Harrisonburg, VA (in Rockingham County) is located in the central Shenandoah Valley area and bound by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Valley National Park, and Skyline Drive.
Harrisonburg has been an important city in Virginia history marking the pages of both the American Revolution and the Civil Wars. History records first date to 1716 when Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood led the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition through the area. Rocktown (today’s Harrisonburg) was renamed Harrisonburg after Thomas Harrison, son of English immigrants, and his family settled in the Shenandoah Valley and eventually laid claim to over 12,000 acres in the region.
By 1778 Harrison claimed land in what is today’s Harrisonburg. In 1779, Thomas Harrison deeded 2.5 acres of land to the government for “the public good”. Again in 1780, Harrison deeded an additional 50 acres and the area was quickly recognized as the county seat of Rockingham and began the city of Harrisonburg in the new Commonwealth of Virginia. By 1849, the town had over 200 taxpaying residents. Harrisonburg was not officially incorporated as an independent city until 1916.
Throughout history Harrisonburg has prospered and continues to do so today. In 2004, Downtown Harrisonburg was designated as a historic district and a designated Virginia Main Street Community. Harrisonburg is noted for its National Historic District as well as a State Historic District commemorating the founding of America, prosperity after the Civil War, and dedication to preserving its historic past while paving the way for developments in home and business real estate, economic development and education.