In 1777, historic Rockingham County was founded in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Once Native Americans moved west, settlers began flocking to this area due to its abundance of freshwater springs and lush valley meadows. Housing General Andrew Jackson during the Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic, left a historical presence that put Rockingham County on the map. The victory in these battles allowed Rockingham County to play an integral role during the Civil War.
Rockingham County has a diverse economy that began with agriculture and now includes biotechnology, medical care and higher education. The agriculture sector includes poultry, dairy, cattle, corn and other crops. Rockingham County is home to nationally recognized companies such as SRI (Stanford Research Institute), Merck Pharmaceuticals, MillerCoors and Sysco. The County is home to seven towns: Bridgewater, Broadway, Dayton, Elkton, Grottoes, Mount Crawford, and Timberville. It also harbors a large area of the Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. Rockingham County has numerous prestigious universities and colleges including: James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite University, Bridgewater College, and Blue Ridge Community College.
Agritourisim has recently become a popular activity bringing visitors to local farms and vineyards. Rockingham County is filled with pumpkin and strawberry patches, flowers fields, apples orchards, lavender farms, horse stables, corn mazes, produce stands, Bed and Breakfasts, and more. The area vineyards, Cross Keys and Bluestone, offer visitors beautiful views of the valley with sophisticated wine selections.
The Town of Bridgewater is about 2.5 square miles and located in southern Rockingham County. Nestled along the North River you will often see people enjoying the opportunity to fish along its beautiful banks or simply strolling along in a canoe. You will almost never come across someone moving out of this quaint town. Once people become part of the community and see what the Town of Bridgewater has to offer they typically stay.
One of the main roads in Bridgewater runs through the campus of Bridgewater College, a private four-year school for the liberal arts. Bridgewater has a number of boutique shops, some of the best varieties of homemade pizza, hardware stores, local grocery store, a number of parks, a par three golf course, Ashby Pool (a private swimming pool), and a number of other businesses and restaurants that all make up the perfect small town atmosphere. Bridgewater is also home to Dynamic Aviation, a world-wide aviation solution business.
The Town of Broadway is located near the north fork of the Shenandoah River in northern Rockingham County. Its close proximity to Interstate 81 makes it an ideal location for traveling to both Harrisonburg and the northern Shenandoah Valley. There are two beautiful parks located in this town, Broadway Heritage Park and Broadway Community Park. The community park features a swimming pool. Broadway is a charming small town that offers necessities including a grocery store, a few restaurants/coffee shops, a hardware store, and a farmer’s market.
Situated in southern Rockingham County between the City of Harrisonburg and the Town of Bridgewater, this quaint community is the definition of small town living. One of the best home cooked country meals you could have is at the Thomas House! If site seeing is something you enjoy then the Town of Dayton may be just the perfect spot to settle. With Dayton being a key route for old order Mennonites to and from their farms, you will often see a horse and buggy trotting down the street as if we were in a different time. Along with the sites to see, the Town of Dayton is home to one of the biggest tourist destinations in our area. The Dayton’s Farmer’s Market, located on route 42 is home to some incredible shopping, crafts, and a variety of foods the Valley has to offer. One fall weekend every year the Town of Dayton erupts in the Autumn Celebrations bring craft vendors, food, and people from all over the east coast. Click her to read more on Dayton Days.
The Town of Elkton is located in eastern Rockingham County nestled between the Massanutten ridge and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Elkton is the gateway to the Shenandoah National Park from the City of Harrisonburg. Many travelers pass through Elkton each day along US Route 33. It is rare to find a place in Elkton that does not have a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
With all the charm of a small town including local grocery stores, mom and pop restaurants, hardware stores, and more, you would never realize just beyond the town limits are major facilities for some of the most recognized companies in the world Miller Coors Brewery and Merck Pharmaceuticals are located on Route 340. In addition just a few miles west sits one of the most desirable four seasons resorts on the East Coast, Massanutten.
Located on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, the Blue Ridge Mountain range is the back-drop of Grottoes. The Town of Grottoes straddles both Rockingham and Augusta Counties. One of the hidden gems in Grottoes is Grand Caverns. Discovered 1806, Grand Caverns is a great place to tour on your visit or take the family for a picnic. After the old Grottoes Elementary School was renovated for a centralized town hall, the community developed a 54-acre park with pavilions, a boat ramp, baseball facilities as well as a driving range. If you’re looking for a home within an area that encompasses outdoor activities then Grottoes is just the town for you.
The humble town of Mount Crawford is situated in the southern portion of Rockingham County near Bridgewater. Located on Route 11, Mount Crawford is home to Blue Ridge Community College , Blue Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees as well as diplomas, certificates in occupational/technical programs or college/university programs including transfer programs.
One of the hidden gems in Mount Crawford is the Green Valley Book Fair. Tucked down a gravel lane you will find a tremendous facility of over 25,000 square feet containing over 500,000 books priced at a fraction of retail, in many cases up to 90% off!
The Town of Timberville in northern Rockingham County is situated along the banks of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and is just minutes from Interstate 81 and the Town of Broadway. Timberville is an ideal location during the fall season. With two apple orchards (Showalter’s Orchard & Greenhouse and Turkey Knob Apple Orchard), Timberville offers great family fun throughout the harvest season.
Rockingham County has tremendous online resources in regard to the Geographic Information System (GIS). It provides users the ability to zoom in and out, pan, and even identifies certain parcels. It is somewhat comparable to working with a more complex Google Maps. The GIS is set up with several layers including but not limited to flood plains, school districts, parks, civil war battle fields, etc. By activating the layers you will in turn see how your selections impact the property you are researching. Where the parcel boundaries are outlined on the GIS is not one hundred percent reliable so in no way should this be used in place of an actual survey. It does however serve as a tremendous reference and has the ability to use the measuring tool to get rough measurements if needed. Lastly, if the aerial photography layer is active you can see the location of structures on any particular lot. The GIS can be accessed on the Rockingham County Website.
The landfill receives almost 150,000 ton of trash per year. Rockingham County does not charge for county residents to take their household trash to the landfill.
Information Line 540-564-3159 | Hours of Operation 7:00am-4:30pm Monday - Saturday
There are 15 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 4 high schools, a governor's school, a technical center, and an alternative education center in Rockingham County Public Schools. Your high school district becomes very much a part of your heritage in the valley. There is a friendly competitive spirit that lives within the walls of every school, on the ball fields, and in the adult community. Each high school offers a unique experience for its students with an added bonus, the opportunity to earn college credit. With Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and virtual learning courses in all major content areas there is ample opportunity to excel. Massanutten Technical Center offers buses that transport students to and from their high school to expand their education into real world hands-on experiences. Students have the opportunity to graduate high school with not only a diploma but with certifications in everything from computer networking to welding and over 21 other professional fields.
Massanuten Governor’s School (Highly gifted and academically motivated juniors and seniors)
Massanutten Technical Center (Secondary/Continuing Education/Adult Education)
Dayton Learning Center (High School Alternative Education)
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