Pence's Hill rises gradually towards the northeast a half mile or so from Red Banks. On the summit of Pence's Hill the Pences for many years had a blacksmith shop and a wagon stand. Here was the home of Jacob Pence, blacksmith, who died in 1881 and who was perhaps the last person to be buried in the old graveyard at Bethel, down at the foot of the hill eastward, on the bank of the river. The Downey house, which stands on the summit of Pence's Hill, near the site of Jacob Pence's home, was constructed at least in part, it is said of timbers obtained from the old church at Bethel. It is also said that some of the old church timbers were used in building the Methodist parsonage at Mt. Jackson.
Not far from the Downey home, on Pence's Hill, is the old Humston place, for many years the residence of Dr. N.Q. Humston. The dwelling house, with other farm structures, stands on the west side of the pike.
Excerpted from John W. Wayland's A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia
Return to Shenandoah County VAGenWeb