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Posted January 22, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Front Royal celebrating 225th anniversary all year

By Sally Voth

2013 is a milestone year for the town of Front Royal.

Its 225th anniversary will be commemorated through various events spaced throughout the year, including a short film showing on Friday.

Front Royal was formally chartered in 1788, said Patrick Farris, executive director of the Warren Heritage Society.

"The community had been there on the same spot since 1754," he said. "It's just that when they officially became the town, they chartered under a different name than what the town had been known by."

Prior to 1754, it was referred to as LeHewtown, according to Farris, after a large extended family that had settled there starting in 1754.

"They settled and created their dwellings in the center of town at the intersection of Main and Chester streets," he said.

Those streets are part of what had once been Indian trading paths, Farris said, and were near Happy Creek.

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation film, "If This Valley is Lost: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign," will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday at the Warren Heritage Society's Ivy Lodge, 101 Chester St., Front Royal. Terrence M. Heder of the foundation will be the guest speaker at the free event.

Farris noted that the town's 225th coincides with the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Wapping in Warren County. That was the final battle of the Gettysburg Campaign.

The Battle of Wapping was the only battle in Warren County that was fought by the county's infantrymen, he said. It will be commemorated Aug. 30.

The heritage society is hosting numerous 225th anniversary and sesquicentennial events throughout 2013, but the main town anniversary event will be on Nov. 15, which marks the date the state legislature signed off on Front Royal becoming a town, according to Farris.

He said there will be a ceremony, historical display, speakers and likely the placing of a plaque or planting of a tree.

"We're coming on the heels of the 175th anniversary of Warren County, which was created in 1836," Farris added. "The Warren Heritage Society is the place to come for local history in Front Royal and Warren County. We're very grateful and honored to be working with the town -- as we did in 2011 with the county -- in order to ensure this commemoration."

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


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