From the Start
1769 – 1865
In 1769, the land on which our village lies was conveyed to John Augustine Washington, half-brother of George Washington, from George Carter who had received a land patent from Lord Fairfax. Washington, in turn, conveyed 624 acres to Edward Snickers. Snickers sold to Richard Wistar of Philadelphia in 1777, and Wistar sold to William Clayton, whose son, Amos Clayton, built splendid Clayton Hall at the side of the Snickersville Turnpike in 1797.
In 1807, when Snickers operated a ferry across the Shenandoah River, the area was called Snickers Gap. The settlement became known as Snickersville as an act of the Virginia General Assembly in 1826. In 1853, Snickersville contained “fifteen dwelling houses, one house of public worship, one common school, one Masonic hall, two factories, one tailor, one wagon maker, three blacksmiths, and one copper and tin plate worker.”
During the Civil War, Snickers Gap was a strategic pathway between the much fought over Shenandoah Valley and Union occupied Northern Virginia. Both armies traveled back and forth using Snickers Gap. When the Civil War descended, a skirmish occurred right in the village when the Yankees, in search of some good home cooking, met up with a Confederate band. The “Battle of Snickersville,” October 22, 1862 was made known to the nation through an illustration in Harper’s Magazine: “The Advance-Guard of the Army of the Potomac Attacking the Rebels Near Snickersville.” The dramatic print shows two Union cavalrymen in the foreground chasing a rebel on horseback
Recorded the details of this clash, which resulted in four Union killed, two wounded, and 10 taken prisoner; three Confederate killed and one wounded.