An American Family History


Powell's Fort Valley

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

On September 22, 1735, James Wood surveyed a 6,460 acre tract located in Powell's Fort. This tract was a part of the 100,000 acre patent from the Govenor and Council of the Colony of Virginia that was issued to Jost Hite, Robert MacKay, William Duff, and Robert Green.

George Washington surveyed the Fort Valley for Lord Fairfax in 1748 or 1749.


Some Early Settlers


Passage Creek, Shenandoah County, Virginia is a tributary of the North Fork of the Shenandoah.

Basie, Edmund    
Burner, Jacob    
Clem, Michael   Klemm
Clem, Teter    
Croiser, Christopher    
Cron, Fergus    
Dealbeck, Abraham    
Denton John, Jr. 1766- 182 acres on Passage Creek  
Denton, John, Sr.   married Sarah Odell
Denton, Jonathan    
Dilley, John    
Eagle, Timothy    
Galladay, Jacob    
Gray, Robert   sold to William Whitson in 1755
Hestant, Henry purchased 400 acres in 1756  
Hornsby, Leonard   sold to Elijah Odell
Keller, George   doctor
McCartney, Darby   sold to Joe Combs in 1763
McFall, Francis    
McInturff, Frederick    
McInturff, George    
McInturff, John    
Morgan, Simon    
Morrell, John    
Munch, Phillip    
Odell, Caleb 380 acres on Passage Creek in 1766 moved to Washington County, Tennessee
Odell, Samuel settled in 1744  
Parkeston, John    
Reed, John    
Ridenour, George   see story below
Scott, Robert    
Sisk, Thomas    
Smith, Heinrich 237 acres on Passage Creek  
Tear, Peter    
Walters, Henry    
Weaver, George    
Whitson, William    
Wood, William 100 acres in 1766  







from the Richmond News Leader
February 3, 1938

POWELL'S FORT...is an old fort . located in Fort Valley in the Massanutten Mountains. . . .Powell's Fort, Fort Valley and Powell's Fort Valley are different names for the same place. It is simply a long, narrow and beautiful valley, which divides the. mountain chain from a point nearly opposite Edinburg and Woodstock to its upper end between Strasburg and Front Royal.

The valley is a natural fort, with no man-made defenses. John W. Wayland, in his Scenic and Historical Guide to the Shenandoah Valley, writes;

For a long time luring the early years of the settlement, a man by the name of Powell lived in the fort and coined money from precious metals that he alone knew where to find. All efforts on the part of the officers of, the law to apprehend him, one after the other, ended in failure. He always eluded them. Hence arose the name Powell's Fort.

Even in our own, prosaic days to be more exact on dark, stormy nights some of the dwellers far out in the great valley can see lights flashing on the Massanutten. Old Powell is out again tonight, they say. . . .

The valley was often used by the settlers as a place of refuge from the Indians and was' never the scene of a wholesale massacre. In the raid of 1766;. according to Waylanda History of Shenandoah County, Va. eight Indians and a white man crossed through the valley on their way to and from the home of the Rev. John Rhodes, Mennonite preacher. On their; way through Powell's Fort, they entered the [George] Ritenour house, -but the hired girl and the children, the only ones at home, slipped out. another door and hid under the bank of the creek.

The marauders cut up dishes and trenchers, then passed on. After murdering most of the minister's family,they came back through the upper end of Fort Valley bringing with them two of the boys and two of the girls, as prisoners. When a frail boy lagged behind, they killed him, and then his two sisters and left the bodies lying there .



Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.