Clarke County has unique history dating back nearly 300 years from the first English settlers that included notables such as General Daniel Morgan, Lord Fairfax and the Washington family. Their manor homes and their culture continues to influence Clarke County.
Located on 712 acres, this University of Virginia research facility includes the 175 acre State Arboretum of Virginia with more than 8,000 trees and woody shrubs. The grounds are open to the public with both walking and driving loops within this remarkable park like setting. Facilities include a 10-room brick slave quarters built between 1825 and 1830. This facility was expanded in 1943 and converted to laboratories and faculty housing. Many public events are held here each year, including a summer season of live music at Blandy’s amphitheater and one of the areas largest plant sales (Mother’s Day weekend) with an emphasis on indigenous and heritage varieties. Facilities for educational purposes with optional overnight stays are available. Please go to their website for more details.
Barns of Rose Hill is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit performing arts venue and community center in historic Berryville, Virginia. Housed in two early 20th century dairy barns that were fully restored in 2011, its mission is to enrich lives through programs in the performing, visual, and literary arts.
The Barns offers a fantastic and diverse variety of programs for people of all ages including live music, exhibits, educational workshops, film screenings, art classes, community programs, and more.
This fully restored and operable grain mill has been milling wheat since 1785 in the center of historic Millwood. In addition to the Mill being open for tours, the area’s largest Art Shows are held here in the srping and fall. The mill was owned by Lt. Col. Nathaniel Burwell and operated in partnership with one of the American Revolutionary War’s most notable patriots, Gen. Daniel Morgan. Col. Burwell’s home, “Carter Hall” is located on the northern edge of Millwood. Gen. Morgan lived less than 2 miles west of Millwood on his farm “Saratoga”, named after his most famous victory of the Revolutionary War. Both properties are privately owned.
Revolutionary War hero, General Daniel Morgan, Thomas Fairfax, the 6th Lord Baron Fairfax of Cameron, and Senator Harry F. Byrd all called Clarke County home and a young George Washington found employment as a surveyor working for Lord Fairfax and resided here for several years. The museum tells the story of Clarke County and her many unique and historic families. Artifacts, research archives, films and much more can be found at the museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and is located at 32 East Main Street. Phone number: 955-2600.
Bakery, Retreat Center, Natural Cemetery, and Gift Shop
The monastery is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along three miles of the Shenandoah River, on over 1,000 acres of fertile and scenic farmland. The stone manor house built in 1784 remains today as a central part of the monastery’s structures. The monks, who first came to Berryville from Rhode Island in 1950, live a secluded life of prayer and work as members of the Cistercian Order, founded in France in 1098, and following the Rule of St. Benedict, written in 530 AD. The monks bake their own fruitcakes and make creamed honeys, sold online and in their gift shop, as well as owning and operating the Cool Spring Natural Cemetery. The front portion of the Abbey grounds are open to visitors and there is a full-service retreat house on the property open to all guests, men and women, who wish to spend time in quietness and prayer for a period of several days. The peaceful surroundings and spiritual energy here are a far cry from two hot summer days in July 1864; on those two fateful days the Battle of Cool Spring was fought between General Early of the Confederacy and General Crook of the Union. More information can be found on the website, by calling 540-955-4383, emailing [email protected], or visiting facebook.com/HolyCrossAbbey.
George Washington helped survey this rolling hill estate that was formerly part of the vast land holdings of Lord Fairfax. In 1808 Robert Carter Burwell began construction on a unique and spectacular mansion with unrivaled panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding hillsides. The old manor house contains some of our country’s finest examples of 18th and 19th century furniture. House tours are open to the general public. In addition to house tours, Long Branch holds many different events and festivals for the public including the regions most noted Hot Air Balloon Festival. Private rental for weddings is available.
This circa 1882 schoolhouse has been restored to replicate a classroom of approximately that same era. The preservation of this unique schoolhouse embodies the history and heritage of Clarke County’s African-American community and echoes the early African-American effort to provide a free education for all who passed through its doors. The old schoolhouse became a major focal point of a proud and determined African-American community that placed each of them squarely on a path of both personal and community success.
“Old Chapel” is the oldest Episcopal Church building still in continuous use west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The original construction was built of logs circa 1738. After being destroyed during the Revolutionary War the chapel was rebuilt using stone in 1789, which is the chapel seen today. The cemetery is literally a who’s who of our country’s first families. One such notable buried here is the first Attorney General of the United States, Edmund Randolph. Randolph was also a former Governor of Virginia, having seceded Patrick Henry. He also served as the second Secretary of State during George Washington’s presidency, replacing Thomas Jefferson after Jefferson resigned. The Chapel is located at the intersection of Route 340 and Route 255.
Built in 1913, the Boyce Railway Station–once a part of the Norfolk & Western (N&W) Railway–is unique for its size and appearance relative to the size of the Boyce community. It was originally designed as a modest wood structure, but local residents raised the funds to build a first-class station, with indoor plumbing, electric lighting, and stucco design. The station connected travelers and cattle to places near and far, and served as a social hub for Boyce, which grew up around it. (more…)
In the 1740’s, Robert “King” Carter’s grandson, Robert Carter Nicholas, built a grist mill on the
Shenandoah, across the river from property that would later be owned by land surveyor and
speculator, George Washington. In the ensuing 250 years, the mill-site has had an illustrious
ownership, including relatives of Washington and Cyrus McCormick. There has been at least
one mill on the present site, and sometimes two: one for corn, and one for wheat. Evidence
of the previous mills, all washed away by the Shenandoah’s unpredictable floods, can still be seen.
The present mill, rebuilt in 1876 by Joseph Price and his wife, Mary, originally had four
stories and was constructed on the “Evans” plan, as was George Washington’s grist mill at Mt. Vernon.
The Prices sold the mill on, and in 1907, it was purchased by Thomas and Rosa Locke.
The present mill has always been a two-set mill, meaning that it was capable of running
tow separate pairs of mill-stones at one time. The mill-stones in use today are those that
came from Normandy, France in 1876, purchased by the Prices. Locke’s Mill was restored
by Jon and Carol Joyce, re-opening in 2013. In 2016, the mill was purchased by Sandy Lerner
of Gentle Harvest, certified organic in 2017, and processing capabilities significantly expanded
The mill grinds for a number of local bakeries and distilleries, and a grinding schedule may be
found on LockesMillGrains.com. The mill and millers welcome school groups and others
for tours by appointment. Please email [email protected]ns.com to schedule, or to inquire
about grinding services.