Christ Church Cunningham Chapel sits on the edge of Millwood, an unincorporated village in Clarke County, seemingly timeless with a strong sense of community. Native or newcomer, though we don’t live in the past by any measure, we do value our history here. Proud of the strict zoning that makes Clarke County a green island in a sea of development, we enjoy easy access to the shopping, cultural and healthcare of population centers combined with the peace and security of a small town or semi-rural lifestyle. On clear nights, the skies are full of stars. The air is always clean. Here below are the specifics that make Millwood, Clarke County, and the northern Shenandoah Valley such an exceptional place to settle. The Clarke County Community: The county includes Berryville, the county seat, with a population of 4,281, the town of Boyce, population 602, and the unincorporated villages of Millwood and White Post. The median age in Clarke County is 45. The county’s countryside has been zoned to preserve open spaces permitting horse farms, grazing, and crop production. Of the many historic sites in the county, five are on the National Register of Historical Landmarks. In Millwood the 1785 Burwell Morgan Mill is the site of fall and spring juried art shows that attract entries from 250 regional artists. Locke’s Store is a charming gourmet food and wine shop next door to an art and custom furniture gallery. There are three antique shops in the village. Project Hope, the Washington based NGO, has a training facility and conference center across the road from Christ Church on the 200 acres of historic Carter Hall. Greater Winchester Area: Just twenty minutes to the west of Millwood is the city of Winchester (population 27,543) where shopping centers and specialty stores are located. The surrounding “greater Winchester Area” is located in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley near the West Virginia and Maryland borders and has a population of 128,000. Located off Interstate I-81 this beautiful valley boasts a stable, prosperous agricultural area with an ever-growing center for light manufacturing. Because of its proximity to Dulles Airport and Washington D.C., it attracts many telecommuters who need to be in DC infrequently and those who work in Northern Virginia but prefer to live and raise their families in a safe and less populated place. One can be in the center of Washington DC with its wonderful array of museums, galleries, exhibits, and monuments within an hour and 45 minutes by car. Our proximity to the Washington area also ensures easy access to educational opportunities. Doctor of Divinity programs are offered at the Virginia Theological Seminary, Catholic University, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Howard University. For national and international air travel, Dulles Airport is an hour away. Washington Reagan Airport and the Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) are both within 1 1/2- 2hour drives. Union Station in Washington provides access to Amtrak. The Winchester Regional Airport, with charter flight availability, is just five miles from Millwood. The excellent school systems in the area, the arts and cultural offerings, the natural surroundings that lend themselves to hiking, hunting, fishing, camping and a multitude of outdoor venues afford families easy access to healthy and interesting lifestyles. Winchester’s historic downtown has become a lively center for dining, music and socializing amid its renovated 19th Century buildings. Berryville is developing in similar ways with small shops, boutiques, and eateries. Winchester changed hands 75 times during the Civil War. Civil War buffs will enjoy the reenactments held on famous battlefields, the historic manor houses and plantations and the many museums dedicated to the story of early Valley settlers and the preservation of rich collections of memorabilia. Housing and Income data: Options from mountaintop cabins to houses or farms in a rural setting are found in Clarke County while homes in neighborhoods are available in the Clarke County communities of Berryville, Boyce, Millwood, and White Post as well as the City of Winchester. Of 130 houses sold in Clarke county YTD in 2015 the mean price was $278,870.
Berryville area: According to statistics from 2013, the median house or condo value is $314,925 and gross rent approximately $976. The median real estate property taxes paid for housing units with mortgages was $2,341 and with no mortgage $2,015. The median household income is $70,027.
Winchester area: The median home cost is $181,700. Home appreciation has been 1.90% in the last year. 48.6% of residents own their own homes. The median household income is $44,787.
Clarke County: Boyce Elementary School (Public) and Powhatan School (Private; Grades PreK-8) are located in Boyce. Berryville Primary School, D.G. Cooley Elementary School, Johnson and Williams Middle School, and Clarke County High School (CCHS) are located in Berryville. CCHS offers an international baccalaureate degree program. Grafton Integrated Health Network, located near Berryville, offers a residential treatment center and classroom services for youth ages 6 to 21 with mild to moderate developmental and psychiatric disorders or cognitive disabilities
Shenandoah University was founded in 1875. To its approximate 4000 students it offers 90 programs in seven schools including an MBA. Just south of Winchester is one of Lord Fairfax Community College’s eight campuses providing more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines.
Continuing Education: Shenandoah University offers continuing educational opportunities during the school year for adults. Guest lecturers visit the University as do renowned musicians whose programs are open to the public.
Extracurricular education: Shenandoah University also offers lessons in music and ballet for pre-school children and for school-aged children after school and during the summer months.
Barns of Rose Hill,- 20th century dairy barns were renovated in 2011 to create this nonprofit performing, visual and literary arts and community center in downtown Berryville. The Barns offers an advanced sound system, acoustic engineering, and a highly flexible architectural concept. A diversity of programs including live music, poetry readings, exhibits, educational workshops, art classes, film screenings and programs of community interest are staged in this beautiful space located in Rose Hill Park off Main Street.
Historical Societies in the surrounding communities offer programs and lectures that demonstrate the aesthetic and economic benefits of preserving our past. The Clarke County Historical Association (CCHA) in Berryville is dedicated to preserving our historical records and to encouraging their study. It is located in the historic Coiner House on Main Street. The CCHA also serves as a museum and genealogical research library. The Burwell Morgan Mill and its grounds in Millwood are owned and operated by the CCHA. Volunteer millers demonstrate to the public the grinding of grains into flour. There is a surrounding meadow with picnic tables. Twice a year, the mill becomes a multistoried gallery for the two-week long ART AT THE MILL.
Shenandoah University offers theatre productions including musicals and dramas during a summer subscription season. The actors are university students as well as visiting Equity players. Having started as a college of music, the University is committed to a variety of music venues including concerts by the student orchestra, piano concerts with 150 Steinway pianos for use by students and visiting professionals, Chamber Music and other ensembles throughout the year
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) is a regional museum complex that interprets the art and history of the valley for which it was named. The 1790 house, “Glen Burnie” is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. The house, six acres of lovely gardens and a beautiful new museum structure designed by internationally recognized architect Michael Graves was built on land that Col. James Wood, 11th Governor of Virginia, donated to establish the city of Winchester. “Glen Burnie,” and the museum tell the history of the valley, its inhabitants, and their way of life. Displays depict the history of life in the Valley using different exhibition techniques with the art and artifacts of the early settlers as part of the permanent collection. Beautiful 18th and 19th century European and American Federal-period furniture and paintings were collected by the last of the descendants of James Wood to live in the Glen Burnie house, Julian Wood Glass Jr. Mr Glass generously created the Foundation for the benefit of his community. Tours are conducted in the newly redesigned gardens while music performances and picnic areas encourage the public to enjoy the grounds. The MSV also offers classes and lectures for adults and children.
Winchester Little Theatre, in a repurposed freight station, has recently been “re-tasked” to seat 98 patrons. In its 82nd year, the theater’s all-volunteer community presents a 5-play season. The summer theater program for children gives an opportunity for local talent of all ages and abilities to perform and learn about the theater.
Preservation of Historic Winchester (PHW) preserves the character in the historic district. Walking tours feature historic houses, their architecture and the roles these buildings played during the Civil War. The preserved log cabin structures reflect the growth of the town from an agrarian outpost to an industrial and commercial center, from a frontier town to a place with outstanding cultural and educational institutions. George Washington’s Office Museum and General “Stonewall” Jackson’s Headquarters are near downtown and open to the public.
The Discovery Museum for children has just opened its doors in a new four-floor location in downtown Winchester offering a fun, hands-on, educational format and a roof garden.
Belle Grove Plantation, whose design is said to have been influenced by Thomas Jefferson, is located near Middletown, about 20 minutes south of Winchester. It is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Additional area cultural pleasures include:
o The Bright Box Theater, on the newly renovated downtown pedestrian mall, showcases area music and performance groups. o The Magic Lantern Theater, since 2001, has brought 1-2 feature length films per month to Winchester often followed by discussions for movie lovers. They offer feature films that are often not the typical commercial blockbusters but are nevertheless of Oscar-nomination quality. The Magic Lantern partners with the Barns at Rose Hill, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and an outside venue on the downtown mall to offer the films at a variety of locations. o Lively bluegrass music performances are held once a month in the renovated George Washington Hotel ballroom throughout most of the year for some toe tapping while enjoying sliders and beer. o Film festivals: Thirty-five minutes east of Millwood in Middleburg, VA is the annual four-day Middleburg Film Festival featuring narrative and documentary films with Q&A sessions with filmmakers and actors. At a similar distance north of Millwood, the American Conservation Film Festival offers nearly 50 short and full-length films on environmental topics annually. Medical Facilities: The Valley Health Systems, which includes the Winchester Medical Center (WMC), is a highly respected regional provider of healthcare. It draws medical professionals from all over the nation who are attracted by the caliber of medicine and the quality of life the Shenandoah Valley offers for their families. WMC services include invasive cardiology and open-heart surgery, a neonatal intensive care unit, and trauma care. Other area facilities include the Wellness Center for physical therapy and exercise, a Free Medical Clinic and Urgent Care locations around Winchester and the Valley. Community Service and Volunteer Opportunities: From Christ Church’s Food Pantry and its summer Lunch Program for disadvantaged kids to FISH in Berryville with its Food Pantry and clothing store, to Help with Housing and the Clarke County Education Foundation, to the Laurel Center (intervention for domestic and sexually abused women) in Winchester, to the Congregational Community Action Project (CCAP) with area ecumenical efforts to provide financial, material and supportive assistance to people in need, to the Child Assault Prevention Project (CAPP) in the school system there are innumerable ways that local people give of their time and talents. The compassion and willingness to make a difference in this community is heartwarming. Anyone wishing to volunteer can fine the right niche for his/her interests. Recreation: The Shenandoah River and numerous others in nearby West Virginia offer lots of areas for canoeing and kayaking. There are myriad opportunities for hunting, fishing, camping and hiking along the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington National Forest. A portion of the Appalachian Trail is a few miles east of Millwood. Public golf courses are within close driving distance, as are private country clubs. Jim Barnett Park in Winchester and the Clarke County Recreation Center in Berryville offer swimming to the public. The Winchester Park offers an indoor pool, a large lighted baseball diamond, with tennis courts, walking trails, and picnic areas. Skiing and snowboarding slopes are within a few hours drive. Virginia Wine Country has become a destination. Of the 250 wineries in Virginia, many have lovely terrace views of the Blue Ridge Mountains or are in quaint towns or near historic sites. Adjacent to Millwood, the Orland E. White Research Arboretum, also known as the State Arboretum of Virginia, is operated by the University of Virginia as part of the Blandy Experimental Farm. Locals often refer to it as Blandy Farm. The extensive grounds have a huge array of native plants and trees with bridle trails. Activities for the family include places to observe nature, to walk the dog, to exercise, to picnic, to bird watch and to explore. One can sign up for workshops, tour the various forests (like the Gingko which is very popular especially in the fall) and attend lectures and programs by guest speakers or artists. Many schools come on field trips. During holiday times workshops are organized with greens for making decorations. Shopping and Restaurants: There is an excellent selection of grocery stores in our area as well as fresh local produce markets. There are many venues for locally raised meats, poultry, fruit and vegetables that are published in our local papers. Orchards encourage apple picking and pumpkin fields are within field trip range. A wide variety of dining and shopping is available in our area. Annual Events: The State Arboretum of Virginia has a Garden Fair on Mother’s Day weekend where nurseries from all over Virginia sell a wonderful array of plant material. Blandly also celebrates fall with an Oktoberfest. The Watermelon Park Fest – a long-time tradition, the four-day festival has bluegrass, country, and gospel performances by nationally known artists on the bank of the Shenandoah River. The annual Apple Blossom Festival is a huge regional attraction and countywide celebration held the first weekend in May. In 2016, its 89th year, the festival will be held on April 22 –May 1st. It includes activities for all the family with a series of more than 30 events including band competitions, dances, parades, a carnival, a circus, and dinners for the celebrities, as well as a 10K race and the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah. It celebrates Winchester’s apple-growing heritage honoring the beauty and bounty of the apple blossom. Historic Garden Week is an annual Garden Club of Virginia event celebrating springtime when more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks are open to the public. The proceeds from ticket sales are used to fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic gardens as well as providing for a graduate level research fellowship for building comprehensive and ongoing records of historic gardens and landscapes in the Commonwealth. Area Demographics: Clarke County:
Population density: approximately 2,381 people per square mile.