Monday, October 27, 2014

Historic Winchester, Virginia

Our Sunday began with a Reformation service at Grace Lutheran.  It was quite an inspirational service enhanced by trumpet and pipe organ accompanying such great old hymns as "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and the "Church's One Foundation".  The congregation was organized in 1752, its' present building sits in the historic district of Winchester.  After services John and I started our walking tour down Winchester's main street, once known as the Great Philadelphia "Wagon" Road.   This was the main artery to settlement west of the mountains during the early days of our country.

  Winchester is the oldest community west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so it is not unusual to find buildings here over 200 years old.  The Godfrey-Miller home was built in 1788, passed down through the Miller family until 1934 when it was donated to the Lutheran church for an elderly ladies home.
As I had mentioned in a previous posting, Winchester changed hands between Union and Confederate forces many times.  The same thing can be said for the courthouse which was used as a hospital and prison by both armies.  During the Civil War 6 major battles were fought in and around the town.
Young George Washington arrived in Winchester in 1748 as a surveyor, later to become adjutant of the militia, and representative to the colonial House of Burgesses for this county, Fredrick, in 1758.  Pictured below is the original blockhouse portion believed to predate 1758 and used by Washington as a surveyor and adjutant of the militia from 1755-58.
It looks like I will not complete writing about this historic town in one posting, and we still have some more touring around to do today.   Just maybe I will finish up on this tomorrow! 

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