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Prince George includes the distinction of having the first privately owned farm in America, the William Cawson property where John Randolph of Roanoke was born. Nearby is located Appomattox Manor which until recently was the oldest property in America bearing the same family name of the original patentee, Captain Francis Eppes.
Prince George is also the home of the oldest Episcopalian church still standing and still being used as a house of worship in America. Merchants Hope Church was completed in 1657 and was named after the Merchants Hope Plantation that was located west of Martin's Brandon. Even though the church has undergone renovation and restoration, it is virtually the same structure today as it was when it was built 50 years after Jamestown was settled.
Another historic church that was originally in Prince George but has since been annexed by Petersburg is Old Blandford Church built in 1735. This church stands in Blandford Cemetery where approximately 30,000 Confederate soldiers as well as many early Prince George residents are buried.
The historic Civil War Battle of the Crater was also fought in Prince George, since that area did not become part of Petersburg until 1956.
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SKYLINE DRIVE... The Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the park. You can enter Shenandoah at four places: Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340, Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33, and Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250 (also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway). It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day.
As you travel along Skyline Drive you will notice mileposts on the west side (right side if you are traveling south) of the road. These posts help you find your way through the park and help you locate areas of interest. The mileposts begin with 0.0 at Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the park.
The speed limit is 35 mph, so you can roll down your windows, feel the breeze and experience every curve and turn of this beautiful drive. There are 75 overlooks that offer stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling Piedmont to the east. The park purposely leaves the roadsides unmowed so wildflowers put on a show all year long.