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Past and Present Towns and their Origins

The information on this page was originally part of the Genealogical Society of Page County (GSPC) website. GSPC was dissolved in 2005. Permission has been granted for use by Teresa Kelley


Battle Creek


Big Spring




Brookside (subdivision)

Catherine Furnace


Cedar Point




Egypt Bend Estates



Forest Hills(subdivision)

Forrer's Ironworks


Grove Hill


Hilldale (subdivision)









Luray (est. Feb 8, 1812; inc. Mar 21, 1871)

Marksville (once known as Upperville)




Milnes (inc. Feb 12, 1884, name changed to Shenandoah)

Morning Star




Oak Hill


Pine Grove

Printz Mill





Shenandoah (Feb 6, 1890, formerly Milnes)

Shenandoah Forest



Spring View (subdivision)


Stanley (previously known as Sands and Stanleyton)


Stony Man





Westlu (subdivision)

White House

Whitehouse Landing

Woodland Park



Town Origins

From the Page News and Courier December 1923
How did the present post offices and past ones of Page County obtain their names is a question often asked and seldom answered. The origin of the names of some to this date are still hazy.

Starting at JOLLETTS in the extreme south end of the county, a hamlet that appears as if it wanted to get into Madison or Greene counties, located in the Blue Ridge above Shenandoah, appears to have gotten its name from a family by that name, possibly Rev. John W. Jollett, in his day a power among the people of that section, and a type of the rugged pioneer ministers, who has long since gone to his reward.

SHENANDOAH was formerly MILNES suggestive of blast furnaces, named after Hon. William Milnes, who came to that section from Pennsylvania many years ago and who was a power in his day before the present Shenandoah put on trousers and strutted forth into a vigorous, hustling place, full of business men, fighting legitimately for their share of trade. Shenandoah is an Indian name, and means "Daughter of the Stars" as we all know. *** The place where Shenandoah now stands was formerly known as FORRER'S IRONWORKS - or Furry's Furnace. It was owned by Henry Forrer and his sister, Miss Hannah. In the year 1865, a company of men from Pennsylvania bought the entire property of the Forrers. The names of the purchasers were William Milnes Sr. of Espey, PA, William Milnes Jr. and Thomas Johns, both of Pottsville, PA. John Milnes of Philadelphia, PA, and John Fields of Hazelton, PA. Written by the Rev. A. P. Boude in 1915

Across the Shenandoah River NEWPORT arises for some one to tell the origin of its name. The place evidently gets its name from the fact that the village is situated on the Shenandoah River and doubtless a shipping port at one time for the produce of that section.  The name suggests that at one time there was another shipping point in that section, and the prefix "new" added to the present village made it a "Newport." *** In 1832 the Shenandoah river was worked from Harpers Ferry to Port Republic and in 1834 boating started first from Port Republic, Jacob Sipe, who lived at that place was a great flour boatman at that time, and when he began to take on flour at what is now Newport, he named the place "New Port" and it always has been called that since boating began. 10 May 1932 Page News and Courier article by Mr. Seakford.

HONEYVILLE in the same section doubtless gets its name from Honey Run, which comes down from the Blue Ridge, starting up in the Hollow south of Honey Run trestle.  Honey Run, tradition says, obtained its name from the "honey dew" that often hung on the trees near its source. "Honey dew" is something any old hunter can tell about, a substance found clinging to the the trees in the mountains at certain seasons of the year.

ALMA's origin is unknown, though it may have secured its name from some popular woman in the long ago. It is the only place in the county of any importance that some one is not able to tell whence came its name. If its origin is known, the News and Courier will be glad to tell it. *** At that time there was a war going on in Russia (about 1842), and in that country was a place called Alma that the enemy was trying hard to take, hence the name Alma. 13 Mar 1902 article by Gabriel in the Page News and Courier

MAUCK, in the neighborhood of Marksville, was one of the old time post offices near the foot of the Blue Ridge. The place got its name from the Mauck Family that lived at that place, some of the members of which went south. D. Lee Mauck, deceased, of Stanley, was a member of this family.

STANLEY was formerly "SANDS," named after Joseph H. Sands, at one time president of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad, now the Norfolk & Western. Stanley, it was thought, was more pretentious, and came from Henry M. Stanley, the great African explorer. Its citizens have lived up to the daring and intrepid spirit of its namesake, going forth in explorations of new trade and business as it grows into city hood. *** Stanley - first called SANDS after Joseph H. Sands, later called STANLEYTON. Name changed because a post office bearing that name already existed in Virginia. Incorporated February 14, 1900 by an act of the General Assembly.

MARKSVILLE, still holding its own in name, but long since driven off the map by the inroads of rural free delivery mail, according to Page's veteran auctioneer, the lamented George Bailey, who lived near by, got its name from a family by the name of Marks who long since lived at that place. All the members are gone, but their namesake will be on the map in Page's history for many years to come. *** Marksville was first called Upperville. Name was changed when the post office was established because it conflicted with a town of a similar name in Northern Virginia. Supposedly named after Mark Ruffner who lived there and was the first postmaster.

LEAKSVILLE, located on four hills, doubtless obtained its name from a family by that name who lived in that section. At any rate in Marksville district at one time the name was numerous, was formerly spelled "Leeksville," taking on the "a" at a later date. The hamlet is old. It, too, has fared like other post offices, being displaced by rural free delivery. All the "Leeks" are gone, but their going has left the "ville."

HAMBURG is one of the oldest settlements in the county, and doubtless secured its name from the HAM family, which doubtless lived there. A few of them are living still, J. V. Ham, of Shenandoah, perhaps being one of the descendants of former generations that put Hamburg on the map. This information came from the late Asher Rickard, who for many years lived there.

Then comes LURAY, with its three or four thousand people, teeming with business and business men, perhaps got its name from Lorraine in France, the similarity of the country around Luray and the French province being so striking that Luray was the outgrowth of it all. Others say that the town got its name from "Lou Ramey," an old blacksmith who is said to have lived and flourished in his day at this place, they contending that "Lou RAMEY" finally dropped into "Luray"--a reasonable solution at least as to where the county seat first knew itself.

PRINTZ MILL, four miles to the east of Luray, got its name from the numerous Printz families that one time lived in that section.  This, too, has gone the way of many of the other post offices of the county due to rural mail delivery.

Then IDA, eight miles southeast of Luray, secured its name from the late Mrs. Ida Almond, of Luray, who was at one time a school teacher of that place. She was a sister of the late Robert L. Pritchard, of Luray.  Before the name was given it was only a little settlement with a grist mill and a few houses. The mill was known as "Printz's Mill," and the name Ida was doubtless conferred to avoid confusion with the other Printz Mill.

SPRINGFIELD is easily accounted for. In a field near that place, owned perhaps a hundred years ago by Reuben P. Bell, father of S. L. Bell, now of that section, was one of the largest springs in the county, and which to this day helps to swell Pass Run as it moves on to the Hawksbill at Sandy Hook. Spring-in-the-field naturally grew to be Springfield.

BIG SPRING, three miles north of Springfield, owes its name to an immense spring at that place, located in a ravine several hundred yards northwest of the residence of Peter Kauffman at that place. The spring is big and empties into the Shenandoah River several hundred yards from where it issues from the ground.

Then comes RILEYVILLE its name as easy to explain as Springfield. In that neighborhood the RILEY family has been and is numerous to this day. The numerous Riley's soon became Rileyville. This was formerly "CEDAR POINT," doubtless due to a hill thickly clustered with cedar trees that juts out almost into the public road a little northwest of the place. *** Cedar Point was the name given to the home of Benjamin WOOD sometime before he died in 1829 according to Jacob Samuel Fallis Wood in chapter IV of his 1923 book Biographical Sketches of the Wood Families

COMPTON, a mile further north, gets it name from the numerous Comptons that at one time lived in that section. Among these was the late Dr. Zachariah Compton, Joseph Compton and others, all prominent in the affairs of this county many many years ago.

OVERALL that sits partly astride the stream that divides Page from Warren county, gets its name from the OVERALL family, large landowners at one time. One of the members of this family was Col. William C. Overall, who owned hundred of acres of land in that section and who was a prominent figure in the affairs of this county years ago.

KIMBALL is named after F. J. Kimball, who at one time was president of the Norfolk and Western Railway.  The post office is still Kimball, though the railway station is Elgin, to prevent confusion with another railway station named Kimball in Southwest Virginia.

STONY MAN was formerly BLOSSERVILLE, named after the numerous families by that name who once lived in that section. Some of them are still living. The late Isaac N. Blosser was a well known citizen of that place. He was prominent in church affairs and one of the stand-bys of Antioch church in his day. For some reason Blosserville gave way to Stony Man and in turn the latter surrendered its post office name on account of free mail delivery.

MASSANUTTEN, with another Indian name, was where years ago the people got their mail near what is now the White House. The late John N. Mauck for a long time was postmaster at this place, and was followed along in the seventies by Chas. H. Grove, of Luray, who with his brother John W. Grove, succeeded their father in the mercantile business at that place. The building in which the post office was conducted was erected in 1871 by their father, the late Emanuel Grove, the former post office building having washed away in the flood of 1870. Then SANTIAGO, a number of years later came on the scene and was a post office at what is now SALEM, on the west side of the river from that place. The latter fell a victim to mail that was every day brought to the people's doors.

SHULER on the Shenandoah River four miles northwest of Luray, obtained its name from the original postmaster, P.N. Shuler. This too, went the way of greater and lesser mail dispensers.

BEAHM, near the top of the Blue Ridge in Thornton's Gap, gets its name from its original postmaster, the late B.F. Beahm. For a few years this office was cut out, rural free delivery did not come close enough to the people's homes for their satisfaction and a howl that went to Washington later brought forth the re-establishment of the office. The office is now in the charge of William Beahm, son of the first postmaster the office ever had.

BLAINESVILLE, two miles to the east of Blosserville, was formerly NEEDMORE, though never a post office. The settlement has made starts toward Ida, the upper Hawksbill Valley, Grove's Mill and Luray. Blainesville was named after James G. Blaine, a one-time presidential candidate and "Plumed Knight of Maine" has the present settlement to his memory. Most of the settlement sits astride Hollow Run, starting near the top of Piney Mountain and losses itself in the Hawksbill near the home of Nebraska Foster, four miles south of Luray.

*** Indicates added information that was not part of the original 1923 Page News and Courier article