I-81 Exit 264
Settlers first discovered the New Market area’s fertile lands, wild game, and minerals in 1727, nearly 300 years ago. Many of the first settlers were Germans of the Mennonite and Lutheran faiths and were later joined by many Scots and Irish. The Town was founded by General John Sevier, a noted Indian fighter and revolutionary patriot, but the Town’s effective history began in 1796 when it was established by a charter of the Virginia General Assembly. In 1806, German settlers established a printing and publishing business that was a foundation of New Market industry into the mid 19th-century. And by 1835, the Town had become a commercial and industrial center boasting a population of 700.
During the Civil War, situated on the main thoroughfare of the strategically important Shenandoah Valley, New Market played an active role, and Stonewall Jackson’s troops marched through the Town on four occasions.
On May 15, 1864, the historically significant Battle of New Market took place in which teenage cadets of the Virginia Military Institute fought.
VMI cadets were pressed into service by Confederate General John Breckinridge in a successful effort to delay the North’s march on Richmond, Virginia. That battle is re-enacted each year in mid-May on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of the Civil War & New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.
In 1972, the Town of New Market was designated a Historic District by the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission and registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark. The Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which is maintained by the National Park Service.