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The rural area of the Shenandoah Valley of Luray and Page County is much like it has been for the last few hundred years. But alas, this is changing quickly. Residents are keenly aware of the history and the heritage and seek to preserve as much as possible for future generations.
The land was home to migrating native tribes. The area was only settled by European colonists in the late 17the century, but there were few established settlements. The town of Luray in fact only dates back to 1812, when it was founded and became the seat of government for Page Country. The Luray Caverns were actually discovered in the 1870s, and while the sinkholes and caves had been of local interest it wasn’t until this period that these were explored in greater detail.
Luray and Page County were the settings of several small encounters during the American Civil War and numerous reminders are present today where visitors can see the movement of various forces at the beginning of the conflict. The famous Confederate General Stonewall Jackson had been active in the region, and engaged the Union forces several times.
Today Luray is a famous tourist destination thanks to the famous caverns and the Shenandoah National Park.
There is a strong heritage association in the county and each year they share this rural heritage with thousands who venture to their Fall Heritage Festival held the first weekend of October at the county fairgrounds. All the historical buildings are open and manned by festival and association volunteers.