The Shenvalee is located on historic ground once owned by Valentine Sevier as part of his 378 acre plantation granted to him by Thomas Lord Fairfax on July 21, 1749. By Deed dated May 9, 1765, Valentine Sevier sold his former home and 378 acres of land at New Market to his 20 year old married son, John Sevier. In 1762, at the age of 16, John Sevier (1745-1818) had married Sarah, the 15 year old daughter of Joseph and Sarah Hawkins of Hawkinstown. Despite his early marriage, he went on to become General John Sevier and the first Governor of Tennessee.
Shenvalee, located on the central part of the Sevier plantation, has in notable succession been owned by Thomas Lord Fairfax, Valentine Sevier, (1749), John Sevier (1765), Joseph Strickler (1772), Henry Sulcer (1778), Mathias Sulcer (1779), George Lafferty (1802), William Steenbergen (1805), John Click, Jr., (1809), Dr. John Strayer (1818), Joseph B. Strayer (1876), B. P. Newman (1889), William A. Pence (1902), Clarence A. Pence (1919), Roland G. Hill (1926), Shenandoah Valley Estates, Incorporated (1926), and the family of Dr. Casper Otto Miller, whose son, John G. Miller, sold it to the present stockholders.
During the era that preceded the 1929 stock market crash, the area in and around New Market, Virginia experienced spectacular growth and development. Three major caverns, Shenandoah Caverns, Endless Caverns and Luray Caverns had been developed. Numerous spas such as Orkney Springs, Brock Springs, Shenandoah Alum Springs and others were catering to those of wealth and leisure, many of whom came from the nearby Washington-Baltimore metropolitan areas.
It was into this climate of economic prosperity that Roland G. Hill came to New Market with the dream of building a resort type hotel and what was to be the first of its kind in the Valley, a nine-hole golf course. In 1926 Hill purchased the property (what was then known as the "Dr. Strayer Upper Farm") from Clarence A. Pence. Utilizing the dwelling that stood there, Hill enlarged it into a two-story hotel with rooms surrounding a central balconied ballroom. At the same time, the first nine holes of the present "Olde Course" were constructed by a large force of men wielding picks and shovels and using horse drawn wagons to transport the dirt excavated in the process. It was opened to the public on July 7, 1927.