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A short story by Etta Belle Walker


Title:     Strasburg
Author: Etta Belle Walker [More Titles by Walker]

We can hardly mention a Valley town which has retained its original name throughout the years. What is now known as Strasburg was in the beginning called Staufferstadt, which indicates its German background. Peter Stover was the founder from whom the settlement took its name but when he had the town incorporated in 1761 he changed it to Strasburg in honor of his home city in Germany.

There are evidences of the pioneer life of the Valley to be seen near here. A house built about 1755 and occupied by the Hupps was so constructed as to serve efficiently as a fort during the Indian raids; this may still be seen. The home of George Bowman, a son-in-law of Joist Hite, is also close by Strasburg.

Joist Hite had four famous grandsons born at this Bowman home. John was a governor of Kentucky. Abraham was a Colonel in the Revolutionary War and Isaac also served in that war. Joseph served under General George Rogers Clark in the expedition to the Northwest Territory.

The story is told that a party of eight Indians with a white man named Abraham Mitchell killed George Miller and his wife and two children just two miles from Strasburg. They also killed John Dellinger and took his wife and baby prisoners.

A group of white men set out to find them and overtook the Indians in the South Branch Mountains. They fired upon the Indians and killed one of them, allowing the others to make their escape. Mrs. Dellinger was forgotten in their flight so she came home with her neighbors. She told them the Indians had killed her baby by dashing out its brains on a tree--a favorite means of execution with them.

Samuel Kercheval, who so frequently is quoted by us and of whom we have written elsewhere is buried near Strasburg at "Harmony Hall."

The town saw Union and Confederate troops march by during the length of the war and several battles took place not far distant. A few trench lines may still be seen around the countryside. "Banks' Folly" was erected by General Banks when he expected Jackson to invade the territory from the south and later found to his dismay that the Confederates had entered the Valley from the opposite direction. Signal Knob on top of Massanutten Mountain was used by the latter general as a means of communication with the main division of the army on the Rappahannock River.

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Etta Belle Walker's short story: Strasburg