Submissions - Staunton Downtown Development Association | Staunton, Virginia


Armstrong, Judy | “Old Betsy”: Dr. Armstrong’s Gun from Highland County

Dr. W.E. Armstrong, my father-in-law, was a well loved Staunton dentist with a great sense of humor. His patients said he told such wonderful, humorous stories that they didn’t need Novocaine. His dental office was in the front of the professional building on Frederick Street, and when he saw pigeons across the street, he used to shoot at them. He was a very good shot.

He went into the Navy as a Captain in WWII, and was sent to the Philippines. When he returned, he received mail from his Navy buddies addressed simply to “Gadget Armstrong” since he was so good with his hands, and the Post Office personnel knew who that was and put the mail right into his box.

He was as happy under his Model T as he was making gold inlays.

I once saw him perched on a stool sewing up his own knee! (With no pain killer!) A real character!


Date: not provided

Location: not provided

Armstrong, Judy | Sherwood Female Academy

This was one of six girls’ schools in the Staunton area. Our county had a huge number of Scotch-Irish settlers, and they were highly interested in education. Today, only Mary Baldwin University and Stuart Hall survive of the female institutions.

The Warner family had lived there for forty years, and when they asked me to list their home for sale, I was thrilled! The attic was finished into rooms which had been bedrooms, and etched in the glass of one it said, “Josie Bush, 1888”. In another, written on the white plaster wall was a long list of dresses they changed into each day!

I researched the house at City Hall and discovered that all the lots on Sherwood Avenue were sold off from this property to raise money and houses built mostly in the 1880s. There were heart-breaking letters from the headmaster pleading for the grocer to await payment written on stationary with a beautiful picture of the school, then showing an upper balcony outside which is no longer there.

The Warners were thrilled with this picture they had never seen. In front of the home is, I believe, the only serpentine wall in town.


Date: not provided

Location: Between Sherwood Avenue and East Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Ballurio, Janie | The Bookstack (day)

The #1 bookstore at #1 East Beverley Street, Downtown Staunton.

The Bookstack was a general trade bookstore located at 1 East Beverley Street until 1998.

It was the information hub for Downtown.


Date: 1983

Location: 1 East Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Ballurio, Janie | The Bookstack (night)

The #1 bookstore at #1 East Beverley Street, Downtown Staunton.

The Bookstack was a general trade bookstore located at 1 East Beverley Street until 1998.

It was the information hub for Downtown.


Date: 1983

Location: 1 East Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Ballurio, Janie | The Bookstack (painters)

The #1 bookstore at #1 East Beverley Street, Downtown Staunton.

The Bookstack was a general trade bookstore located at 1 East Beverley Street until 1998.

It was the information hub for Downtown.

People: not provided

Date: 1983

Location: 1 East Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Beam, Greg and Kristin Gaffney | A Loft at a Thrift Store Price

A The News Leader article written by Ruth Jones about the 2005 opening of Step 22, featured on the front page.

Two snapshots of the retail space, storage room for Swartzchilds Dress Shop for decades.

Shutters to counters were to be trashed; non-working appliances used to create space. Customers could purchase dishes in the sink, clothes from wardrobes, laundry baskets, linens off the bed, art off the walls.

People: Greg Beam, Kristin Goins

Date: 2005

Location: 17 East Beverley Street, Second Floor, Staunton, VA

Beam, Greg and Kristin Gaffney | Step 22 – A Hip Kind of Thrift (business card, signage, and price tag)

Step 22 – A thrift and consignment store with a twist, set up as a loft apartment by cousins Greg Beam and Kristin Gaffney.

Step 22 sold miscellaneous thrift store items such as clothing, furniture, décor and housewares. There are 22 steps to reach the second floor of 17 East Beverley, hence the name Step 22.


Date: 2005

Location: 17 East Beverley Street, Second Floor, Staunton, VA

Beam, Greg and Kristin Gaffney | Step 22 – A Hip Kind of Thrift (letters/notes from customers)

“Who are you and why are you reading my letter?”

Response from friends from Boone, NC followed by customers from Toronto, New Orleans, Colorado, all over the country. Hundreds of notes were fun to read from tourists/customers.

All sales went through downstairs counter so we were rarely in the space.


Date: 2005

Location: 17 East Beverley Street, Second Floor, Staunton, VA

Boatright, Amy | Staunton Grocery (daily menu)

My husband, Kyle, and I moved to Staunton in 2007 after he had accepted the job of front of the house manager and sommelier.

This menu is one of the many menus he printed during his time there.


Date: April 2010

Location: 105 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Boatright, Amy | Staunton Grocery (tasting menu)

In 2007, my husband and I moved to Staunton. He helped Ian Boden open the Staunton Grocery in January of 2007.

This is one of the tasting menus from the restaurant.

Staunton Grocery closed in 2012. Ian is now running The Shack on Coalter Street.


Date: April 2010

Location: 105 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

  • Beverley Street Parade

Chaboudy, Penny | Beverley Street Parade

Parade down Beverley Street in the late 19th century or early 20th century as witnessed by the Beardsworth family.

All were to enjoy the circus that had come to town.

People: unknown

Date: September 19, ???

Location: West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

  • Elizabeth Ellen Beardsworth and William Henry Beardsworth

Chaboudy, Penny | Elizabeth Ellen Beardsworth and William Henry Beardsworth

The last Beardsworth resident of Staunton.

William Henry Beardsworth, here in 1912 with his mother, Elizabeth Ellen Beardsworth, died October 18, 1979.

People: William Henry Beardsworth, Elizabeth Ellen Beardsworth

Date: 1912

Location: Staunton, VA

  • Staunton Military Academy Band

Chaboudy, Penny | Staunton Military Academy Band

Sunday afternoon Staunton Military Academy held a weekly parade.

People from Staunton gathered in the stone bleachers to enjoy the parade. The S.M.A. band was an intricate part of the parade.

The picture shows Major Thomas Beardsworth with the band company.

People: Thomas Beardsworth (on the left), unknown

Date: circa 1930s

Location: Staunton Military Academy Athletic Field, Staunton, VA

  • The News Leader Article: Major Thomas Beardsworth

Chaboudy, Penny | The News Leader Article: Major Thomas Beardsworth

Thomas Beardsworth was a prominent citizen of Staunton, VA.

A portrait drawing showing significant events of his life was printed in the March 30, 1936 Staunton paper.

Thomas Beardsworth was the son of William Henry Broadsworth and Susanah Driver.

People: Thomas Beardsworth

Date: March 30, 1936

Location: Staunton, VA

Clemmer, Anita | Staunton Boys Club

This picture came out of a scrapbook/photo album that my parents had.

It is of the Staunton Boys Club, probably from the 1940s. My father and uncle were both members.


Date: circa 1940s

Location: Downtown Staunton, VA

Cole, Heather | Halloween 2014

We moved to Staunton in the summer of 2014, and this was our first Halloween in town.

My kids went trick-or-treating to the Downtown businesses during the day and then on Sherwood Avenue in the evening.

People: Nick Cole, Aiden Cole

Date: October 2014

Location: Sunspots Pavilion, Staunton, VA

Cole, Heather | Last Day of Summer Vacation

I took my youngest son, Aiden, out for a special coffee/soda date in town on the last day of summer vacation before he started kindergarten.

People: Aiden Cole

Date: August 2014

Location: Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Cole, Heather | PAC ‘n the Streets 2014

My two kids are doing a craft project during one of the street festivals that we went to in Downtown Staunton.

We spend most of our Saturday mornings during the Summer and Fall visiting the Farmers’ Market and then checking out whatever other activities are happening in town.

People: Aiden Cole, Nick Cole

Date: Saturday, September 13, 2014

Location: Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Deacon, Kathy | Beloved Family Ties

My brother and sister-in-law moved to Bridgewater, VA with their twin sons in 2014. My sister-in-law grew up in Harrisonburg and is now a development officer at Bridgewater College, where her grandfather was once president.

I run a home-based consulting and coaching business and since it has such portability, I decided in January that I wanted to move closer to my family, to be able to be a significant part of my nephews’ lives. After doing a lot of research, I chose Staunton, VA for my home.

I am residing in a home that was rehabilitated by Regenerations LLC (Marion Ward), and the home was awarded the 2015 residential rehabilitation award by the Historic Staunton Foundation in 2015.

I love Staunton!

People: nephews

Date: January 2016

Location: Bridgewater, VA

Dodson, Gary | Birth of Soccer in Staunton

Soccer was introduced to the youth of Staunton by the YMCA.

Games were first played at what is now the track at Lee High School (in the mid-1970s it was a dirt ring in front of John Lewis Junior High).

This picture shows the YMCA when it was located on what is now the Mary Baldwin track. I am the one on the left kicking the ball.

People: Gary Dodson, Tommy Rhea, Robert Michael

Date: circa August 1978

Location: Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA

Eaton, KT! | “It Takes More Than Love”

After moving my film company, FLYiNG WARTHOGS FiLM, to the area, I met Julie Markowitz at Staunton Downtown Development Association. Julie had written a short story about “two star-crossed lovers who learn it takes more than love to build a bridge”.

The resulting film we created was to help the campaign to restore the historic Sears Hill Bridge. We assembled a small crew and cast and filmed it around iconic places in Staunton. The restoration campaign was successful and the Sears Hill Bridge now connects Sears Hill and Downtown.

“It Takes More Than Love” was my first Staunton film project and it was doubly special because my dad, Jim Eaton, worked with me as my grip electric and camera assistant. It was a special dad-daughter memory.

People: April Watters, Jim Eaton, Donnie Owen, Julie Markowitz, KT! Eaton, Lindsay Kilbourn, Dave Hazlett

Date: April 29, 2011

Location: The Wharf, Staunton, VA

Eaton, KT! | Main Street, USA

I fell in love with Staunton because of the beauty, creativity, and quirkiness of the city and her people.


Date: November 3, 2012

Location: Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Eaton, KT! | We’re in Business

When I relocated my business, FLYiNG WARTHOGS FiLM, to the area, I connected with the Staunton Creative Community Fund to refine my business plan. I obtained a microloan that enabled me to purchase a camera and lighting package.

This picture is of the staff of SCCF at the time, Meghan and Joelle, who guided me through the successful completion of the microloan process.

In the foreground is my new camera and the beauty of Staunton’s architecture is behind us. It is through the services and friendships at SCCF that I first became part of the Staunton community.

People: Meghan Williamson, KT! Eaton, Joelle Hackney

Date: April 27, 2011

Location: Mill Street Parking Lot, Staunton, VA

Getsey, Hillary | Irish Road Bowling – The “Bowl” (Ball)

Staunton Parks and Recreation has brought the Irish tradition of road bowling to Staunton!

This was its second year, and was our first chance to participate. We had a wonderful day, working as a team, learning the best ways to bowl this small, heavy iron ball around the course. The game was a fun day of outdoor family bonding, and was followed by an awards ceremony at Queen City Brewing.

We already look forward to next year!


Date: March 2016

Location: Montgomery Hall Park, Staunton, VA

Getsey, Hillary | Autographed Baseball

We moved to Staunton in July 2015 because we love it here, and were sure we wouldn’t find a better place to raise our three boys.

At the ages of 4, 8, and 10, it was hard for them to leave their friends, and they were apprehensive about getting settled in Staunton. So, before many boxes were even unpacked, we dove into all the Summer family fun that Staunton has to offer. Most evenings were spent at the free concerts and movies at Gypsy Hill Park, but any night there was a Braves game, you’d find us at Moxie Stadium. We loved watching the games and cheering for the Braves.

For our youngest, it was his first chance to watch live baseball. He stayed with us through each game, but our older boys quickly got in the habit of leaving the bleachers and hanging out on a hill behind the stadium, making friends and hoping to catch a foul ball. The Braves had a great season and made it to the finals. Before the season was over, each of my older guys had caught a foul ball.

On the last game night, standing in the pouring rain, they waited patiently to have their balls autographed. These balls will always be treasures!


Date: August 2015

Location: Moxie Stadium, Staunton, VA

Getsey, Hillary | Music Downtown

My husband Matt is a great musician, and has always longed to have opportunities to “play out.”

We moved here from Chesterfield County, which had no venues interested in background music. We were thrilled to discover that Staunton loves background music! Matt can be found at places such as the Ox-Eye, Yelping Dog, and Shenandoah Hops, providing lovely background music for the patrons as he shares songs he has written and plays his guitar. I love the nights when I can join him and listen, while enjoying a glass of local wine.

This photos shows Matt playing at Ox-Eye in November 2015, one of his first opportunities to share his beautiful music in Downtown.

People: Matt Getsey

Date: November 2015

Location: Ox-Eye Vineyards, Staunton, VA

Hartless, John | Award Jacket, 1965

In 1965, Robert E. Lee High School was Valley District Champions in football. Jackets were awarded to the varsity football team.

Most of the players placed their “letter” on the jacket.

The letter “S” was awarded with emblems for the sport and stars for the number of years earning letters.


Date: 1965

Location: Robert E. Lee High School, Staunton, VA

Hensley, Carolyn | House with Snow

This Sears house belonged to Max and Nan Mix.

It was located west of Staunton on 254, just past Westwood Animal Hospital.

Max owned and operated the first beauty shop in Staunton from 1929 until 1999.


Date: 1290s

Location: Route 254, Augusta County, VA

Hensley, Carolyn | Woman with Necklace

“Aunt Nan” raised my father-in-law, Allen Hensley, Sr., after his parents died.

She was married to Max Mix. She would never tell anyone her age and would not put a birth date on her tombstone.

Nan died in 1956.

People: Nan Mix

Date: late 1800s

Location: Staunton, VA

Hensley, Carolyn | Young Man with a Bow Tie

Max Mix owned and operated the first beauty shop in Staunton, beside the Downtown post office on Frederick Street.

He and wife, Nan, raised my father-in-law, Allen Hensley, Sr., after his parents died. Max and Nan were aunt and uncle to Allen, Sr.

Max died in 1949.

People: Max Mix

Date: early 1900s

Location: Staunton, VA

Hensley, Jr., Allen | Hensley Tire & Battery

My father, Allen Hensley, Sr., was born in 1904 and died in 1986. His mom died when he was 10 months old and his dad, who was by trade a wood lather, died when he was 12. He was then raised by his grandmother Hensley and Nan and Max Mix, his uncle.

He had a fifth grade education and beautiful handwriting. He said when he was a boy, he sold newspapers. He would run and catch the train to Lexington, VA where he would sell the most. Later, he worked for a Mr. Moomah, who sold and repaired tires, etc. in the late teens and 20s.

In the 30s, he started his own business as shown in this picture, which was located on the east side of Central Avenue across from the “old” firehouse. He moved his business to a new building on Baldwin Street in 1950. This was located across the street from the Catholic Church. In 1958, there was a fire and he rebuilt at the same location.

In the 60s, Staunton urban renewal efforts bought his building along with several blocks of buildings. Now on this land there stand three banks, Scott & Stringfellow, and a Hardees hamburger restaurant.

People: Allen Hensley, Sr., Johnny Bishop, unknown

Date: unknown

Location: Central Avenue, Staunton, VA

Hoffman, Danielle | Chocolate Mousse

This is my mom devouring chocolate mousse at The Shack in Staunton, one of my favorite places to take out-of-town friends and family.

She was amazed by every course. Of the six dishes we shared, she said only one was not incredible: my cornbread dessert. But she said, “I’m glad I don’t like your dessert. Because if I liked everything this much, I’d think I was dead. And in heaven.”

Even though I have only been here 2 1/2 years, I feel like I can really show beloved folks like my mom a great time in Staunton. Especially the food!

People: Christine Hoffman

Date: October 18, 2014

Location: The Shack, Staunton, VA

Hoffman, Danielle | Snowga

Staunton in a snowstorm is always stunning. Unlike all the big cities where I’ve lived, the snow stays beautiful, sparkling, and peaceful for a long time.

My friend Julia and I got a little stir-crazy during the most recent storm and put on all our snow gear to play in the snow, wander the deserted snowed-in streets, and do a little yoga outside our mutual workplace, the Blackfriars Playhouse.

For an afternoon we were like little kids again.

Photo taken by Julia King.

People: Danielle Hoffman

Date: February 15, 2016

Location: Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, VA

Lackey, Carrie | A Boy and His Book

We moved from Dallas, TX (population over 1.25 million) to Staunton, VA (population 25,000) in June 2014. We moved from a house on a tiny lot on a busy six-lane, 45 mph road to a house on a large lot on a cul-de-sac in a quintessential family-oriented American neighborhood.

This picture of my son (age 7) was taken in our backyard a few days after moving into our new home. Instead of being stuck inside due to the danger of our Texas home location, my kids now choose to read outside. They play outside for hours with the other children from the neighborhood.

I literally cried the day we drove into town for the first time because it was unreal to me that a town this dreamy existed.

People: Kieran Lackey

Date: June 2014

Location: Staunton, VA

Lackey, Carrie | Staunton Skies

The skies here are almost a daily source of wonder for me. I post so many sunrises and sunsets to Facebook that people now tag me whenever they post their own sky pictures!

As I walked out of Food Lion with my groceries that evening, my heart skipped a few beats. Fortunately I had my phone with me to capture the magnificent sight.


Date: June 25, 2015

Location: Food Lion, North Coalter Street, Staunton, VA

Landis, Jan | Blueprint for Construction of Summer House and Well Head

Charles F. Gillette, landscape architect, Richmond, VA.

I acquired this at a yard sale in Augusta County.

Should the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library want this, I would like them to have it.


Date: circa July 24, 1933

Location: Woodrow Wilson Manse, Staunton, VA

Landis, Jan | Promotional card for Wheat, Plaine & Naill

Found in box lot of items at local auctions, which is advertising the original store at 17 East Main Street.

Wheat, Plaine & Naill were the original owners of this business.


Date: early 1900s

Location: 17 East Main (Beverley) Street, Staunton, VA

Lawrence, Karen | Popup Art Show, Bridge Day Staunton

Ten years of involvement in the local community has provided a deep understanding of the importance of honoring history, landscapes, and relationships in the ongoing evolution of a living, breathing local culture.

This photo depicts the culmination of that philosophy, where local artists participated in Bridge Day Staunton by creating a popup art gallery in the Coworking Space at 16 West.

The celebration of small business, place, and the arts connected deeply with my belief that building a community that nurtures people while contributing to the economic vitality of a region is totally possible.

People: not provided

Date: April 2013

Location: Coworking Space, 16 West, Staunton, VA

Lawrence, Karen | Staunton Music Guild’s Ray Houser Scholarship

Good Times, Tastes and Traditions Festival.

In working with many creative entrepreneurs, I founded a non-profit organization, the Staunton Music Guild, as a support network for local musicians.

This was a way of building on my belief that entrepreneurs and a vibrant arts scene are the backbone of local cultures.

People: Donnie Houser, Karen Lawrence, John Huggins, Linda Raye, Linda Hershey

Date: September 2012

Location: Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, VA

Lawrence, Karen | Sunrise in Staunton

Photos taken from my Downtown apartment have gone viral on social media.

This had 3.5k likes, 323 shares on Facebook.


Date: January 2015

Location: Downtown Staunton, VA

Markowitz, Julie | BRIGHT REWIRED, Community Business Launch Grant, $100,000

In August 2014, Staunton Downtown Development Association/Staunton Downtown was selected as a Community Business Launch pilot community.

The Department of Housing and Community Development requested that Staunton apply.

We were selected in September 2014. There was a business plan competition consisting of business plan training, a pitch night, and a formal judging. There were twenty-one applicants, nine completed business plan courses, six grants awarded, and eight businesses created.


Date: December 2014


  • Trolley Drawing

Markowitz, Julie | Downtown Trolley painted by Guardian Angel Academy

The Trolley Task Force met with Michael Organ at the Belle Grae Inn, along with Libby Welch, Lynn Sisson and Joe Harman. Edward Jones Investments provided the seed money for start up. Libby Welch served on Governor Jim Gilmore’s transportation board.

The “Lady Libby” trolley is named after her for her active participation in getting grant money. The image of the red and green trolley was inspired by the original demo sent to Staunton. This demo was used to transport the Staunton Downtown Development Association board, City Council, and the SDDA design committee to outline the way finding sign program, which are the green and burgundy signs located throughout the city.


Date: October 27, 1999


  • Markowtiz, Julie - Great American Main Street Award Sign

Markowitz, Julie | Great American Main Street Award

An application was submitted to the National Main Street Center of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in October 2001.

The lengthy application consisted of over 30 support letters from city, county, and state officials, local organizations, businesses, and community leaders.

The application chronicled the revitalization of Downtown, beginning with the formation of the Historic Staunton Foundation in the 1970s and Staunton United Revitalization Effort in the 1980s, to the creation of the Staunton Downtown Development Association in the 1990s and Main Street designation in 1995.

Examples of the revitalization included the Staunton Augusta Farmers’ Market, our “Big Dig,” Beverley Street, Downtown streetscape plan, flower baskets and banners, Augusta Street, the Victorian Festival, way finding signs Downtown, the trolley system, and more.

SDDA was the first Virginia Main Street to receive the Great American Main Street Award.

People: Kimberly Watters, Bill Frazier, Kathy Frazier, Bill Hamilton, Jason Hottel, Liz McCue, Nancy Sorrels, Frank Strassler, Sharon Angle, Brigette Cowen, Ray Ergenbright, Jim Gallaher, Jim Halasz, Matthew Horn

Date: 2002


Muhammad, Qadira | Mary Baldwin College Convocation Hour, 2015

This was our first convocation hour as students of Mary Baldwin College.

Our school’s theme for the convocation and for our class (2019) is “Capture Your Moment”.

People: Qadira Muhammad, Dianna Tran, Mallory [?], Katherine Johnson, Jazzlyn Manning, Madison Berdgstrom, Michaela [?]

Date: August 30, 2015

Location: First Presbyterian Church, Staunton, VA

Muhammad, Qadira | Nasreem Akhtar Visits Mary Baldwin College

Nasreem Akhtar is a professor from Pakistan who visited Mary Baldwin College for a week. I had the wonderful opportunity to get to help escort her to a congregational prayer as she spoke about her life in Pakistan.

While at Mary Baldwin she also had several speaking engagements.

People: Nasreem Akhtar, Qadira Muhammad

Date: January 20, 2016

Location: The Spencer Center, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA

Muhammad, Qadira | PAC ‘n the Streets Volunteering

Mary Oliver and I volunteered for PAC ‘n the Streets.

We were required to wear silly hats as we asked people to participate in an “everyone will win” drawing.

Each person who participated gave $5, which would go to the theatre, and the person would win a random prize in return.

People: Mary Oliver, Qadira Muhammad

Date: September 12, 2015

Location: Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Ragland, Larry | Custom-Built New Hope Guitar

Having played guitar since I was a kid, I have owned several different guitars, but never anything particularly unique or special.

Last year, I had the opportunity to work side by side with an expert local luthier, Ron Sharp, in New Hope, to build my dream guitar. It was built one piece at a time, from woods selected by Ron, and built to exacting standards equal to the finest instruments in the world.

I almost don’t leave home without it!


Date: fall 2015


Ragland, Larry | Farmers’ Market Songlist

This was my first opportunity to entertain at the Staunton Farmers’ Market!

Music is one of the big things that drew us to want to live in Staunton, and finding opportunities to perform in public was a bit of a dream for me.

Now, I perform regularly at Shenandoah Pizza on Friday nights, Barren Ridge Vineyards on Saturday nights, and three times last summer at the Farmers’ Market.


Date: June 2015

Location: The Wharf, Staunton, VA

Ragland, Larry | Photos from Elliot Knob

One of the other big attractions of Staunton is the nearness of the surrounding mountains, and I love to hike as often as possible.

These photos are from my first big hike, Elliot Knob, the highest point in the county.

Joining me is my new best friend and neighbor, Michael Cueras, yet another great aspect of our decision to make Staunton’s Newtown our new home.

People: Larry Ragland, Michael Cuevas

Date: January 2015

Location: Elliot Knob, Augusta County, VA

Rhoden, Melissa and Lucy Rhoden | Lucy and the Governor

Governor Terry McAuliffe hands Lucy Rhoden, 3, a pen after signing Virginia’s medical cannabis for epilepsy law.

Lucy and her mom worked hard to pass the law so they could stay in Staunton, VA.

Photo credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch.

People: Lucy Rhoden, Tommy Elder, Governor McAuliffe

Date: February 2015

Location: Governor’s Office, Richmond, VA

Rhoden, Melissa and Lucy Rhoden | Lucy at her Favorite Park

Lucy’s parents try to catch up with her at the park. Shortly after this photo, Lucy entered an FDA-approved study for a cannabis-based drug. We remain hopeful.

Photo credit: Rebecca Crosby.

People: Travis Rhoden, Lucy Rhoden, Melissa Rhoden

Date: November 2015

Location: Montgomery Hall Park, Staunton, VA

Rhoden, Melissa and Lucy Rhoden | Lucy at the Capitol

Lucy Rhoden runs between the pillars at the Capitol after her “Face of Cannabis” photo shoot.

“Face of Cannabis” is a project by photographer Nichole Montanez to change public perception of medical marijuana.

Photo credit: Nichole Montanez.

People: Lucy Rhoden

Date: June 2015

Location: Capitol Building, Richmond, VA

Roller, Douglas | The Eleventh Hour Program


Date: July 9, 1956 – July 21, 1956

Location: Gypsy Hill Theatre

Scofield, Julie | Gramma Julie and Sienna

My daughter and her family live in Portland, Oregon. We were very lucky to have them visit us here for over a week at the holidays.

Every day possible, we took our two year old granddaughter to the library and to Gypsy Hill Park.

We are so lucky to live in a town with a public library that is so toddler friendly. We could have spent all day reading and playing there.

People: Julie Scofield, Anna

Date: December 23, 2015

Location: Staunton Public Library, Staunton, VA

Scofield, Julie | Post-Yoga Coffee at Cranberries

I love teaching yoga on Sunday mornings and then walking a couple blocks for brunch at Cranberries.

Lovely, simple living.

People: Julie Scofield

Date: Sunday, January 24, 2016

Location: Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery, New Street, Staunton, VA

Scofield, Julie | Sunday Snow Storm Yoga Class

I left a nonprofit executive job in Washington, D.C. last year and moved to Staunton.

Along the way, I went to yoga teacher school at the Kripalu School of Ayurveda & Yoga. In January, I began teaching classes at the Staunton Yoga Co-op, including a class on Sunday following our first snowstorm of the year.

I love it here!

People: Julie Scofield

Date: Sunday, January 24, 2016

Location: Staunton Yoga Co-op, West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

  • Robert Lewis Stratton
  • Robert Lewis Stratton
  • Robert Lewis Stratton

Sims, Barrett and Catherine Lassiter | Robert Lewis Stratton

Robert Lewis Stratton was our great-grandfather.

His son, Richard Haygood Stratton, was our maternal grandfather. He married Catherine Virginia Mayo, who taught at VSDB for many years.

The wholesale grocery business was inherited by Powell and Richard Stratton when their father, Robert Lewis Stratton, died. Powell died, and Richard became sole owner of the business. The business failed during the depression.

This portrait was given to my Aunt Sue Melford, and, as a child, she told me the portrait was done in trade to pay a bill Robert was owed.

She remembers coming to the third floor of the Stratton Warehouse to get into the barrels of candy.

People: Robert Lewis Stratton

Date: circa 1930s

Location: 110 West Johnson Street, Staunton, VA

  • Stratton Family Tree

Sims, Barrett and Catherine Lassiter | Stratton Family Tree


Date: not provided

Location: Staunton, VA

Sims, Barrett and Catherine Lassiter | Stratton in Navy

People: Richard H. Stratton

Date: not provided

Location: Staunton, VA

Smith, Sr., Alan | Margaret Lynn Peyton Cochran

Margaret was wife to George Moffett Cochran. He was born February 26, 1832 in Augusta County, VA and died April 7, 1900 in Staunton, VA.

Margaret was born September 5, 1835 in Staunton, VA and died December 23, 1916 in Staunton, VA.

They’re both buried in Thornrose Cemetery.

They were the parents of Peyton Cochran (1880 – 1969) who was father of Judge George Moffett Cochran, State Supreme Court Justice (1969 – 1987).

They lived at the Stuart House, the Cochran Family home on Church Street in Staunton, VA.

People: Margaret Lynn Peyton Cochran

Date: 1860

Location: 120 Church Street, Staunton, VA

Smith, Sr., Alan | Nancy (Johnson) Wright and George M Cochran

Nancy Johnson Wright was born August 1, 1852 in Augusta County, VA and died March 8, 1932 in Staunton, VA. She is buried in Thornrose Cemetery.

Her husband, Silas Wright, was born December 21, 1871 in Staunton, VA.

Nancy was the nanny for Peyton and Susie Cochran. The boy in the picture is George M. Cochran who was born 1912 and died 2011.

Her tombstone reads:
Nancy Wright
One of the Last Old Souther Mammie’s
Well Done Good and Faithful Servant

People: Nancy Johnson Wright, George M. Cochran

Date: circa 1913

Location: Staunton, VA

Smith, Sr., Alan | Peyton Cochran

Peyton Cochran was the son of George Moffett Cochran and Margaret Lynn Peyton Cochran, and was born April 30, 1880 in Staunton, VA. He died February 12, 1969 in Staunton, VA and is buried in Thornrose Cemetery.

Peyton was married to Susie Baldwin Robertson and father of Judge George Moffett Cochran, State Supreme Court Justice (1969 – 1987). George was born April 20, 1912 and died January 22, 2011. He is also buried in Thornrose Cemetery.

George married Lee Stuart.

Peyton had two other children, who were eventually buried in Thornrose Cemetery.

Peyton Cochran was born September 18, 1922 in Staunton, VA and died December 24, 1956.

Margaret Briscoe Stuart Cochran Hinch was born November 23, 1915 in Staunton, VA and died December 19, 1999 in Staunton, VA. She married John M. Hinch who was born November 15, 1914 and died May 16, 1967.

People: Peyton Cochran

Date: circa 1967

Location: 120 Church Street, Staunton, VA

Smith, Sr., Alan | Susie Baldwin Robertson Cochran and George M. Cochran

Susie Baldwin Robertson Cochran was born September 6, 1887 in Staunton, VA and died June 2, 1975 in Staunton, VA. She is buried in Thornrose Cemetery.

She was the wife of Peyton Cochran, and George M. Cochran was her son.

People: Susie Baldwin Robertson Cochran, George M. Cochran

Date: 1913

Location: 120 Church Street, Staunton, VA

Szabo, Elizabeth | Dog License – $1.05

This is a dog license card from 1921, found behind the fireplace in my home, 420 Marquis Street.


Date: February 7, 1921

Location: Augusta County, VA

Szabo, Elizabeth | Photo of House on Marquis Street

Horse on Marquis Street in front of my home, 420 Marquis Street.


Date: unknown

Location: Sears Hill, Staunton, VA

Szabo, Elizabeth | Receipt for Sprinkler Service

My husband Paul and I purchased our house, 420 Marquis Street, in 2010.

The person who renovated the house found these items behind the fireplace and gave them to us upon purchase of the home.

Court documents show that the house was built sometime between 1895 and 1905.


Date: August 1, 1921-December 31, 1921

Location: Staunton, VA

Tabor, Linda Ralston | Bob’s Clock Repair Service

My dad, Bob Ralston, began tinkering with clocks alongside Hunter Baber in his clock shop, which I believe was on West Beverley Street, too. Dad was inspired to start his own shop out of our home, which is the Smith-Thompson House designed by T.J. Collins in 1790, I believe.

He also dealt with police scanners, crystals, CB radios, etc. We had all of the emergency services folks at out house at any given time. Our cousin, Austin Shircliff “Waldo,” joined Dad at the shop for a while as “The Appliance Doctor,” but eventually moved on.

The clock shop remained in business until Dad passed in 1995. Six clocks remained in need of repair. Mr. Bob Liskey, of Parmer, then Crown Jewelers, repaired them for us and arranged for Dad’s tools, etc. to be sold to Dean at Once Upon A Time Clock Shop, also located on West Beverley.

It does my heart good to know all of the time and love he invested on West Beverley remained and helped others follow their dreams, too.

People: Bob Ralston

Date: early 1970s-1995

Location: 703/701 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Tabor, Linda Ralston | Sign from Bob’s Clock Repair Service

Signage from Bob’s Clock Repair Service on West Beverley Street.

He passed away in 1995, but his tools and many other items remained on West Beverley in another clock shop, Once Upon A Time.


Date: late 1970s-1995

Location: 703/701 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA

Todd, Jim | Bear Cub at Home

My father was a Game Warden and he brought an orphaned bear cub home to live in the house.

My uncle, John Todd, would sleep between the family dog and the bear cub, Little Bear.

Even after releasing the bear into the wild, my grandmother would go to the woods to feed the bear jelly. At their last parting, Little Bear frightened my grandmother by wrapping his arms around her, and she never went back.


Date: circa 1930s

Location: Glenmore, Barterbrook Road, Staunton, VA

vonSeldeneck, Bill | Dance Class 1955

This photo was given to us by Ginny Reid.

It is a dance class at a possible Studebaker dealership in 1955.

Printed on the back is “Howard E. Topping Studio, Staunton, VA.”

People: unknown, including: Mr. John Clem, Mr. Malcolm J. Reid, Dr. Johnson, Mrs. Emma Clem Johnson, Dr. Bill Hanna

Date: 1955

Location: Staunton, VA

  • Band at Staunton Military Academy

Wade, June | Band at Staunton Military Academy

People: Thomas Beardsworth (front middle), unknown

Date: circa 1926

Location: Staunton, VA

  • Portrait of Thomas Beardworth

Wade, June | Portrait of Thomas Beardsworth

People: Thomas Beardsworth

Date: circa 1920s

Location: Staunton, VA

  • School for Deaf and Blind with Thomas Beardsworth and Students

Wade, June | School for Deaf and Blind with Thomas Beardsworth and Students

Thomas Beardsworth was my great-uncle.

He moved to Staunton in 1900 and lived there until his death in 1941. He taught music at Virginia School for Deaf and Blind. He lived at 506 East Beverley Street for many years. He was also Assistant Director of Stonewall Brigade Band and then Director.

My great-grandfather, William Henry Beardsworth, lived in Buena Vista and travelled the Valley tuning pianos.

Some of the grandchildren lived in Waynesboro.

People: Thomas Beardsworth (with mustache), unknown

Date: circa 1900s – 1920s

Location: Virginia School for Deaf and Blind, Staunton, VA

Ward, Marion | Owner, Regenerations LLC

Regenerations LLC, for over two decades, has lovingly restored distressed historical structures in and around the city of Staunton.

Several have won awards. 111-113 South Augusta Street commercial building won a Virginia Downtown Development Association award a few years ago. 122 North Jefferson won a Historic Staunton Foundation award for residential rehabilitation in 2015.


Date: not provided

Location: Staunton, VA

Westhafer, Patty | Central Tire & Battery

Central Tire & Battery was located here from September 1945 until June 1964.

Central Tire was founded by Guy Westhafer, who was active in the business until he died in 1999. The Central Avenue building was torn down in 1964 to make room for a Holiday Inn hotel. Also lost that year was rented properties that contained a retread plant and warehouse. The business thereafter moved to Verona due to a lack of suitable property in Staunton.

The business continues today, owned by Guy’s sons, Terry and Tommy Westhafer.


Date: 1945-1946

Location: 268 North Central Avenue, Staunton, VA

Westhafer, Patty | Guy G. Westhafer, Manager

Guy Westhafer is pictured standing in front of the BF Goodrich Tire Store at 108 North Central Avenue, looking west on North Central Avenue.

He was assigned there for a few weeks of training in the budget department (dollar down and a dollar per week).

He became the store manager and in 1939 led the nation in the per capita sales of Goodrich truck tires.

He left BFG and enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he trained pilots during the war.

People: Guy G. Westhafer

Date: circa 1937-1938

Location: North Central Avenue, Staunton, VA

Westhafer, Patty | Soap Box Derby Car

Donnie won the local Staunton Soap Box Derby. He won a trip to Akron, Ohio where he competed for Staunton in the All-American Soap Box Derby.

Donnie was sponsored by Central Tire in the Staunton Derby, but The Staunton News-Leader sponsored him in the Akron event.

People: Donnie Trobugh

Date: 1954

Location: 268 North Central Avenue, Staunton, VA

Westhafer, Terry | Gas Station that Became Central Tire & Battery after World War II

This gas station was rented by Guy Westhafer in 1945 when he opened Central Tire & Battery.


Date: before World War II

Location: 268 North Central Avenue, Staunton, VA

Westhafer, Terry | Guy Westhafer with BF Goodrich Store Truck

Guy Westhafer came to Staunton for training in a BF Goodrich company owned tire store.

He became the store manager and remained in the store until he left for World War II, where he taught pilots how to fly.

People: Guy G. Westhafer

Date: circa 1938

Location: Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton, VA

Westhafer, Terry and Patty Westhafer | BF Goodrich Tire Store

My father, Guy Westhafer, came to Staunton as a trainee in the BF Goodrich store. He was asked by Goodrich to remain in the store and eventually became the store manager.

He and his store led the nation for per capita sales of BFG truck tires. He remained with BFG in Staunton until he left during World War II.


Date: circa 1936-1938

Location: North Central Avenue, Staunton, VA