Our History

The name Shenvalee was chosen by the one-time owner and New Market newspaper publisher, John G. Miller, from a combination of three famous words: Shenandoah--Virginia--Lee, hence Shen-Va-Lee or Shenvalee.

July 21, 1749

The Shenvalee is located on historic ground previously owned by Valentine Sevier as part of his 378-acre plantation granted to him by Thomas Lord Fairfax.

May 9, 1765

Valentine Sevier sold his former home and 378 acres of land in New Market to his 20 year old married son, John Sevier.


At the age 16, John Sevier 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.


Joseph Strickler took over ownership of the property.


Henry Sulcer took over ownership of the property.


George Lafferty took over ownership of the property.


William Steenbergen took over ownership of the property.


John Click Jr. took over ownership of the property.


Dr. John Strayer took over ownership of the property.

May 15, 1864

The front nine holes of Shenvalee Golf Course occupy land which was within the area of operations of the Battle of New Market, fought between a small Confederate army under the command of Gen. John C. Breckenridge, and a large Union force commanded by Gen. Franz Siegel. Among Gen. Breckenridge's forces was the cadet corps of the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va., which gained undying fame by its famous charge that turned the tide of battle.


B. P. Newman took over ownership of the property.


William A. Pence took over ownership of the property.


Clarence A. Pence took over ownership of the property.


Roland G. Hill took over ownership of the property.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.


Shenandoah Valley Estates Incorporated and the family of Dr. Casper Otto Miller took over ownership of the property. Later his son John G. Miller sold it to the present stockholders

July 7, 1927.

Shenvalee Olde Course was opened to the public.

January, 1929

Disaster struck in the form of a fire which started in room No. 10 on the second floor, which resulted in extensive damage to the hotel. Upon rebuilding, a third story was added and the ballroom, now used as a dining room, was sealed over. The charming era of the balconied ballrooms had passed.

Around 1944

The U.S. State Department, looking for a place to hold their Italian prisoners of diplomatic rank, took over the entire facilities of Shenvalee. A small group of Italian diplomats, guarded by local New Market residents, enjoyed a leisurely 14 months at Shenvalee.


The need for more space became apparent. The Poolside Motel, to the south of the Lodge, was built and the following year a swimming pool was added.


The back nine holes was constructed.


The present golf shop was erected.


The golf side motel was built.

May 1970

The New Market Battlefield State Historical Park and Hall of Valor Museum was opened, just one-half mile northwest of The Shenvalee.


A new wing to the golf side motel was added.


The tennis courts were added.

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