About our location...

Letterforum 2006 will be held on the lovely campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley, two hours southwest of Washington, DC.

Harrisonburg is in the central part of the Valley (see map), which stretches 200 miles across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. The region includes many sites devoted early American history and the pioneers who traveled westward, settled and farmed the fertile valley. Nearby you will find Civil War battlefields, wineries, antique shopping, caverns, golf courses and streams for fishing and kayak enthusiasts. Close by, Shenandoah National Park and its renowned Skyline Drive, which follows the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers breathtaking vistas and woodland trails -- including the Appalachian Trail.

You will be housed on campus in comfortable, air-conditioned rooms and dine on your choice of freshly prepared food throughout your stay at Gibbons Dining Hall. All facilities, including classrooms and the exhibit and vendor halls, are fully air-conditioned and are located in one compact area of the campus. Nearby, the campus recreation center, with an indoor pool, track, racquetball court and workout equipment, is available to conference participants at a nominal charge. Also on campus, the Edith Carrier Arboretum features miles of walking paths through habitats of plant species native to the mid-Appalachian region.

The Harrisonburg area boasts numerous sites worth visiting:

  • A self-guided tour of historic downtown Harrisonburg includes the Virginia Quilt Museum, with more than 150 quilts on display.
  • The neighboring town of Dayton also has a walk touring of historic sites as well as a Farmers Market for shopping.
  • On Route 644 off Route 33, the Massanutten Resort features an indoor/outdoor waterpark with water slides, tube floats and wave rides.
  • The Heritage Center for Dayton/Rockingham County, VA is a resource for information about the Native Americans who lived in the Shenandoah Valley, folk art by the Germans and Scots-Irish who settled there, and Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862.

Additional resources:

by Lorraine Swerdloff

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