Stephens City, Virginia
Stephens City is an incorporated town in Frederick County, Virginia, with a population of 2,041. Founded by Peter Stephens in the 1730s, the colonial town was chartered and named for Lewis Stephens in October 1758. The town has gone through several name changes in its history, starting as Stephensburg and ending as Stephens City. Stephens City is the second-oldest municipality in the Shenandoah Valley after nearby Winchester.
About Stephens City, Virginia in brief
Stephens City is an incorporated town in Frederick County, Virginia, with a population of 2,041. Founded by Peter Stephens in the 1730s, the colonial town was chartered and named for Lewis Stephens in October 1758. Stephens City is the second-oldest municipality in the Shenandoah Valley after nearby Winchester, which is about 5 miles to the north. A large section of the center of the town, including buildings and homes, covering 65 acres, is part of the Newtown–Stephensburg Historic District and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. The town has gone through several name changes in its history, starting as Stephensburg and ending as Stephens City. It is a member of the Winchester, Virginia-West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area, an offshoot of the Washington–Baltimore–Northern Virginia, DC–MD–VA–WV Combined Statistical Area. In the late 1850s, free blacks began a settlement about a mile east of town which became known as \”Crossroads\” or \”Freetown\”, which lasted until the time of the Civil War. During the war, the town was nominally controlled by the Union but with much Confederate partisan activity. In June 1864, Major Joseph K. Stearns of the New York Cavalry arrived under orders to burn the town down to help stop ambushes on the wagon road. He required the adult residents to take the oath in which they had not voluntarily provided aid to the Confederacy, effectively excluding the ex-Confederates from the political arena during the Reconstruction era.
In April 1867, the General Assembly granted a charter to the Winchester and Strasburg Railroad Company to construct a rail line between the town and Winchester. The company was authorized to construct the Winchester-Strasburg Railroad line between Winchester and Strasburg. The line was completed in September 1867, and the town of Strasburg was officially incorporated in October 1867. The rail line was the first rail line in the state to connect the state with the rest of the East Coast and the West Coast of the U.S. It was built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and is still in use today. The station is located on the Great Wagon Road south of Winchester. Interstate 81 and U. S. Route 11 pass close to and through the town. In October 2008, Stephens City celebrated its 250th anniversary on October 12, 2008. The town’s central location attracted heavy traffic through the region, and wagon-making emerged as an important industry for the town; Newtown artisans supplied wagons throughout the state. By 1830 the town’s population had reached 800, and by 1830 it was called ‘Newtown’ The town was often called simply ‘New Town’ or ‘Stephensburgh’ by the start of the Revolutionary War. The first free black community in the Valley in the pre-Civil War years, was founded in the 1850s. When the Emancipation Proclamation, many of the already free blacks left the area.