The Information Superhighway has changed schools. In the 1970s high schools had books, magazines, and traditional libraries. Today students can access a world of resources on computers in their classrooms. The Kennel Charles Church History desk (right), with Martyrs Mirror on the top shelf, hosts a state-of-the-art computer that brings information to the student in the history teacher’s classroom at Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
New bridge over Linville Creek replaces 1898 wrought iron truss bridge that many Broadway, Virginia, residents, including Mennonites, used in early 20th century, a photo by MennoniteArchivesofVirginia on Flickr.
Mennonites in the Northern District of Virginia Mennonite Conference often used this old iron bridge to head west towards mission stations in the West Virginia highlands. Today a modern bridge over the steady Linville Creek reduces the 1898 bridge to a foot and bike path. The old bridge in Broadway, Virginia, is on the National Register of Historic Places in Virginia.
Massanutten Mountain from Greenmount and Sky Road intersection, Rockingham County, Virginia, a photo by MennoniteArchivesofVirginia on Flickr.
On a trip from Singers Glen, Virginia, to Harrisonburg, Virginia, the historian spotted this grand view of the Massanutten Mountain. On his trips to Harrisonburg, musician Joseph Funk probably paused to relish in the ancient beauty of the distant mountain peak. Perhaps it was inspiration for his printing and musical work in the valley.
Mole Hill rises out of the horizon (left middle) when viewed from the western region of Rockingham County, Virginia, January, 2014. Mennonite farms, along with others in the region dot the winter landscape in the distance beyond a Saturday morning funeral that brought a thunderstorm to the attenders.
Burkholder-Myers house, CrossRoads Heritage Center, December 7, 2013, a photo by MennoniteArchivesofVirginia on Flickr.
Christmas on a cold December evening at the historic 1854 Burkholder-Myers house in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with twenty-first century lights and a football field in the distance. Martin and Rebecca Burkholder would find it a challenge to recognize their own house.
Virginia Mennonite Bishop Lewis Shank, Broadway, Virginia, a photo by MennoniteArchivesofVirginia on Flickr.
The Historian discovered this rare photo of the Bishop in the Archives the other day. This photo was a total surprise. The only other photo of Bishop Shank is a grainy uncomplimentary photo. Nice to see a better photo.
Virginia Mennonite Conference Archives shelves, Harrisonburg, Virginia, a photo by MennoniteArchivesofVirginia on Flickr.
A hundred and seventy-five years worth of materials are stored in these archives. Like a detective, the historian searches through these boxes for the stuff of history: letters, journals, diaries, receipts, advertisements, photos, and scrapbooks.
In 2001, the good folks at Crest Hill Mennonite Church, Wardensville, West Virginia, invited a group of gospel bluegrass musicians to their church for an outdoor summer performance. The church invited Daphna Creek band in 2002 and 2003, the last performance during Sunday morning worship. Daphna Creek went on to play in over 200 venues, but the first show was at this church in West Virginia.
Mennonites migrated into the Shenandoah Valley as early as the 1730s, though not until after the Revolutionary War did the trickle turn into a steady migration from points north. Most 18th century Mennonites farmed, whereas in the twentieth century many diversified their economic pursuits into other areas of work. The farming heritage in the western part of Rockingham County near Clover Hill, Virginia, with the Allegheny Mountains as a backdrop, is still strong and deep.