The Original George Grandstaff Home

Location: Edinburg, near Railroad bridge, on Stony Creek, on the south side of Old Columbia Road.

Built: before 1800


George Grandstaff was listed in the census of 1785 as the head of a family of seven.

This property descended to his children and grandchildren.

George W. Koontz heired it from his grandfather, (maternal) Major George Grandstaff.

9 Sep 1886: H.C. Allen, Special Commissioner, conveyed to George W. Koontz the old homestead of George Grandstaff, deceased.

15 Jul 1889: George W. Koontz conveyed to L.T. Stoneburner and Mary, his wife, the same that was conveyed to George W. Koontz by H.C. Allen, Special Commissioner.

Physical Description

This old home shows the marks of time, even thought it is still in good condition. The unpainted weatherboarding is loosened in places by an old vine interwoven between the logs and weatherboarding. Large sugar maples stand in the front yard; through them a winding path leads down the slope to the house where a brick floor forms the porch, with limestone doorsteps. To the side is a picket fence enclosing an old orchard of now scraggy trees; above this is the high railroad bridge, under which flows Stony Creek. This creek runs through the garden at the back of the house.

The interior also shows age, with its worm-eaten woodwork, whitewashed log walls, heavy batten lined doors, and warped floors. Several rooms on the first floor have been reconditioned; the entire house is charming in its home like atmosphere.

Historical Significance

John Amus Bischoff and his family came from Palatinate, a country lying near Switzerland and France, on both sides of the Rhine, to the northeast of Alsace-Lorraine. They arrived in Philadelphia October 13, 1747, and made their way from there to a place on the Hawksbill Creek, called Hawksbill Settlement, Luray, Virginia. They were of the Mennonite religion and Jacob Strickler was their preacher.

In the fall of 1758, a party of about fifty eight Indians and four French, led by the notorious Indian Chief, Kill Buck, attacked the residents of this settlement. John Stone and his son, and George Bischoff were in the field making hay; the Indians killed John Stone, while his wife and infant child, a son eight years old, and George Bischoff were taken off as prisoners on the South Branch Mountain, and took the two boys to their town. George being a very tall, slender youth, the Indians gave him the name of Grandstaff. He being a good marksman and hunter, gained the confidence of a young chief; they made hunting excursions from their village, each time going a little further. Finally, they planned a long excursion from their village and came in the direction of his home. He liked the name of Grandstaff better than that of Bischoff, so afterwards, he always went by the name of George Grandstaff. He was born in 1742, captured by the Indians at sixteen years of age. He married a Miss House.

This home of George Philip Bischoff Grandstaff is said to be the original house enlarged. Originally, a two room log house, later it was made into an eight room house by Major George Grandstaff, who was the grandson of George Philip, the pioneer.

George Philip Grandstaff fought in the American Revolution. Major George Grandstaff was a soldier in the War of 1812. He built a mill in 1848 at Edinburg.

On March 15, 1847, Shenandoah Lodge No. 32 I.O.O.F. was incorporated; among the charter members was George Grandstaff.

Captain George Grandstaff, son of Major George, served in the Civil War. Among the "Celebrated Incidents", page 307, Wayland's History of Shenandoah County, is "Captain George Grandstaff's spectacular rally at Edinburg, recovering his pickets and capturing fifteen Federals, January 22, 1865."

Captain George W. Koontz was a grandson of Major George Grandstaff. At the outbreak of the war in 1861, George Koontz joined Rice's battery of artillery. He fought through the four years of the struggle and came out with the rank of first Lieutenant, but has always been known as "Captain Koontz."

Source: Virginia W.P.A. Historical Inventory Project, 1937

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Created October 12 2001