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Varner Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SC 0129

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Varner Family Papers, 1774-1933, document the Varner family of Page County, Virginia with particular emphasis on correspondence, legal and financial documents, and documents relating to their distillery business.

Series 1: Letters, 1816-1910, contains documents from relatives of the Varners in the Midwest and from other family members within Virginia. Most of these documents date from the latter half of the nineteenth century. In general these letters discuss health, the weather and farming; however, there are several accounts relating to the Civil War and its devastating effects on the family.

Series 2: Legal Documents, 1774-1931, contains a thorough collection of tax receipts dating from 1803-1930; several papers pertaining to John Varner's duties as an executor; a folder of receipts for various financial transactions; and, among other papers in the miscellaneous folder, a Confederate States of America Bond.

Series 3: Distillery Papers, 1869-1893, contains documents related to the Varner's distillery business in Luray, Virginia. Despite wide-spread anti-liquor sentiment in the Shenandoah Valley in the nineteenth century, the Varners operated a distillery. Documentary evidence of the business begins in 1869 and includes state permits to distill, Internal Revenue "Distillery Gauger" forms and several orders for brandy.

Dates

  • 1774-1933

Creator

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Bio/Historical Note

The Varner family of Page County, Virginia was of German descent, and their name appears as early as 1801 on records of the Antioch Christian Church near Stony Man Creek, Virginia.

Despite wide-spread anti-liquor sentiment in the Shenandoah Valley in the nineteenth century, the Varners operated a distillery. Documentary evidence of the business begins in 1869 and includes state permits to distill, Internal Revenue "Distillery Gauger" forms, and several orders for brandy.

Extent

0.4 cubic feet (1 box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Varner Family Papers, 1774-1933, documents the Varner family of Page County, Virginia with particular emphasis on correspondence, legal and financial documents, and documents relating to their distillery business.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series:

  1. Letters, 1816-1933
  2. Legal Documents, 1774-1931
  3. Distillery Papers, 1869-1893

Acquisition Information

This collection is on deposit from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.

Bibliography

  • Lambert, Darwin S. The Undying Past of Shenandoah National Park. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart, Inc., 1989.
  • Strickler, Harry M. A Short History of Page County Virginia. Richmond, VA: Dietz Press, Inc., 1952.

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 3035.

Creator

Source

Title
A Guide to the Varner Family Papers, 1774-1933
Status
Completed
Author
Jere Suter
Date
March 1991, July 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • July 2008: Edited
  • 2013-11-21: Converted to schema conforming EAD by dtd2schema.vh.xsl.

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
880 Madison Drive
MSC 1704
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612