The Augusta County Historical Society
was founded in 1964. It adopted a constitution and by-laws and elected officers, including a board of directors. Membership was open to persons interested in the history and genealogy of Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro, Virginia.
The mission of the Augusta County Historical Society is to study, collect, preserve, publish, educate about, and promote the history of Augusta County and its communities. The society also strives to make the citizens of Augusta County aware of their heritage.
The Society is located in a restored late 19th century railroad hotel known as the R. R. Smith Center for History and Art.
The work of the society includes documenting local landmark buildings, operating and archives and library collection for researchers, supporting the creation of historic districts, documenting cemeteries, erecting historic highway markers, and publishing books.
In 1964 it began publishing the Augusta Historical Bulletin, a journal appearing at first twice a year and more recently in a larger, indexed annual volume. The large Society archives contain public and private records, photographs and a limited number of artifacts from the 18th to the 20th century. The Society continues to receive gifts of manuscripts and rare books for its collection. Volunteer archivists care for the collection.
Society members have helped update surveys of historic Augusta County buildings and photograph them to record their condition. Other projects included recording epitaphs, providing information about local genealogical researchers to persons interested in local and family history, supporting the publication of local history books, indexing fifty volumes of the Society bulletin, honoring people who contributed notably to local history, and recognizing student and teacher achievement in history in the schools.
Most recently, the society has sponsored an annual banquet and fundraiser, historical tours in the U.S. and abroad of significance to Augusta County history, and publishes a newsletter, Augusta Annals.
About Our Logo
The artwork on the society logo was taken from a tombstone in the Glebe Burying Ground, one of the oldest cemeteries in the county with stones dating back to the 18th century. The graveyard is located on what was once the Glebe Farm -- land that Augusta County was required to supply to its Anglican minister. In the colonial period, there was no separation of church and state and the Anglican church (now Episcopalian) was part of the government and supported by taxes. The people buried in the cemetery are county citizens who lived nearby.
For a number of years the historical society has been charged with maintaining the cemetery, which is located southwest of Staunton. Before that, the Daughters of the American Revolution oversaw its upkeep in the early 20th century. Buried within the one-acre plot are at least six Revolutionary War soldiers, one member of the House of Burgesses, and three people who were killed in an Indian raid. Although many of the stones bear the names of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, one stone is written in German.
The flourish on the logo is half of what visitors would see on the top of Mary Trimble’s tombstone. Her stone is not only the oldest dated stone in the cemetery, but is rare because it is a coffin-shaped ledger stone meaning that the long stone lies flat on the ground and instead of being rectangular, it is shaped like an 18th-century coffin. The tombstone carver added some of his own personality with the folksy carving at the top. Then he chipped out the following inscription:
“Here, Lyes, the Body of Mary Trimble, who departed, This Life Feb. 18th in the Year of Our Lord 1770. Grave to All you that Come. My Grave To See. As I am Now So Must You Bee. Repent. In Time make No Delay. In the Bloom of Youth I was Snatched Away.”
AUGUSTA COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY BOARD MEMBERS & COMMITTEE CHAIRS
Augusta County Historical Society & Augusta County Genealogical Society Family Heritage Program
Augusta County Historical Society Membership & Annual Dues