This is an old home movie that captures the festivities featured in Woodstock, Virginia’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1952. Following the video is a short history lesson and a linked PDF with documents from the pageant held later that day.
Woodstock was established by charter in March 1761 as a part of what was then Frederick County. It was originally formed by a land grant from Lord Fairfax, and founded as Muellerstadt (Miller Town) in 1752 after founder Jacob Miller. The town’s charter was sponsored by George Washington in Virginia’s House of Burgesses. Woodstock has been the County Seat of Shenandoah County, since the County’s formation in 1772.
In the late 1770s, John Muhlenberg was pastor at a Lutheran church located in the heart of Woodstock. As a famous story of Muhlenberg has it, at conclusion of his farewell sermon on January 21, 1776, Muhlenberg threw off his clerical robes to reveal an officer’s uniform beneath and shouted, “there is a time to pray and a time to fight…” With that declaration, the story says he then called for volunteers to join the 8th Virginia Regiment under his command.
In 1795, the courthouse, designed by Thomas Jefferson, was built using native limestone. The courthouse, until recently, was the oldest functioning courthouse still in use west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nowadays, within the courthouse, there are two community rooms and the old courtroom that are available for rent.
The following link is to a PDF containing newspaper photos of the celebration, hand-written lyrics from my Dad’s copy of the pageant, 14 pages of the program’s script (with lots of interesting historical facts) , and photocopies of the backside of the first 2 newspaper clips.
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