Do you live in Rockbridge County or Lexington, Virginia? Are you thinking of moving here? A great way to learn about and understand your community is to understand a little of the history that has shaped the present. Our area is filled with fascinating history. Some of it is well known. For example, think Civil War, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, or George C. Marshall, Washington and Lee, and Virginia Military Institute, to name but a few topics. And, some history is obscure. But much of it is interesting if presented in a way that dusts off the old and brings it alive.
I just came across a great bit of history, told in a story telling format that does brings the past alive. In fact, were it not for the author, I believe many of these stories would be lost. It’s a great book by Dr. Horace Douty called: “Rockbridge County: History Lessons form a Country Church.” I’ve heard that Dr. Douty, the minister at Oxford Presbyterian Church, is a student of history: not just the well known facts about statesmen and campaigns, but the obscure stories passed down through the generations. He gives an interesting little story each week to his congregation. It informs them of their past and has become quite popular.
This book is a series of those stories and, I have to tell you, they are quite interesting and revealing. From the first settlers, their survival, the Indians, the Revolution and Civil Wars, industry, education, politics, and local characters, this book gives real insight into our local past. Even though I am very interested in our history, this book conveys the struggles, tragedies, successes, the daily life, tenacity and humor of those who came here before us as if it just happened. It also points out just how instrumental Rockbridge County and its citizens have been in the very formation of our United States.
“Rockbridge County: History Lessons from a Country Church” is a very good, informative and, above all, interesting read. I recommend it highly! The building, hill, or creek you pass everyday just might have quite a story behind it.