Historic Northern Shenandoah Valley Site Tours, May 16



Hottel-Keller Homestead, Shenandoah County
May 16, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Branch of Preservation Virginia will have two meetings in May 2010.   The first meeting is the rescheduled winter quarter meeting that was cancelled due to the snow.   The second meeting is our regular spring quarter meeting.   We hope you will be able to join us.   Please share this information with others who may be interested!

The meetings will be at Springsbury Farm in Clarke County on May 2, 2010,  and at the Hottel-Keller Homestead in Shenandoah County on May 16, 2010.     These sites, located in the northern and southern parts of the NSV Branch territory, represent two very different examples of settlement in the Shenandoah Valley.   Both sites are in the development stage with on-going research and planning efforts for the long-term preservation and public interpretation of historic resources.   The NSV Branch is honored to offer you the rare opportunity to see these properties and to witness historic preservation in action.      

At the meeting, Chester Ramey, a board member of Hottel-Keller Memorial, Inc., will talk about the history of the farm and the Hottel and Keller families that settled it beginning in the late 1740s, and the organization’s plans for the development of their Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum.   Following the presentation, tours of the property will be offered.   Admission is free.

At 3:00 p.m., the Homestead will host an open house for the public, as well as those planning and participating in their upcoming first annual Germanic heritage festival, GermanFest, to be held on Saturday, September 25th, 2010.   For more information about GermanFest, please visit http://www.germanfestva.org/.        

The Hottel-Keller Homestead property was purchased by Johannes Hottel in a land grant from Lord Fairfax in 1750.   Hottel and his family immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1732 from the Rhineland-Pfalz region of Germany.   In the early 1740s, his two oldest sons, Charles and George, traveled to Virginia, searching for suitable farmland.   Liking what they found in the Shenandoah Valley, Charles and George returned to Pennsylvania and persuaded their father and their sister and her husband, Barbara Hottel Keller and George Keller, to join them.   The families settled on the land and began farming it even before receiving the land grant from Lord Fairfax.   Today, the property comprises 392 acres and is owned by Hottel-Keller Memorial, Inc., which was given to them in 1984, by William J. Keller, Jr., the last family member to own it.   For more information about Hottel-Keller Memorial, Inc., please visit www.hottelkeller.org.  

Directions to the Hottel-Keller Homestead:   Traveling either north or south on I-81, take Exit 291, Mount Olive Road (VA Hwy 651) west.   Mount Olive Road ends at Back Road (VA Hwy 623).   Turn left (south) on Back Road.   The Homestead will be approximately 0.7 miles on the right.   Stone pillars with wrought iron fencing mark the entrance to the Homestead. Then follow signage to the George Hottel homesite .