December 9, 2012

A Stop in Linden

The Giving Tree Shop and Gallery
Linden, Virginia is a small town along route 55 (and just off I-66). We stopped there to see a small art gallery which turned out to double as a produce stand. At this time of year it is also a Christmas tree stand.
In front of the shop is an old historical marker, placed in 1927 by the Virginia Conservation Development Commission. It makes a claim which may be false:
Discovery Shenandoah Valley
John Lederer, First explorer to view this valley, saw it from this point, August 26, 1670.
Controversy broke out after the marker was erected. Lederer was likely not the first [white] explorer to view the Shenandoah Valley, although he was one of the first to travel through it and he does deserve credit for being the first to publish a report on it. Whether he saw it from the particular point is also questionable. Historian Eugene Scheel wrote that Lederer crossed the Blue Ridge many miles to the south. Other sources, however, accept the story that he crossed it at Manassas Gap, in which case he may have passed this point.
[If you are interested in the story behind historical markers, you might like "Virginia’s Roadside Historical Markers and the Shaping of a Historical Consciousness."]


  1. i've not heard of linden before now....1670?! sounds like a great little historical place i need to visit :)

  2. I love visiting historical sites and I think we might be going through Virginia in January. I am going to have to see if this will be anywhere near where we will be. Thanks!!!

  3. Historical controversy is always interesting to investigate. Obviously the first white saw the valley a great many years ago.

  4. I don't think you'll see anything from 1670 there today! But don't miss Jamestown!

  5. I must put this on my list!


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