In the town of New Market are many interesting homes. For example, on the west side of Main Street, not far south of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church and the old locust post that holds the Federal bombshell, is a quaint log house, a well-preserved example of the kind of dwellings that were son familiar in Shenandoah County in the early 1800's. On the street corner (Main and High), just opposite the "shell shocked" post, is the old home of William F. Rupp, who was one of the Valley's most skilled fresco painters. In the Rupp house lived also George M. Neese, the talented author of "Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery."
The large brick building at the corner of Main Street and the Luray Road (Lee Highway), now a hotel, was the old Strayer home. On the opposite side of the street, a little farther southwest, is an old door with a metal plate nailed on right beside the latch. Thereby hangs a tale. One day the lady who occupied that house did not wish to admit a gang of Federal soldiers, and locked the door. They insisted upon entering, and began to cut out the latch and lock. Then the lady reached out from a window just above them and emptied suddenly the contents of a boiling teakettle. The reception was considered entirely too warm, and the marauders withdrew hastily. But the hole they cut is still there, under the metal plate. Above the door read, "Old Virginia Home." Miss Martha Henkel, the present (1927) owner, has collected therein many souvenirs of past years.
Not far away are other old Henkel houses, one of stone and others of wood, and one or two of brick.
In New Market is the old home of Professor Joseph Salyards, scholar, teacher and poet; also the house occupied for several years by Colonel Chas. T. O'Ferrall, later governor of Virginia. Here too lived Judge George R. Calvert and his father, Major John S. Calvert. The latter was twice state treasurer. Near the Calvert home is the old Urner house, residence of Martin Urner, who was the father of Hon. Clarence H. Urner, some time acting state treasurer.
Excerpted from John W. Wayland's A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia
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