Walking around both Gospel Hill and downtown Historic District I easily noticed that there were churches or chapels almost behind each corner. I was surprised to see quite many churches of unbelievable number of religions in US towns and cities. But nothing compare to this little city of Staunton where there are over 100 churches and chapels for only some 24,000 locals!
Why? I don't know. I was told that traditionally southern folks were more religious than the others in the USA. Staunton was the frontier town in the colonial and post-colonial times. Does it explain anything?
Well, I visited First Presbyterian Church (100 E. Frederick St.) organized in 1804. President Wilson presented a plaque to the church honoring his father during one of his visits to Staunton. It hangs in the narthex of the church's sanctuary.
Generally, Staunton is considered to be five diverse districts combined to make one interesting whole.
The Wharf District is registered in the National Registry.
This area is from Beverly Street on the north to Wilson Park on the south. It is the historic commerce district with warehouses and wagon paths that developed around the train depot.
The Staunton AMTRAK is located here.
The NewTown District (as opposed to the original old town).
This area is from New Street on the east to Madison on the West. It includes historic buildings like Trinity Church, Stuart Hall and Stuart House.
The Stuart Addition District has many structures registered in the National Registry.
This area has some of the older buildings and definitely the steeper roads in the city. It is roughly bound by Beverly Street on the south and route 261 on the north.
The Gospel Hill District is the area near Beverley and Coalter Streets. This was the old religious district and now is the heart of a graceful neighborhood of tree-lined lanes and homes that represent unique architectural styles.
The Beverly District are the structures along Beverly Street (the old main street of the city). It is distinctively late-18th and mid-19th century style.
So get on your walking shoes; grab the city map and have your camera strapped on and go out and get some great Staunton photos.
Places like these farmers' markets lets you see what the people are like in any area.
The Staunton Market is fairly large and has an unusually diverse selection of items for sale.
Besides the fruits and vegetables, apples and corn they have honey and homemade jam; farmer's soap and bouquets of flowers; pies and cakes. You can see a cooking demonstration by local people or watch butter being churned (and then buy some) or take a wagon ride. How about some popping corn (still on the cob) or a souvenier Teeshirt that says you were in Staunton?
The people are friendly and there is no dress code; just be there and smile.
The Market is open all day Saturday, rain or shine, all summer long.
to get there:
corner of Byers and Johnson Streets in historic downtown Staunton
Each house, both old and a new one in Staunton downtown is built in similar old style with brick sidewalks in front of them and historic lights in gardens and along streets. I asked about it in Wilson Museum and I've got to know that the city maintains strict building codes in the historic downtown area so that the area can be used for period films.
The city project known locally as the Big Dig in which all of the modern utilities were put underground to hide them started in 1990'. I am not surprised that the historic downtown area of Staunton was used in the American Civil War film Gods and Generals. The local Shenandoah Valley Railroad was used in filming of Hearts in Atlantis.