The November 2019 postcard collection on display, at the Shenandoah County Historic Courthouse in Woodstock VA, is from the personal collection of Edgar Lamma III. Edgar has been collecting these postcards for about 20 years and is only one of a handful of individuals that he’s encountered that collect these postcards. Shenandoah Publishing House used to publish the Northern Virginia Daily newspaper.
SPH postcards were printed in varying shades of black, green and brown inks. There are only a few known postcards that contain any color. Several “logos” were used on the backside of postcards, some of which are on display. SPH postcards predominately cover the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and West Virginia. Most cover historic landmarks many of which deal with civil war sites.
Most SPH postcards are known to be numbered from 1 through 331. There is one odd postcard numbered 400. There are 34 numbers for which a postcard has not yet been identified. Some postcards were printed without an identifying number in the lower left corner on the backside. Of the known SPH postcards there are: (a) 244 in Virginia; (b) 49 in West Virginia; (c) 4 in Maryland; (d) 2 in Pennsylvania; (e) 1 in North Carolina; and, (f) 1 in Washington DC.
One of Edgar’s favorite SPH postcards is directly above the copy block. Notice that he is sitting on two chairs.
There are several publications known to contain block images (with text) that appear on the frontside of SPH postcards. These include: (a) A History of Shenandoah County by John W. Wayland; (b) The prospectus for John W. Wayland’s book titled The History of Old Shenandoah; (c) Shenandoah County Geography Supplement; and, (d) How Fair the Way to Strasburg.
Edgar has indexed 79 publications, mostly hardbound books, that were printed by SPH. There are many, many more that Edgar has not yet documented.
• Foster a spirit of cooperation between existing organizations, writers, historians, genealogists, collectors, preservationists, and other members of the Shenandoah County community.
• Aid in the collection and creation of materials and publications about the history of Shenandoah County and ensure that they are preserved and made available to the community.
• Support efforts by citizens, organizations and government to preserve historic buildings and sites.
• Share history through programs and exhibits.
The Shenandoah County Historical Society was founded in 1985 and is established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is completely volunteer driven. The Society is sustained by memberships, donations, grants and profits from book sales. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.