Woodstock in 1926
These photographs, taken in September and December of 1926, show various scenes from Woodstock and surrounding areas. Some of the places shown are:
-The Woodstock Passenger Depot on Court Street. Constructed in 1885 this ornate, limestone structure was one of the most elaborate stations in the area. In 1926 it would have been the center of Woodstock’s railroad enterprises and the local telegraph station. It served until 1948 when passenger service ended and was dismantled in 1954.
-Massanutten Military Academy. Founded in 1899 as the Massanutten Academy was designed to “equip boys and girls for entrance into the best college and universities of the land.” By 1926 the school had become an all-boys, elite military school that had a large international student body, and four buildings including newly constructed Harris and Sperry Halls. In 1984 it became Massanutten Military Academy. It still operates at its large campus on the south end of Woodstock.
-Shenandoah County Jail at Court and Main Street. Nicknamed “the castle” this imposing structure was constructed in 1906. It featured several escape proof cells in the rear and the Sheriff’s Office and residence in the portion of the building resembling a house. In 1926 Sheriff Bernard M. Borden and his family lived there and served as the county’s around the clock law enforcement, jailer, court officer, and county officer. The jail would be replaced by a new building in 1974.
-Downtown Woodstock at Court Square. Buildings pictured are immediately beside the Historic Shenandoah County Courthouse looking north. They include the Magruder Building at left which housed Walton and Smoot Drug Store. Today the site is home to a brick office building. To the immediate right is the Schmitt Building which at the time held the Schmitt Drug Store. Today it is home to a bank.
-Pughs Run Railroad Bridge north of Woodstock. This structure was constructed in 1869 and reconstructed in 1909 by the Southern Railway Company. In 1926 it would the railroad was the county’s major form of transportation. Hundreds of passengers and thousands of tons of goods were moved in and out of the county on a regular basis. Today, service has been discontinued along the route.
-Shenandoah County Courthouse and Shenandoah Building and Loan Building at the intersection of Court and Main Street. In 1926 the courthouse housed the county courts, county offices, school offices, and the Clerk’s offices. To the rear was the Shenandoah Bank and Loan Building which was one of two National Banks in Woodstock and a leading county bank.
-Burnshire’s Dam north east of Woodstock. In 1873 J.I. Triplett bought a mill at this site and began producing electricity. In 1903 he began producing electricity at the site for Woodstock and the surrounding areas. In 1926 a new powerhouse and dynamo had just been finished after a flood in 1924 had destroyed the site. The dam would continue to serve until 1954 when the Virginia Electric and Power Company purchased the site and closed it.
-Shenandoah Fire Company building on Court Street. Founded in 1823, this volunteer organization moved into this structure in 1883. In 1926 the first floor would have housed two hand drawn hose reels that were used, in conjunction with Woodstock’s excellent water supply, to protect the town from fire. The second floor was a community meeting space and the town council chambers. In 1931 a new brick building was built on this site. Today the volunteers Woodstock Fire Department, as the organization was renamed, still uses this structure along with two additions.