Keezletown, A History

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S: The History of Keezletown

BC: All of the us | All over the US, you have small Hometowns; each holds wonderful memories and great sentimentality for those who grew up there. We moved to Keezletown in 1975 and left in 1982 after selling our yellow house at Rt. 6 Box 145, Harrisonburg, VA. I was ten when we moved in after Dad built the house to the age of eighteen when we sold it to the Peters Family who still live there this day. I've since grown up, but I always have a place for this small town in my heart. Full of history and memories, this book celebrates all that. I'll always love my little home town. ~ Cecee Crompton Hawkns

FC: Keezletown | The History of Where I Grew Up | By Cecilia Kay Hawkins

1: There are thousands of small towns across America; but none can mean as much as the one you grew up in. Nestled on the west side of Massanutten Mountain is a very special place called Keezletown. Formed between the years of 1730 – 1781, land grants were made to Distinguished Valley men such as George Keezell, James Laird, Bernard Peale, and Jacob Stoever. These names distinguish landmarks such as Laird’s Knob, Penn Laird and Peales Crossroad. First known as “Keisells-town”, it was first surveyed in 1781, and was chartered as a town by the Act of Assembly passed Dec. 7, 1791.It’s the intersection of many roads that take you around the beautiful countryside. This book will take you through several roads that will give the history of Keezletown and local area of Rockingham County. Like any town, you had a post office, churches, a school, a small corner market, and such. A railroad came through the center of the community over Cubs Run. Most happy memories of the residents include time with grandparents at the home place, playing with cousins, baseball teams, fishing, making apple butter at the cannery behind the school. Unique to Keezletown is Massanutten Caverns that once had a fine lodge where people would go to Saturday night dances. Children grow up and move away, but a part of Keezletown always goes with them. It’s a place well remembered and cherished by many.

2: Penn Laird Elkton | Our Home

3: Map of Keezletown | Main Street, early 1900's | Main Street, 100 years later | Once settled by George Keisell, 100 acres of his land was laid out and initially called “Keisell’s-Town” and on December 7, 1791, Keezletown was established by law.

4: Beginnings of Keezeltown Courtesy of Connie Kibler Correa

6: 1825 Survey Map Note there was once a pond located at the "old mill turn" in the upper right corner. | Map of Keezletown circa 1825

8: Other Surveys of Keezletown

10: Keezletown Commerce | Mills were a center of commerce for many communities through out the rural parts of Rockingham County. In the 1825 survey was a mill at the turn of Mountain Valley Road, often referred to as “Old Mill Turn”. Foundations of a mill are found further north, and on Old Indian Trail was Seller’s Mill. | Seller Mill

11: Once known as Betram’s General Store, later as “Casey’s Market”, this building has seen much history

12: Famous Local Legend: The 1779 Race to Richmond for the County Seat | The Founder of Keezletown: George Keisell and his Family | George Keisell, founder of Keezletown, having access to a main road in the Valley (Old Indian Trail) had the foresight to know a county seat was going to be needed. He proposed to have Keisell-Town (Keezletown) as such. A rivalry began between George Keisell and Thomas Harrison, founder of Harrisonburg, over where the county seat would be located, considering the center of each town was around five miles apart. They decided on a horse race to Richmond to place claims on their towns. As it turned out, Keisell was ahead, and had supposedly stopped at the Swift Run Tavern on Spotswood Trail for a drink. It’s said that Harrison, “recognizing Keisell horse as he passed the tavern, dug his heels into the animal and raced on,” arriving in Richmond first to claim the county seat for himself. | The George Keisell House built 1749

13: The George Keissel House was built in 1794; it was located on the “Great Road” through Keezletown that was once known as the “Pennsylvania – Keezletown – North Carolina Road”. The road was built on an “Indian Trail” (Old Indian Trail Rd – Rt. 717 to Rt 620 on down to Peales Crossroads) in 1745 by a petition of the Court of August County submitted by a pioneer named Peter Scholl of Smith Creek. This was the basis Mr. Keissel used to propose Keezletown to be the county seat in 1779. George Keissel lived 1750 – 1822. It is said down this road in 1780, British soldiers captured from the Battle of Cowpens, SC, marched this way through Keezletown to Charlottesville onto Winchester to a concentration camp, per court records In 1784, George Washington himself came through the Williamsburg Trail that went through Brocks Gap near Broadway, VA, and in his journal, he wrote of the “handsome stone house”, which in later years was known as the Henry Keezle House. George Keissel’s son, George Keezell, served in the War of 1812 and married Amanda Fitzallen Peale. They had one son, George Bernard Keezell (who later became Senator and built the second Keezell House in 1892) born July 20, 1854. George Keezell died in 1862 when his son was only 8 years old. George B. went on the be educated at Stuart’s Hall in Staunton, and at the age of 16, he took up farming and lived with his mother in the original Keezle House. | The Old Keezle House 2011 | The George Keissel House was built in 1794; it was located on the “Great Road” through Keezletown that was once known as the “Pennsylvania – Keezletown – North Carolina Road”. The road was built on an “Indian Trail” (Old Indian Trail Rd – Rt. 717 to Rt 620 on down to Peales Crossroads) in 1745 by a petition of the Court of August County submitted by a pioneer named Peter Scholl of Smith Creek. This was the basis Mr. Keissel used to propose Keezletown to be the county seat in 1779. George Keissel lived 1750 – 1822. It is said down this road in 1780, British soldiers captured from the Battle of Cowpens, SC, marched this way through Keezletown to Charlottesville onto Winchester to a concentration camp, per court records In 1784, George Washington himself came through the Williamsburg Trail that went through Brocks Gap near Broadway, VA, and in his journal, he wrote of the “handsome stone house”, which in later years was known as the Henry Keezle House. George Keissel’s son, George Keezell, served in the War of 1812 and married Amanda Fitzallen Peale. They had one son, George Bernard Keezell (who later became Senator and built the second Keezell House in 1892) born July 20, 1854. George Keezell died in 1862 when his son was only 8 years old. George B. went on the be educated at Stuart’s Hall in Staunton, and at the age of 16, he took up farming and lived with his mother in the original Keezle House. | The Old Keezle House 2011 | The George Keissel House was built in 1794; it was located on the “Great Road” through Keezletown that was once known as the “Pennsylvania – Keezletown – North Carolina Road”. The road was built on an “Indian Trail” (Old Indian Trail Rd – Rt. 717 to Rt 620 on down to Peales Crossroads) in 1745 by a petition of the Court of August County submitted by a pioneer named Peter Scholl of Smith Creek. This was the basis Mr. Keissel used to propose Keezletown to be the county seat in 1779. George Keissel lived 1750 – 1822. It is said down this road in 1780, British soldiers captured from the Battle of Cowpens, SC, marched this way through Keezletown to Charlottesville onto Winchester to a concentration camp, per court records In 1784, George Washington himself came through the Williamsburg Trail that went through Brocks Gap near Broadway, VA, and in his journal, he wrote of the “handsome stone house”, which in later years was known as the Henry Keezle House. George Keissel’s son, George Keezell, served in the War of 1812 and married Amanda Fitzallen Peale. They had one son, George Bernard Keezell (who later became Senator and built the second Keezell House in 1892) born July 20, 1854. George Keezell died in 1862 when his son was only 8 years old. George B. went on the be educated at Stuart’s Hall in Staunton, and at the age of 16, he took up farming and lived with his mother in the original Keezle House. | The Old Keezle House 2011 | The George Keissel House was built in 1794; it was located on the “Great Road” through Keezletown that was once known as the “Pennsylvania – Keezletown – North Carolina Road”. The road was built on an “Indian Trail” (Old Indian Trail Rd – Rt. 717 to Rt 620 on down to Peales Crossroads) in 1745 by a petition of the Court of August County submitted by a pioneer named Peter Scholl of Smith Creek. This was the basis Mr. Keissel used to propose Keezletown to be the county seat in 1779. George Keissel lived 1750 – 1822. It is said down this road in 1780, British soldiers captured from the Battle of Cowpens, SC, marched this way through Keezletown to Charlottesville onto Winchester to a concentration camp, per court records In 1784, George Washington himself came through the Williamsburg Trail that went through Brocks Gap near Broadway, VA, and in his journal, he wrote of the “handsome stone house”, which in later years was known as the Henry Keezle House. George Keissel’s son, George Keezell, served in the War of 1812 and married Amanda Fitzallen Peale. They had one son, George Bernard Keezell (who later became Senator and built the second Keezell House in 1892) born July 20, 1854. George Keezell died in 1862 when his son was only 8 years old. George B. went on the be educated at Stuart’s Hall in Staunton, and at the age of 16, he took up farming and lived with his mother in the original Keezle House. | The Old Keezle House 2011 | "The Great Road"

14: Born in Rockingham county, Virginia, July 20, 1854, son of George Keezell and Amanda Fitz Allan Peale, his wife. George Keezell was of German ancestry and took an active part in the war of 1812. George Bernard Keezell was a young child at the outbreak of the civil war, and as all men who were able to serve in the army were on the battlefield, he was early obliged to perform labors far in advance of his years. However, the strenuous work he performed at this period in cultivating the farm endowed him with a strong constitution and powerful physique. He utilized every spare moment to read history and biography, and standard literature of all kinds, and this supplemented the educational training he acquired at a collegiate institute in Baltimore, Maryland. At the age of seventeen years he stopped school and devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. He was elected a state senator in 1883, and was one of the recognized leaders in that body. For more than twenty years he served as a member of the finance committee of the senate. In 1901-02 he served as a member of the constitutional convention from Rockingham county; he has served as a member of the state board of fisheries, and was a member of the committee on renovating and rebuilding the state capitol. Mr. Keezell married (first) Mary Katherine Hannah, (second) Belle C. Hannah. His address is Keezletown, Rockingham county, Virginia. | State Senator George Bernard Keezell Grandson of the Founder of Keezletown

15: A painting of the late Senator George B. Keezell to the college. The portrait, donated by the Class of 1932 and painted by Helen Wagner Spotswood, was unveiled by Senator Keezell's granddaughter, Cornelia Catherine Simms. Keezell was a leader in the State Senate and a key advocate in the selection of Harrisonburg as the site of a new state teachers college in 1908. His portrait hangs today in Wilson Hall Auditorium at James Madison University, along with a painting of President Woodrow Wilson. | Birth: 1854 in Keezletown Death: 22 June 1931 Census Information on George B. Keezell 1870 Age: 16 Residence Baltimore Ward 19, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland, United States 1880 Age: 26 Residence Central, Rockingham, Virginia, United States 1886 Age: 32 Marriage to Mary Catherine Hannah 1900 Age: 46 Residence Central, Rockingham, Virginia 1903 10 Dec Age: 49 Marriage to Belle C Hannah 1910 Age: 56 Residence Central, Rockingham, Virginia 1920 Age: 66 Residence Central, Rockingham, Virginia 1931 22 JunAge: 77 Death Rockingham County, Virginia | Census Information: | Senator KeezleRockingham Co-Op Farm Bureau Picnic in 1925 at Massanutten Caverns

16: George’s Parents: George Keezell 1798-1862 Amanda Fitz Allen Peale 1816-1890 1st Wife Mary Katherine Hannah (1858 - 1902) Parents: Nathaniel Hannah 1824-1863 Belle Catherine Rhodes 1827-1867 Children George F Keezell Aug 4 1887-Dec 4 1887 Walter Bernard Keezell Sept 7 1888-Sept 9 1950 Katherine A Keezell Aug 2 1890-Dec 28 1959 Amanda C Keezell Aug 1890 Rembrandt P Keezell Apr 10 1892-Jan 18 1935 R Branth P Keezell Apr 10 1892-Jan 18 1935 Florence A Keezell Sept 16 1894-Apr 6 1960 George Orville Keezell Jul 20 1896-Oct 5 1906 Nathaniel Harrison Keezell Jun 25 1898-Jul 10 1947 James W Keezell Jun 1898 2nd wife Belle Hannah (1850 – 1924) Children George F Keezell (1887 – died at 4 mos) | George B. Keezle's Family History

17: After the house was built, the leftover lumber was used to build the Post Office - 'David and Jackie Werner, current owners | Keezle House, 2011 | Senator George B. Keezle's House built 1892 | Before the Shafers moved there,a family by the name of Lam lived there,there were two boys who used to hang with us,[Kenny and Larry],they moved shortly after we moved to town but, Ido remember the ruckus the older boy caused when he stole his dads old coin collection & spent it on candy @ the [Casey's Market] - Barry Shoemaker | The Keezle House was bought by the Fred and Linda Shafer Family. They raised five children here, Walter, Teresa, Jackie, Daniel, Karen Shafer. The house passed on to Jackie who married David Werner and they still' live there to this day

18: The Churches of Keezletown | 1948 Junior Choir | I went to the second Methodist Church in the late 70Â’s, and remember the picture of Jesus above the pulpit. I remember Mrs. Miller always beautifully played the piano. I loved watching her sit there, dressed up pretty, hat, and all, and how sheÂ’d hold her right pinky in position to play. I remember the polyester green outfit I wore when I was baptized by Reverend Fisher. He had a very sweet, young daughter named Stephanie. - Cecee Hawkins | First Fram Church built in 1860 | First Fram Church built in 1860 | 2nd Frame Church built in 1882 | First Frame Church built in 1860 | First Fram Church built in 1860 | First Fram Church built in 1860 | First Fram Church built in 1860 | 2nd Frame Church builtt in 1882

20: For years stood the two white frame churches. Eventually they tore them down to build the new brick church. A burning ceremony was held when the mortgage was paid. Folks remember when the Reverend Dennis Perry took flame to the note and held it up as it burned. | ..I, too, remember when they tore down the old churches, sad as it was. I always joked to people that I got baptized where the parking lot is. However, the bell tower from the second church was bought by someone who lives on Rt. 33 and made it into a fine gazebo. - Cecee Hawkins

21: Other Churches in the Keezletown Area | Rt. 717, north of Keezletown, Trinity Lutheran Church; founded in 1787, known then as Armentrout’s. Later it was St. Philips and in 1864 became Trinity. The present church was built in 1857. The earliest grave in the cemetery the son of Ezra and Rebecca Armentrout who died in 1859 and is marked with an iron marker. | Mt. Bethel United Brethren Church | The original church was a log structure built in 1832 – once known as the Old School Lutheran Church which was the predecessor of the Trinity Lutheran Church The present building was erected in 1881. The earliest grave dates 1823. | Located north of Keezleton, this church stared out as a Dutch Church in 1787, still, over 200 years, it stands. | Beulah Church of the Brethren 1887 | Mountain Valley UMC 1891 | Trinity Lutheran Church 1857

22: The Schools of Keezletown | The earliest school in Keezletown was in a log cabin that was used as a church near the cemetery. Over the years, there were at least 3 or 4 schools listed. In April, 1867, B.A. Hawkins opened the first session of Keezletown Academy. By 1914, the town felt it was necessary to build a second house/school . The former was a frame structure of 4 rooms and took the place of an “old, double house in the village”. It would integrate pupils of Cedar Dale, a single room school house east of the town . The old house was burned, and a four room brick building was built on the foundation. | The earliest school in Keezletown was in a log cabin that was used as a church near the cemetery. Over the years, there were at least 3 or 4 schools listed. In April, 1867, B.A. Hawkins opened the first session of Keezletown Academy. By 1914, the town felt it was necessary to build a second house/school . The former was a frame structure of 4 rooms and took the place of an “old, double house in the village”. It would integrate pupils of Cedar Dale, a single room school house east of the town . The old house was burned, and a four room brick building was built on the foundation. | The earliest school in Keezletown was in a log cabin that was used as a church near the cemetery. Over the years, there were at least 3 or 4 schools listed. In April, 1867, B.A. Hawkins opened the first session of Keezletown Academy. By 1914, the town felt it was necessary to build a second house/school . The former was a frame structure of 4 rooms and took the place of an “old, double house in the village”. It would integrate pupils of Cedar Dale, a single room school house east of the town . The old house was burned, and a four room brick building was built on the foundation. | The earliest school in Keezletown was in a log cabin that was used as a church near the cemetery. Over the years, there were at least 3 or 4 schools listed. In April, 1867, B.A. Hawkins opened the first session of Keezletown Academy. By 1914, the town felt it was necessary to build a second house/school . The former was a frame structure of 4 rooms and took the place of an “old, double house in the village”. It would integrate pupils of Cedar Dale, a single room school house east of the town . The old house was burned, and a four room brick building was built on the foundation. | By 1914, two more additional rooms were added and the entire building was remodeled. Later the second build was built, and in 1942, the current school building was built and was in operation until 1997. | The earliest school in Keezletown was in a log cabin that was used as a church near the cemetery. Over the years, there were at least 3 or 4 schools listed. In April, 1867, B.A. Hawkins opened the first session of Keezletown Academy. By 1914, the town felt it was necessary to build a second house/school . The former was a frame structure of 4 rooms and took the place of an “old, double house in the village”. It would integrate pupils of Cedar Dale, a single room school house east of the town . The old house was burned, and a four room brick building was built on the foundation. | The earliest school in Keezletown was in a log cabin that was used as a church near the cemetery. Over the years, there were at least 3 or 4 schools listed. In April, 1867, B.A. Hawkins opened the first session of Keezletown Academy. By 1914, the town felt it was necessary to build a second house/school . The former was a frame structure of 4 rooms and took the place of an “old, double house in the village”. It would integrate pupils of Cedar Dale, a single room school house east of the town . The old house was burned, and a four room brick building was built on the foundation.

23: For years, in rural Rockingham County, schools, like mills, were 10 – 15 miles apart. Throughout the area were small schools, such as Cedar Dale (built 1800) and this school on Flook Rd. Churches, like Long Chapel in Zenda, were also used as schools. | Generations of families’ children attended the local schools | A class during the 1920’s at the second Keezletown School

24: ’75 – 76, my sixth grade year, this was Mr. Yoder’s room. Whenever I heard the train whistle, I’d break my pencil and go to the sharpener beside this window to watch the train go by. I could see the top of Old Baldy from here. | We once met an ederly couple in the parking lot here on a Saturday. The lady remembered the opening day of the new school in 1942, it had rained, and she got red mud on her new white shoes. - Barbara Brull | I spent one year at this school; sixth grade ’75 – 76. I loved the old building; not much on the front steps going up the hill; I remember mornings getting off the bus and walking around the side entrance. We use to pass an old water fountain. The building was cold in the winter, and hot in the summer. The cafeteria was located in the basement, and I best remember the sweet ladies who served lunch, and no where else could you find such wonderful, soft onion rolls. We use to play under the large, old trees before the buses came. Many happy memories are within these walls. My favorite memory was in the mornings, me, Gail, Vicki, and Jenny got into playing tag in the Girl’s Room, and were caught by the evil Mrs. Shultz. You could hear a pin drop as we froze, seeing her angry face.

25: Principals who have served at Keezletown school are: 1878-80 (two sessions) Charles D. Harrison 1880-81 S. D. Brewer 1881-83 (two sessions) Miss Belle C. Hannah 1883-89 (six sessions) M. A. Good 1889-90 (unknown) 1890-91 Mattie Aspeck 1891-94 (three sessions) Miss Belle C. Hannah 1894-97 (three sessions) Stamper D. Bloxton 1897-98 L. Gordon Schooley 1898-99 J. N. Fries 1899-1900 Stamper D. Bloxton 1900-02 (two sessions) B. B. Mitchell 1902-05 J. N. Dunivan 1905-06 J. M. Anderson 1906-09 J. N. Dunivan 1909-10 Kenneth Cunningham 1910-12 (two sessions) John Stone 1912-14 J. Tate Hill 1914-15 Harry G. Kanter 1915-16 H. L. Markwood 1916-17 Harry G. Kanter 1917-18 J. H. Bonney 1918-20 (two sessions) Althea Adams 1920-21 Erma Cline 1921-27 (six sessions) R. J. Turner 1927-29 (two sessions) G. L. Lutz 1929-1939 (ten sessions) R. B. Alexander 1939-1950 (eleven sessions) James W. Moyers 1950-53 (three sessions) A. N. Burgess 1953-63 (ten sessions) Everett Wilfong 1963-66 (three sessions) John E. Zigler 1966-90 (twenty-four sessions) Garry Rupert 1990-97 (seven sessions) Larry Barber 1997- Ed Powell | The Principles of Keezltown Schools | 1949 Keezletown High School Girls Basketball team won Disrtict M Championship with a 39 game winning streak! - Bernice Shull Sites | Also back in 1936, Keezletown must have been a womens basketball powerhouse - Wade Armentrout | Chapmes 1941 Row 1: Helen Huffman, Kathleen Armentrout, Mary Francis Hall Row 2: Oletha L. Spitzer, Irene Smith, Betty Jane Liskey, Josephine Boyers. - Wade Armentrout | Some Keezletown High School Sports Teams, | 1942 Basebal Team | First Row: Betty Cave, Betty Armentrout, Joan Bateman 2nd Row: Evelyn Good, Helen Shirey, Doris Armentrout 3rd Row: Mary Raines, Nancy Jarrels, Aliene Armentrout 4th Row: Mildred Cline, Alleene Tibbens, Betty Baker 5th Row: Mildred Long, Nancy Raines,Coach Jim Moyers | KHS

26: The Rail Road thru Keezletown | The Old Train Station | This is the train wreck that happened on the small trussel behind Mrs. Keezles house across from the school in about 1966,67. Anyone who thinks that the young boy with the blond hair standing behind the men was me "might" be mistakin. I listened to my parents & was not allowed to sneak,(Imean) go down there... - Barry Shoemaker | My dad worked for that railroad, and was a locomotive engineer until he retired a couple of years ago. I remember being at school in Keezletown, and would hear that thing "attempting" to pass through on its way up the steep grade toward Harrisonburg. If the train couldnÂ’t make it (which was sometimes the case because those locoÂ’s werenÂ’t designed to pull such heavy loads, they would have to drift back to Penn Laird and try again. - David Kee | The Norfolk and Western Railroad ran between Elkton in Harrisonburg around the base of Massanutten Mountain. The old depot in Keezletown was once a very busy place. Around it at one time were two large stores, a shoe shop, a blacksmith, and a flour mill along with the veneer company E.A. Downey that eventually moved to Thomasville, NC.

27: Mr. Kee and Philip Schroder was on that train, and trust you me when you lived in the block house or the double wide, it seemed like they never blew that horn til they got to those houses even at 11pm at night.. took months to get use to it so you could sleep without being woke up scared to death - Karen Sites | The Train passing by Cub Run | Layman's Trestle | In sixth grade at Keezletown Elementary, when I heard the whistle, I use to break my pencil and sharpen it by the window just to watch the train go by. - Cecee Hawklins | In sixth grade at Keezletown Elementary, when I heard the whistle, I use to break my pencil and sharpen it by the window just to watch the train go by. - Cecee Hawklins | Midway between Keezletown and Harrisonburg was a large trestle over an open gulley. In the beginning, Layman’s Trestle was a wooden structure over 1000 feet long, but over time the site became a scene of many breakdowns. “The trestle framework shifted and sagged according to the weathernow [all the] open space has been filled with dirt” leaving a soaring; opening over the creek. The land surrounded this trestle belonged to the Layman family, so whenever the trains were delayed due to repairs, it was always the same answer, “trouble at Layman’s Trestle” so the name stuck. - Nancy Hess | Did you ever walk across that trestle? I did, twice. And once I got stuck, Tommy Holsinger had to pull my fingers from the boards to get me to the other side. – Cecee Hawkins

28: Private Abraham Billhimer - Company I, 1st Virginia Cavalry, Confederate States of America. This is my great grandfather in his Confederate uniform in 1919 taken during a United Confederate Veteran's reunion in Harrisonburg. Abe and his brother, Benjamin Franklin Billhimer, left their home along the western slope of the Massanutten Mountain in Keezletown, in 1861 to join the Harrisonburg Cavalry. They served under J.E.B. Stuart until his death then under Fitzhugh Lee. My uncle, Joe Billhimer, passed the following story on to the family as he heard it from Abe: During the last year of the Civil War the 1st Virginia Cavalry was camping on the property of Mrs. Hile Billhimer in Keezletown. Well, the ladies of Keezletown got together and baked a bunch of fried apple pies and took them to the soldier's camp. After handing the pies out to the men, as it turned out, each soldier ended up with two pies. Abe Billhimer ate one of his pies and put the other one in his tent for later. When he came back to get his fried apple pie he caught another soldier, Harvey "Harv" Sheets, eating it. Needless to say, they got into a knock down, drag out fight. During the brawl Harv Sheets bit Abe's middle finger off at the knuckle on his left hand. In return, Abe gouged Harv in the eyes detaching one of them. Its been said that Harv Sheets was cockeyed the rest of his life. Lowell Burtner told me several years ago that he knew Harv sheets as an old man and often heard Harv say, "That Abe Himer'll kill you! | The Civil War | Another Civil War story as told by my Great Grandfather Abraham "Abe" Billhimer to my uncle Joe Billhimer: Abe Billhimer and Adam Koontz of Company I, 1st Virginia (Harrisonburg) Cavalry were riding on a reconnaissance mission near Lacey Springs in late 1864 when they were spotted by members of a Yankee cavalry. Abe and Adam set out toward Keezletown with the Yankees in persuit, but, having faster horses, they distanced themselves from pretty good from those Yankee boys. Upon reaching Keezletown Abe and Adam dismounted and sent their horses on their way then climbed up into the steeple are of the church that used to sit in the corner of the Keezletown School parking lot. Through the slats in the steeple they could see the Yankees looking for them but, fortunately, avoided capture. They did lose their horses though as they were found drinking water out of Cub Run! - Casey Bilhimer

29: Confederate Veterans at the Rockingham County County Courthouse ~ 1919. Abe & Benjamin Billhimer and Adam Koontz from Keezletown are pictured. Front row, left of center beside of UDC lady is Adam Koontz. Behind and to the left of Koontz is Benjamin Billhimer. Behind and to the right of Benjamin, wearing a white hat with his head slightly tilted, is Abe Billhimer. Front row, to the middle right, the taller fellow with the white mustache, is William "Billy" Eaton. Behind Billy is Jesse Morris. I would love to know the names of the other veterans. The S.B. Gibbons UCV (United Confederate Veterans) banner is on exibit in the Electric Map room of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society in Dayton, VA. — with Benjamin Franklin Billhimer, Abraham Billhimer, Adam Koontz, Jesse Morris and William "Billy" Eaton.

30: Private George Robert Derrer - Company I, 33rd Virginia Volunteer Infantry (Stonewall Brigade) from Keezletown, VA. Died December 1, 1862 near Fredericksburg, VA in defense of Virginia and the South. Buried in an unknown unmarked grave. - Casey Billhimer | Famous Rockingham County Legend about the Burned Records involving Mary Nicholas Keezle | Private Stephen Gerard McDonaldson - Company B, 52nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry - Confederate States of America ~ Wounded in action during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse May 12, 1864 and had his left arm amputated. Here he's with his wife, Mary Jane Pannell | Stephen was born 12 Apr 1835 in Rock. Co. He and Mary married on 30 Oct 1859 in Aug. Co by Rev. D. Wingman. Stephen died on 11 Jan 1904

32: My dad, Cleve Sites, was from Keezletown. He served during WWII and was a POW (Prisoner of War) in Germany. He often spoke to high school history classes (and anyone else who would listen) about his experiences... he wanted to make sure the younger generations knew about and remember the sacrifices of a generation of young men from small town America, made to ensure freedom for us all. One of his favorite quotes was "Freedom is not free". This was taken at the 2nd annual Keezletown Ruritan's parade. That's me driving and my nephew Tyler riding along. I hope he knew how proud we all were of him. - Pattye Sites, daughter of Cleve Sites | Gilbert Layton Sites - WWII Served in the Pacific in 1945 | Cleve Sites, proudly raising the flag on Day | [Cleve] joined Patton's Army in France late in the war. His platoon was over taken by the Germans and he became a POW for several months. They were basically on a death march retreating with the Germans starving to death. Dad dropped from 180 lbs. To 118 lbs. during this time. The POWs were eventually liberated by the Russians. Dad said he had to lie about how he felt so the hospital would release him to come home to Keezletown. - Steve Sites | Keezletown's Proudest Veterans | Cleve Sites | Gil worked for Holsum Bread and delivered to all the local merchants in the area. He enjoyed butchering, woodworking and loved to spend time with his grandkids. He was a wonderful man, always kind and had nothing to say but good things about people..

33: George E. Billhimer - Served in the U.S.Navy as an Armed Guard gunner on 4 Merchant ships and the Navy ship the USS Alaska. Did four trips to Europe and two n the Pacific.Right he is showing his pride at a Memorial Service. | George E. Billhimer | [George]quit school to join the U.S. Navy in 1943 during WWII, then went back and finished high school and continued plating baseball. after graduation he played for the Keezletown team in the Rockingham County Baseball League. He had moved to Elkton and opening up a radio repair shop in 1949. That radio repair shop, Blue Ridge Radio Sales & Service became Blue Ridge Radio & TV and is still operating 62 years later. – Casey Billhimer | Sgt. Ernest Derrer

34: Keezletown - Then and Now | This portion of the book will take you through Keezletown as it is in 2011. We’ll start south from Rt. 33 from Harrisonburg to Peales Crossroads and go north on the Great Road to the School, and take three branching routes – first , we’ll continue up the Great Road (Old Indian Trail) to Tenth Legion to Seller’s Mill; then from the School, head west on Mountain Valley Road past where the Old Mill Turn north to Fridley Gap. Our third route starts at the Old Keezle House and heads west into Harrisonburg past Cave Hill.. | Keezlet own Road use to be the main road before Rt. 11 was built through Harrisonburg in 1826. It extends from Mauzy/Tenth Legion north of Harrisonburg, south through Keezletown; continues South through Weyers Cave and eventually rejoins Rt.11 all the way down to Mt. Sidney north of Staunton. Peales Crossroad is the intersection of Rt. 33 and Keezletown Road. It was called this because of the Peale House. It was a twelve room house built in 1844. Stonewall Jackson is said to have use it as his headquarters during the Battle at Cross Keys. The current owners are Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Forward, who bought it in 1942.

35: Rt. 33 and Peales Crossroad | Does anyone remember Norris and Beverly Shoemaker running the store on 33? That's where alot of us would go to play pool.. Norris use to sell all kinds of stuff in the store and that is where I got my very first pair of go go boots, they were White...LOL, that was the good ole days! - Karen Sites | Roger Hoover & his wife Jeannie owned it & us k'towners used to camp in the woods between Gary Hensley’s house & the pond. - Barry Shoemaker | I remember the pond behind the Shoemaker Store – it once had an island that for years, two pink flamingos stood for years. I miss those birds. – Cecee Hawkins | When the two white Methodist Churches were torn down, someone bought the steeple from the 2nd church and made it into a gazebo. It sits right off of Rt. 33. | The Shoemaker Store – once owned by the parents of Barry Shoemaker, who said “if those walls in the game room could talk.” Many great memories thrive here.

36: When I put in my home beside my sister, the county said that because three dwellings were here, we got to pick a name, so after talking to Mom, Dad, and Terri, we decided to name it “Chad Lane” after [my son]. Stella Street was named after my Great Grandmother Stella Earman. [after Chad’s passing] Chad’s organ donations saved a burn victim, a cornea was given to a man, and his heart valve was given to another man. Chad was [for organ donations]. - Sherry Jo Boyer Frazier, Chad's Mom | Stella Street and Chad Lane | The Earman House | Down the road, the Boyers Homeplace Grandchildren of the Earmans | Sherry's beloved son, Chad Frazier | Sherry was the first friend I made in Keezletown. I met her the first Sunday I went to the Methodist Church; we were 12 yrs old, and she showed me a charm bracelet with a bicycle on it. She was always so nice to me in school, and I remember when she was pregnant with Chad; you never saw a happier mother-to-be. Such a great lady. -Cecee Hawkns | Right before you get into Keezletown, Stella Stree is on the right.

37: Former home of Sammy Hasler, once there was a tannery next to this house. | Old Indian Trail (Rt 620) going into the main stretch of Keezletown

38: Main Street | A.D Bertram's Store later became Casey's Market. My grandmother, Willie Billhimer, used to work in Mr. Bertram's chicken processing plant located behind his store during the 1920s. Bertram also operated a tannery, fertilizer plant and flour mill. What a businessman!!!!! His flour mill was located along the creek west of the road leading up to Massanuttten Caverns. - Casey Billhimer | It was from here that the 100 acres were given to form the town. The Limestone Keezle House, built in the 1750’s was the plantation home of George Keisell, founder of Keezletown. It was also known as Henry Keezle House (his son), and still stands today, along the “Great Road”. While traveling, in 1784, George Washington noted in his journals of the “handsome stone house€. | Main Street in the early 1900's | Same intersection as above 100 years later; since then the school had been built; going straight left is Old Indian Trail and turning right at the school is Mountain Valley Rd with the Old Mill Turn

39: The Keezletown Post Office Run by Post Mistress Eleanor Armentrout

40: Across from the intersection of Keezletown Road (Rt 925) and Old Indian Trail (Rt 620) and next door to the Old Keezle House was the home of Bill Armentrout. Bill, for years, ran a garage behind his home, and had a pop machine. Many people remember the pop machine, when coming home from Harrisonburg every night, the light of the machine was like a beacon welcoming you home. | Armentrout's Garage | Long Bow Road | Long Bow Road – Lead up to a well known Archery; along the way many houses were built where families lived for generations. | Abandoned House on Long Bow Road | Built in late 1800's in three different segments. First segment was only two rooms. It was bas built by either Augustine (my great great great grandfather or his son JP. I grew up here. – Brad Mitchell | The Mitchell Home Place

41: I miss that old house of mom & pops, lots of memories. I remember the Dillard boys. I would ride motorcycles and play g.j.Joe with them, they didn't care that I..was a girl; they were always nice to me. Oh, I also remember going out every day with mom to catch night crawlers to sell. I loved it so much, that my uncle nicknamed me night crawler.. I learnt real quick, not to grab the metal prongs that went into the ground... -Mary Gibson Hemp | My Dad spent $1000 on fixing up the outhouse with heat, radio, light, and carpeting; hated going out in the winter time, but it was nice inside! – Karen Sites | Charlotte and J. Rush Coffman [pictured above] House; Charlotte is the little lady who worked at the post office with Eleanor, she was always so sweet - Karen Sites | The Coffman Home with the Spring House | The Gibson Home Place | West Side of Main Street, 1970's | Old Boyer House next door to Post Office | My great grandma Betty lived at the house at the top of the picture (I think that was her house). If not, she lived very close to the post office. Betty lived two houses up from the Office while Ms. Ola Wine lived (next door). Do you remember her? She would come over and see great grandma alot. She always wore the panty hose with the seams in the back. -Beth Martin Montgomery and Heather Huffer

42: Rt. 717 North (Old Indian Trail Road) | Going to the left of Keezletown School, the Old Indian Trail follows the once “Great Road” north following Smith Creek and ends at Rt. 608 near Mauzy. | This house across from the school was the home of Ben and Polly McDonaldson. They raised seven children there. The house once had a beautiful wrap around porch which was unfortunately removed when the road was widened. | David McDonaldson, son of Ben and Polly McDonaldson who lived in the white house on corner across from school and next to store. - Karen Sites

43: The Senator George B. Keezle House, built 1892, located on the left just after the school. | Blue Ball Tavern – built around 1800, well known stage stop on the Great Road. Its sign was a blue ball of cast iron, 18” in diameter. It was the Home Place of David Harnett and later the Flook Family | Trinity Lutheran Church, founded 1787 | Old log cabin on Minnie Ball Lane | Old brick house on Fridley Gap Road

44: Oonce a community of Freed Slaves from 1869 – 1930; many African Americans moved from the area due to more industrial jobs available east toward Richmond. | The Zenda School, also known as the Long Chapel Building, once used as a United Brethren Church | A teacher stands outside the building with her pupils. At one time Longs Chapel was called Athens School by the county. | For many years, the Long Chapel and Cemetery had fallen into disrepair, and a foundation came together to restore the property. Many unmarked, sunken graves were found, along with several graves marked only with field stones. Now they are all acknowledged. | The His | Zenda’s Historical Marker | Zenda

45: The Sellers-Bowman Area where Rt 717 ends at Rt. 608 | Smith Creek Bridge | Seller’s Mill built by Mr. Bowman before the Civil War; it was burned during Sheridan’s raid, and rebuilt after the war. It was bought by Walter J. Sellers in 1912. In 1922, it was converted from undershot waterwheel to turbine. The mill was in operation until 1936. | Sellers House – Victorian built in 1816. Bricks are laid in Flemish bond and the 18 pane windows are original.. All interior walls are solid brick. Was built by the original miller, Mr. Bowman. The Bowman and Sellers families were united in marriage in 1854. | The Sellers Cemetery – oldest grave here is Michael Shafer, died in 1862; across the road was an area once known as Dog Town.

46: Rt. 620 North Mountian Valley Road "Old Mill Turn" | Old mill turn earned its name from the Mill that use to be at the corner according to this 1825 survey | Old Mill turn today, coming south | Old mill turn earned its name from the Mill that use to be at the corner according to this 1825 survey | Old Mill turn today, coming south | Old mill turn earned its name from the Mill that use to be at the corner according to this 1825 survey | Old Mill turn today, coming south | Location of the Old Mill, now the home of Mrs. Pittington | Old Mill turn today, coming south | Old Mill turn today, coming south | My grandparent’s house [is north of the old mill] where I stayed; a lot of memories there. Teresa and Junior lived there also. - Nancy Hinkle | Old Mill turn today, coming south | Old Mill turn today, coming south | Yes thats the turn, Bob Pitt's mom lived in the old mill house on the turn. The old mill grinding wheels were still there last time I walked back of there, the mill itself is not so good. - Wade Armentrout | Right north of the Old Mill Turn is a very special part of Keezletown with a lot of history to it: Massanutten Caverns | Below is the old car with the tree growing out of it. It’s located at the corner of Caverns Rd. The nearby fence suffered many a repair since people ran into while looking at the car.

47: Exploring Massanutten Caverns | Discovery and History of the Caverns On November 5, 1892, workmen blasting limestone rock on the farm of Augustine Armentrout, were amazed and thrilled when a heavy charge in the hillside burst into a wonderland. Above the door where one enters today may be seen a part of the round hole in the rock-ribbed opening known as "Discovery Gate," which leads into one of Nature's treasure houses. After discovery this hidden treasure lay practically unknown for about thirty years. However during those thirty years many maids and youths of the community danced the "Virginia Reel" by candle light in the spacious Ball Room. In May, 1925 C. D. Shank of Harrisonburg, Virginia became interested in the underground spectacle, and through his efforts the Harrisonburg-Massanutten Corporation was organized. A survey was made, development work both within and without the caverns was begun at once. New sections of the caverns have been opened and much has been done to add to the comforts of the visitor, but at no place in the Caverns has the natural splendor and the beauty been altered.

48: Left-to-Right, Johnson Price Armentrout, Walter C. "Eli" Armentrout (Johnson's son sitting at the entrance), Ed McDonaldson, Thomas Jefferson Armentrout and Augustine Armentrout who was credited for discovery of the Caverns. - Wade Armentrout | Massanutten Lodge 2011

49: From a display at the Massanutten Regional Library by Wade Armentrout, Great Great Grandson of the Cave's Discoverer, Augustine Armentout

50: This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | Mountain Valley Community – north of Keezletown and the base of the West Side of Massanutten Mountain, little has changed in this area over time; there once were a school house, two legal distilleries, a barrel stave mill, a funeral home and a general store, all gone now. The Methodist Church started in the 1800’s still stands and is active today. (Janet Crompton) | This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | This house on Rt 811 (Fridley Gap Rd) was built in 1840 by Cyrus Rhodes; he’s buried in the family cemetery behind the house. The house is a combination of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival. It has an English basement with kitchen and dining room and the northwest well has no windows to protect from storms. The bricks were mad on site, and the barn was burned in the Civil War during Sheridan’s Raid. (Anne McCorkle) | My Aunt Meg lived here, many many happy memories are in the old house. - April Dove | Cedar Run School | Mountain Valley UMC | Old Market | House at the Sharp Turn | Old Home being restored

51: Clarence Dellinger's Homplace on Rainbow Road and other Homes | Mrs. Pittington's House She use to work in the KES Cafeteria | The Dora Derrer Home Place | Beulah Church and Bethel Brethren Church | Old Home and Srping House across the foundations of the Mill on smith Creek

52: Down Keezletown Road "Toward town" | I adored Mrs. Miller. We use to have to slow down by her farm when her geese crossed the road. At church on Sunday I asked her about a “Geese Crossing” sign, and she gave me the biggest smile. One time my friend Gail, (who lived on Laymen's Tressel Rd) and I were walking home and stopped at this gate and mooed at the cows. Suddenly they all lifted their heads and headed north. "What did we just do?" Gail asked nervously and I said, "I dunno! Let's get outta here!!" and ran home. – Cecee Hawkins | Old Victorian Duplex | Grand Daddy Bump - best hill in the Keezletown Area to drive a car over real fast | Old Barn at the Miller Farm, Geese use to cross here | Farmhouse on the Miller Farm | Gate to the Field of the North Bound Cows | Laymen's Trestle Rd veers off North and goes right by the famous trestle

53: Nelson Miller and the Miller Farm | We asked Ms Miller if we could get a christmas tree from her woods next to the green house. she said "God put those trees there for everyone. help yourself, just don't let my cows out." - Sara Liskey | My mother in law Dorothy Sites has worked for her for as long as I can remember, and my boys once big enough always did her hay along with their dad and Maynard. - Karen Sties | Taken on an Easter Sunday by her fountain | Perhaps one of the finest ladies in Keezletown History, Mrs. Nelson Miller was the daughter of Samuel Chapman who married an Armentrout. She was well educated; played the piano for years at the Methodist Church and gave private lessons in her home. Her husband passed in 1959, and she continued to run their farm. Tho a big land owner in the area, she was very humble, kind, giving, and loved by all. | Celebrating her 100th Birthday in 2008 | Mr. and Mrs. Miller’s Headstone at Keezletown Cemetery marked with their signatures | The wrought iron fence

54: Suicide Tree - from either direction you'd head straight toward this tree; many a car accident occurred here. | Slope of Cave Hill; where the tree stands is an entrance to the cave; west of here was a very deep sink hole once rumored to have a car sunk in it many years ago. We use to go target shooting there. - Cecee Hawkins | The Old Neighborhood | Broadaway House Evans/Zimmerman House | Mincey / Yoder House | Smith House | Our House ~ It was located at the junction of Keezletown Road and Rt. 704. It was said the Mrs. Miller’s husband shot himself at this corner. Behind our house was the farm of Kevin Turner, and up the hill from our back yard was Ol’ Mr. Armentrout’s brick house. This was taken from the top of Old Baldy in 1978.

55: During our seven years of residing in Keezletown, a lot of time was spent visiting, playing, and babysitting in the four houses up the road from our house. The first house was the “caterpillar house”; it was once green and originally built by the Broadaways – Zach, Linda, and their two brats – kids – Branson and Katie. I babysat them from 1979 – 1981. Linda was a very nice lady, and eventually divorced Zach and moved to Harrisonburg. She passed away in the early 90’s. The second house was built by the Evans; a very nice family. They started out as a couple and soon had two children. In 1980, the house was sold to the Zimmermans. Mr. Z worked at R&R Donelly while his nice wife with the blond bouffant stayed at home to raise Dennis and his younger brother Scott. I'm still not sure how they fit the inground pool into the back yard. They were great kids; Scott became a personal friend of mine; he even remembers Kimmy our cat. The third house was built by the Mincey Family. They had three kids: Lisa, Amy (braggart who always had to go first when we played Barbies) and rambunctious Todd. They use to have a huge St. Bernard named Sambo who’d jump the fence Mr. M spent so much money on. They also had a popular, white hammock we loved to swing in. Mrs. M was a high class lady who did no housework; but she was a very kind lady. Tragedy struck this family when Mr. M was killed in 1978 in a small plane crash, and in 1997, Todd quietly took his life. I go to visit them time to time at the cemetery. They had built a new house in the Fairview Hills and after a year, sold the house to the Yoder Family. The Yoders were great folks. Mr. and Mrs. Y were missionaries and their oldest daughter, Lynette, was born in Africa. Mrs. Y was amazing; she could cook and sew anything, and her green thumb made the dining room look like a green house. I use to babysit Lynette and her sweet, younger sister, Lori. The final house belonged to the Smith Family – Mr. Smith was a talented builder, and Mrs. Janice Smith was also a stay at home Mom. Their two daughters, Teresa and Vicki were great playmates; we use to do some killer sleigh riding down their front yard. We also use to play kickball at the bottom of the front yard. Vicki passed away from breast cancer in 2003..Lord knows what the big, white house behind their house is; rumor has it Mrs. S. finally took over the house and forced Ralph to live in the driveway.who knows | The Old Neighborhood

56: Keezletown Road (Rt. 925) was locally known as “Dipsy Doodle Drive”. It was fun learning to drive on it! After you pass through our neighborhood and head toward Harrisonburg, you come to the intersection with Route 719. This road went pass the scary Layman’s Trestle, and on this road some of my best friends lived. I have a lot of memories going down this road. Once you reached Layman’s Trestle, you pass a row of small ranch houses. On the left was a trailor park where my first boyfriend, Darren Moss, lived. Because I didn’t pay enough attention to him, he dumped my for Vicki Smith, who couldn’t stand him. | On the right after a few houses was the home of Gail Holsinger, the 2nd daughter out of four. Her mother Genie, who kept her red hair up in a bouffant (and was a huge fan of Elvis Presley) was a nice lady. I spent many summer days here with Gail, playing with her sister Debbie and terror 2 yr old Susan. The older brother Tommy pretty much avoided us. | Three house down was the home of one of my dearest friends, Ada Casto, now Ada Courtney who still lives in South Dakota. The yellow house was built by her step dad, and after an unhappy marriage, Ada, her mother Anne, and younger brother Shannon lived here. Many a fun filled memories exist in Ada’s room in the back; listening to Boston and writing cartoons. Eventually Anne married Les Frank, and the family moved out to SD. | I left a lot of skin from my knees and elbows in that driveway, and that backyard is where I shattered my shoulder - or, I guess I should say, is where Tommy shattered my shoulder for me. ~ Ada Courtney | Rt. 718 - Childhood Memories | Ada and I tried to get together one Sat, and we were to walk and meet each other half way down this stretch; well, Mom drove me, and she could have killed me, we picked her up along this side.

57: Home of the Charles Strickler Family - sits atop a hill near Harrisonburg; like the Millers, the Stricklers owned a lot of land along Keezletown Road; they raised four children here and were the nicest people. He owned all the land around our home; use to say no matter what direction you left our house, within a mile, you'd end up in a cow field for sure! | The train tracks ran along the back of these houses; plenty of memories there! I’d go berry picking with the Holsingers and twice crossed that trestle. Debbie and I got a hold of a matchbook and did the “no no” of playing with matches along the tracks. From Ada’s house, we use to walk down to where the tracks crossed the road and go to Jennie’s house to do ceramics. One time, for Ada’s 14th birthday, me, her, Sara, and Shannon walked down the tracks and Shannon and I, who ran ahead, found a possum carcass that had been cut in half by the train. We chuckled as we heard Ada and Sara screamed when they found it. | I remember running to beat the train on that track once. We made .. i put a penny on the track that day. ~ Sara Liskey | Oh, yeah, I remember that! Do you guys remember my trick for finding iron pyrite? I'd take off my shoe and throw it and where ever it landed, there'd be a piece of fool's gold. Worked every single time! ~ Ada Courtney | Back on Keezletown Road heading to Harrisonburg

58: Our Keezletown Home | The Crompton-Peter House Dad built our house beginning in 1974, and in February 1975, we moved in to “The House”. It was a barren acre of land, but over time, it became a beautiful home to live in. The House was sold in 1982 to Mr. and Mrs. Peters. Like our family of three daughters, they had two daughters who grew up here – “a houseful of girls” it has been almost 40 years. The Peters still own the house; their daughters have since grown and moved out. They said it was a happy and wonderful place to live, like it was for us. | 1975 | 2011 | 1980 | Our Family when we moved to Harrisonburg, Aug. 1973 | Our Family 1982 when we left | 1975

59: The Back Yard View | 1981 | 2011 | The Forsythia Bush that would never die! The septic output was located by the garage, and this bush still blooms nearly 40 yrs later. | Queen of the House Our cat Kimmy; she loved laying on the deck beside the bush | The Living Room Once bright blue with red curtains (Dad and his decorating...) It was in this corner me and Barbara joked around on her last night in the house. We spilled the koolaid on the chair and frantically cleaned it up before Dad got home... | Our Family 1976 | 1982 | 2011 | 1980 | 2011

60: On the south side of the house, I spent hours sitting, talking to God and gazing at the sunset and stars through our good binoculars. Though shaded by trees many years later, it's still beautiful. | My Room | Oh, the years I grew up in this room! It was hot pink with a bright red shag carpet; I was suppose to have white furniture, but Dad never got around to painting it, but that's ok. I put all my Shaun Cassidy posters on the lower half of the wall. Even the closet, with it's handy shelves, still has hole for the tacks I put there to hang my necklaces on.

61: 1979 - Susan was becoming a talented photographer, and she took pix of me one day. I remember buying this top at the Valley Mall.

62: In the later years as we grew into young adults, this house saw all three of us graduate. Grandma Julia visited us many times in this house and we even held our 1980 Bridges Family Reunion here. | 16th Birthday, 1980

63: We loved this dining room, a lot of memories here; tho orange and green, the Peters tastefully redecorated it, and put the old carpet on the basement steps. Can you blame them? | John eventually made his railroad room in the basement; never really finished it, but Mr. Peters loved it, and it became his “man cave”; even the his Linda Ronstadt poster still graces the wall. | 1982 | Susan's Graduation, 1981 | 2011 | John, 1980 | 2011

64: A Few Things That Hadn't Changed a Bit! | The Varnished Staircase | the Solid Front Door, use to sap during the summer | Whenever our hamsters would escape, they use to slide down this platform to get downstairs | The Fancy Door Bell | The Upstairs Banister; John use to keep a humorous stature of a gorilla he got as a gift from Control Data here. | Mom and Dad's room Dad painted it russet red with gold trim and bright gold curtains; Mr. Peter joked how many coats of paint it took to cover it up.. Their furniture is in the exact same arrangement.

65: Nail holes left over from the awesome tree house cousins Time and Dave built | The Geographical Maps Dad used as Wallpaper in the family room. It was great; whenever we needed directions to a friend's house, we just went downstairs. | Dad put varnish on every existing wood surface he could such as the shelves here in the den. Us girls use to hang out here with girlfriends, and as it turned out, so did the Peter’s two daughters as they grew up. A house full of daughters! | Ahhhlast but not least, the Garage Graffiti it started out when Dad had the pencil sharpener placed beside the kitchen door. I ran my pencil over the wall, and wrote a note saying “good job, Dad”. For the next seven years, Dad allowed us to write whatever we wanted; we even had our friends who’d visit sign our wall. This is the last of it on the ceiling – I drew a picture and below it wrote “What Mrs. Forward looked like after her son Paul was born” – Paul Forward was my love/hate relationship in 7th grade; use to call me “sick sick Cecee”. Love hurts.. | The Original Well Pump Handle; the only existing piece of property from before we bought our land.

66: Nothing can touch what the words “Home Sweet Home” . I spent a small, but very important part of my life in this house, and know with great joy after the first seven years of its existence, it’s remained a house of daughters and a very happy home for almost forty years. Keezletown still holds a very special place in my heart and always will. Nothing beats going home again, and I can always do so with this book.. ~ Cecee Crompton Hawkins 2012

67: Bibliography | The Heartland - Rockingham County By Nancy B. Hess , 1976 | The History of Rockingham County John W. Wayland, 1912 | The History of the Keezletown Methodist Church and the Rockingham Circuit 1790 - 1960 Massanutten Library | Mills of Rockingham County Janet Baugher Downs and Earl J. Downs with Pat Turner Richie | An African American Community of Hope - Zenda: 1869 - 1930 Nancy Bondurant Jones | Public Schools of Rockingham County Massanutten Library, 1914

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Cecilia Hawkins
  • By: Cecilia H.
  • Joined: about 4 years ago
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Keezletown, A History
  • History of my home town and the memories it has
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  • Published: over 2 years ago