The First White House

I visited our daughter and son-in-law over the weekend in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  On the drive home, I took a different route stopping often for photos.  I made numerous u-turns as something caught my eye to photograph.  One of the u-turns was for the White House near Luray, VA.

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The building was built in 1760 in Page County, VA by Martin Kauffmann as a residence and Mennonite meeting house.   It sits beside the south fork of the Shenandoah River.

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On May 21, 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Valley Army plodded north to threaten Front Royal and outflank Union Gen. Nathaniel Bank’s position at Strasburg.  With the addition of Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s division, Jackson’s command numbered nearly 17,000 men and 50 guns.  Philip Kauffman, a young man at the time, remembered the Confederates as they crossed the Shenandoah River on the White House Bridge and: “…Stonewall himself as he ran the gauntlet, with bared head, through the marching columns of his ‘foot cavalry.’  His faded gray uniform with stars on the collar, his black beard and uncovered head, as he loped by the White House on Old Sorrel, are as fresh in my mind as on that day.” (quote from

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I love history and was excited to find this site on my drive.  The spring buds made it beautiful!

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  1. Nancy Armstrong says:

    Great photos, what a wonderful house.

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