it was bought and converted into a tavern. Today the local chapter of the Fraternal Organization of the Eagles own it. Their meeting rooms and social quarters are downstairs while they renovate the upstairs portion for future use.
Lots of art, history, and shopping in Strasburg. It’s a wonderfully quiet place to spend a day (or two) in a rural setting. For a more in depth look visit this post from last year.