Luray Valley Museum Opens

A new museum has opened in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Part of Luray Caverns, the Luray Valley Museum "is a collection of restored buildings representative of life on the frontier circa the 1800s, including the restored Dunkard Elk Run Meeting House which served as a hospital to Civil War soldiers from both sides during the conflict (their signatures can still be seen inscribed on the walls of the church). The cornerstone of the project, however, is the refurbished Stonyman building which houses an extensive collection of decorative arts, tools, literature, and artifacts that weave the tapestry of the region's rich history."

Of particular interest to FB&C readers might be a rare 1536 Swiss Bible, known as the
Abraham Strickler Bible (pictured here, credit: Tyler Driscoll Photography). Printed in Zurich by Christopher Froschauer, it was brought to America in the early 1700s by German-speaking Swiss immigrants. According to the press materials for the museum's grand opening this past weekend:

This Bible is one of the first printed in Europe that combines both the Old and New Testaments in one volume, and is printed in the vernacular language of German. The bible's woodblock illustrations were done by Hans Holbein, the Younger, better known for his paintings for the English court of King Henry VIII. The Bible came to the Luray Valley Museum collection from the Modisett family of Leaksville (Mill Creek), who also sold the Elk Run Meeting House to the Museum. Mennonite preacher, teacher and artist Jacob Strickler likely built the Meeting House about 1825. After his death in 1846, the building was conveyed to the Dunkard Brethren faith, and was moved to the Luray Valley Museum site in 2008.