About the SCHS

By-Laws of The Shenandoah County Historical Society of Virginia, Inc.

A Virginia non-stock Corporation


“Society” :  means the Shenandoah County Historical Society of Virginia, Inc., a non-stock corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Bylaws”:  means the bylaws of the Society.

“Member”:  means any entity, group, or person current in the payment of dues.  Any group or entity may become a Member of the Society  by paying annual dues.  Individuals may pay annual dues or may become life members by payment of a single sum,  determined by the Society’s Board of Directors.


Whereas we are a volunteer organization composed of people who share a mutual interest in the rich and abundant history of Shenandoah County, the purpose of the Shenandoah County Historical Society, Inc. is:

  • Foster a spirit of cooperation between existing organizations, writers, historians, genealogists, collectors, preservationists, and other members of the Shenandoah County of Virginia 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.

Article I


Section 1.1 - Annual Meetings.  The annual meeting of the Society will be held during May of each year at such time and place as may be fixed by the Society’s Board of Directors.

Section 1.2 - Special Meetings.  Special meetings of the Society shall be held when called by (1) a majority of the board of directors, (2) the president of the Society, or (3) petition signed by one-fourth of the Members of the Society.  No business other than that stated in the notice shall be transacted at Special Meetings.

Section 1.3 - Notice of Society Meetings.  A notice stating the place, hour and day of each Annual Meeting and, in the case of a Special Meeting, the purpose(s) of such Meeting, shall be sent to each Member not less than ten (10) days nor more than fifty (50) days before such meeting by mail or electronic mail, in accordance with the member's preference.  If mailed, such notice shall be deemed given when deposited in the United States Mail addressed to the Member at the Member’s address in the Society records.  Not withstanding the above provisions of this section, Notice of a meeting to act on an Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation or By-Laws shall be given in the manner provided above, not less than twenty-five (25) nor more than fifty (50) days before the date of the meeting. Any such notice shall either include a copy of the proposed amendment or shall provide instructions as to how a member may obtain a copy of the proposed amendment by viewing on the Society's web site or having a copy sent to them by e-mail or US mail.

Section I.4 - Waiver of Notice and Meeting.  (A) Whenever notice is required to be given of any Meeting of the Society, a waiver thereof in writing, signed by the person entitled to such notice, whether before or after the meeting date, shall be equivalent to the giving of such notice to that person.   (B)  A person who attends the meeting will be presumed to have had timely proper notice of the meeting and to have duly waived notice thereof unless he attends for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business on the grounds that the meeting was not lawfully called or convened.

Section 1.5 - Quorum.  A quorum shall be deemed present throughout any meeting of the Society if persons entitled to cast votes for more than one tenth (1/10th) of the members are present either in person or by proxy at the beginning of such meeting.  If a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present (in person or by proxy) shall be the act of the Society unless the vote of a greater number is required by law or by the Articles of Incorporation, except at an election of Directors, where those receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected.

Section 1.6 - Absence of Quorum.  In the absence of a quorum at any meeting, the presiding officer may adjourn the meeting for a period not exceeding twenty (20) days at any one time.  No notice of the time and place of the adjourned meeting need be given other than by announcement thereof at the time of adjournment. At any such adjourned meeting at which a quorum is present any business may be transacted which might have been transacted at the meeting on the date originally called.

Section 1.7 - Votes.  (A) Each member shall have one vote in the Society.  In the event that a Member consists of more than one person (e.g., couples, families or organizations/businesses) that member shall be entitled to cast one vote.  (B) Since a member need not be a natural person, any officer or director of an entity which alone or together with others constitutes a Member may, on behalf of that entity attend the Society meetings and vote. If only one of those persons is present, the vote of that person is presumed to be that of the Member unless protest is made to the presiding officer of the meeting. (C) Vote(s) may be cast in person or by written proxy duly executed by or on behalf of the Member.  No proxy shall be valid after eleven (11) months from its date unless otherwise provided in the proxy.  A proxy may be revoked by written notice to the Secretary.

Section 1.8 - Manner of Voting.  Voting by members shall be by voice vote unless a member present at the meeting requests a vote by written ballot.  If any votes are cast by proxy, the names of members for whom such votes are cast and the number of such votes shall be endorsed on the written ballot.

Section 1.9 - Order of Business.  At each meeting of the Society the Presiding Officer shall act as chairman of the meeting.  The Secretary, or in the secretary’s absence the person appointed by the chairman, shall act as secretary of the meeting.  The order of business at the Annual Meeting shall be as follows:

(A) Call to order; 

(B) Presentation of proof of due calling of the Meeting; 

(C) Appointment of inspectors of election (if written ballot is to be held); 

(D) Report of presence or absence of a quorum by the inspectors of election;

(E) Approval of the minutes of previous meeting(s); 

(F) Reports of officers and committees

(G) Election of directors

(H) Old business

(I) New business

(J) Adjournment

Article II


Section 2.1 - Number and Selection of Directors.   The Society shall be managed by a Board of twelve Directors.

Section 2.2 - Selection of Directors.    The Board of Directors shall consist of one person living in each of the six Magisterial Districts of Shenandoah County and six other members-at-large. Those persons receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected. Directors shall be elected for a term of two years and may be re-elected to any number of terms.

Section 2.3 - Removal of Directors.  At any meeting of the Board, where Directors have been informed in advance that removal of a Director(s) will be an agenda item, cited Director(s) may be removed with or without cause by a vote of the majority of the Members present in person or by proxy. Non-attendance at six consecutive meetings shall be considered cause.

Section 2.4 - Resignation of Director or Officers.  Any Director or Officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Board of Directors,  the President or Secretary.  Such resignation shall take effect immediately upon receipt thereof unless otherwise specified in the resignation.  Any Director who ceases to be a Member shall be deemed to have resigned at the time he ceases to be a Member.

Section 2.5 - Appointment of Directors. If any Director fails to complete the term, to which he/she was elected, the Board may appoint an interim Director to fill the remainder of the term.

Section 2.6 - Meetings of the Directors. The Board of Directors shall meet within ten (10) days after the Annual Meeting of the Society to elect the Board officers.  The Board of Directors shall meet regularly without notice at such intervals, times and places as may be fixed from time to time by resolutions of the Board.  Special meetings of the Board may be held and called by the President or by a majority of the Directors with at least three days notice to the remainder of the Board or not less than twenty-four hours after notice has been received by the remainder of the Board, whichever period is shorter.  Notice may be given by e-mail, mail, or telephone.  However, notice of a Special Meeting may be waived by any Director in writing or by attending the meeting unless the Director is attending solely to object to the transaction of any business on grounds that the meeting was not legally called.

Section 2.7 - Quorum of Directors.  The majority of the Board of Directors constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.  The act of a majority of the Directors present and voting at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board of Directors.

Section 2.8 - Duties of the Board of Directors.  It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors, on behalf of the Society, to 

(A) cause to be kept a complete record of the proceedings and Resolutions of the Board;

(B) prepare the budget of the Society for the forthcoming fiscal year;

(C) levy and cause to be collected dues in accordance with Article III of these Bylaws;

(D) cause the books and records to be kept by the Treasurer to be audited  whenever a Resolution of

the Society shall direct;

(E) maintain such insurance, including but not limited to liability insurance, as may be required

pursuant to the Society documents or resolutions otherwise deemed necessary by the Board of

Directors, in their sole discretion.

Section 2.9 - Appointment and Term of Officers,  The officers of the Society shall include a president, vice-president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer and any such officers as the Board may from time to time determine by resolution.  All Officers shall be appointed by the Board and serve at the pleasure of the Board.  The offices of president and secretary shall be held by different persons, but those persons may hold other offices.  At the Board meeting following the Society’s Annual Meeting the Board shall appoint officers to serve for the following year.  

Section 2.10 - Committees.  The Board of Directors may create and abolish from time to time such committees as the Board may deem appropriate to aid in the administration of the affairs of the Society.  Such committees shall have the purpose and goals fixed by the Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors shall appoint the Chairperson of each committee and may appoint members or delegate such appointment to the Committee chairperson. 

Section 2.11 - Duties of Officers.  Each officer shall perform such duties as are normally associated with that office, and each Officer shall perform such other duties as are assigned to his office by law or resolution of the Society or Board of Directors. In the absence of the President, a presiding officer shall be appointed by the Board.

Section 2.12 - Conflict of Interest. To protect the interest of the Society in instances when it may contemplate entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an Officer or Director of the Society, or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction, the Board shall review each applicable proposal and determine whether it is fair and reasonable to the Society.


Section 3.1 - Fiscal year.  The fiscal year of the Society shall begin on June 1 and end May 31.

Section 3.2 - Books and Records.  The Society shall keep complete books and records of account and shall keep minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of the Society, the Board of Directors, and Committees having any of the powers of the Board of Directors, and shall keep at its Registered Office or principal office in this State a record of the names and addresses of its members entitled to vote.  A record of the names of the persons entitled to vote shall be prima facie evidence of the right to vote.  Any books, records and minutes may be in written form or in any other form capable of being converted into written form within a reasonable time.

Section 3.3 - Dues.  The Society, through its Board of Directors, shall levy dues upon all Members to raise money to pay for the administrative costs of the Society, the carrying out of the Board’s powers, and all other costs lawfully incurred by the Society.  The Board of Directors shall set a time at which any such dues are due and payable.  Annual dues will be levied upon Members and shall be increased or decreased from time to time as the Board of Directors deems appropriate.

Section 3.4 - Method of Amendment.  Any proposed Amendments to the Articles of Incorporation or By-Laws shall be ratified, at the Annual Meeting or at a Special Meeting called for this purpose, as described in Article 1.3, by a 2/3 majority vote of those present or who have submitted a proxy. A Notice of the proposed changes, to be ratified, shall be included in the Notice of Annual or Special Meeting and copies of the proposed changes shall be available to members of the Society either electronically or upon written request. Proposed changes may also be posted on the Society's web site.

Section 3.5 - Enforcement. The Society or the Board of Directors shall have the right by any proceeding adopted by the Society or provided for at law or in equity, to enforce every provision of the Articles of Incorporation and/or By-Laws, and to seek and obtain all relief which may be appropriate under the circumstances of each case.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Board of Directors has adopted these By-laws as amended and approved at a                         meeting on                       2011.

Board Approved: Nov. 10, 2010

Article III - Section 3.1—Fiscal year. The fiscal year of the Society shall begin on June 1 and end on May 31. Amended at annual meeting on May 17, 2016.

Shenandoah County Historical Society, Inc.



Barbara Adamson (President)

Janet Wagniere (Vice-President)

Susan Walls (Secretary)

Laura Zimmerman (Treasurer)


Dennis Atwood

Anne Dellinger

Kenna Fansler

Rick Lytton

Ellen Markel

Suzanne McIlwee

Mary Redmon

Margie Hisey Tackett

Susan Walls

Karen Whetzel

Hank Zimmerman

Janet Wagniere (Newsletter Editor)  


Committees and Activities

Below is a brief description of some of our Committees and their activities:

History – involved in the collection, preservation and research of local historical material and artifacts. Serves as a depository and reference center for these materials.

Preservation – identifies, surveys and catalogs sites, landmarks, structures and other physical objects that are worthy of preservation. There is considerable overlap and cooperation between this Committee and the History Committee.

Program & Hospitality – works to provide programs and meetings that are interesting and entertaining and that encourage the public to learn about local history through lectures and exhibits. Plans our annual May dinner meeting. Provides refreshments for meetings.

Public Relations – publicizes SCHS activities. Promotes the use of historical materials collected by the Society.

Genealogical – promotes genealogical study and research. Upon request conducts family research (fee for service).

Finance – sponsors book sales and other special fund raising projects.

Nominating & Membership – not standing Committees, these provide assistance to the Board when needed.

The Historical Society is proud to partner with:

The Shenandoah County Library’s Truban Archives and Shenandoah Room and its competent and energetic archivist, Zach Hottel, provide an important resource in Shenandoah County. SCHS is always pleased to promote Zach’s initiatives in the community and are happy to encourage response to his effort to have a citizens’ journal about their experience with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

SCHS works closely with Zach on many fronts; as a member of the Shenandoah County History Council, with a standing position on the Truban Archives & Shenandoah Room Advisory Committee and co-hosting our annual Shenandoah County Heritage Day with the library. We also enjoy mutual cooperation with family history research requests, have made many donations of books and other materials to the Archives when appropriate, and participate jointly with other projects. Zach has a regular column in the SCHS newsletter and helps to keep our Facebook page fresh and informative.

Shenandoah County Office of Tourism and Economic Development - SCHS is pleased to partner with Shenandoah County Government to operate the Visitor Center and Museum at the Historic Courthouse. We continue to develop museum exhibits that tell stories of county history and connections with the courts, and collect, preserve and exhibit artifacts from the Historic Courthouse. This partnership enables our all-volunteer organization to open the iconic 1795 courthouse to the public and the community.

Where We Are Represented

One of the purposes of SCHS, as stated in our mission, is to support local efforts to preserve historic buildings and sites as well as collect and preserve artifacts and information about the history of Shenandoah County. Towards this end, we participate in the activities of a number of committees, sometimes at the request of the County Board of Supervisors as the representative of the local historic preservation community.

Shenandoah County Heritage Day – SCHS hosts this popular annual event on the 2nd Saturday in April. Traditionally Heritage Day has rotated throughout the county, focusing primarily on a given area and the families located in that part of the county. Participants also include local history and historic preservation organizations and those with general county history and family history to share.

Shenandoah County Library Shenandoah Room & Truban Archives Advisory Committee – The SCHS president is an ex-officio member of the advisory committee, which consists of library staff, board and community members. The committee works in an advisory capacity on issues relating to the Shenandoah Room and Truban Archives, Shenandoah County’s local history library and archival depository.

WWI & WWII Commemoration Committee – SCHS partnered with the Shenandoah County Tourism and the Shenandoah County Library Truban Archives to plan, support and implement various events, publications, oral interviews and other activities throughout the county to commemorate the anniversaries of the World Wars.

Shenandoah County History Council – Created in 2016 by Shenandoah County Library Archivist Zachary Hottel, this group is made up of representatives from the many museums and historic preservation organizations throughout the county. As a member of the Council, we’re pleased with this effort to share information and work together to promote and support local history and historic preservation.

Shenandoah County Court House Task Force - SCHS President, Barbara Adamson, represented the SCHS & District 5 & 6 on this Task Force appointed by the County Board of Supervisors in 2010. The 7-member panel explored possible future uses of the original 1795 Court House and the 1871 and 1886 additions. The final recommendations of this countywide panel resulted in renovations to the historic courthouse and its use as a visitors center, museum, office space, public use space and continued courtroom use in the 1871 addition. SCHS, in partnership with Shenandoah County Tourism, operates the visitors center and museum, and occupies office space within the courthouse.

Old Valley Pike Overlay District Committee – appointed by the Board of Supervisors, our representative (Meg Trott) took part in the development of an Overlay District Ordinance created to provide guidelines and requirements that will preserve the historic nature of the Old Valley Pike (Rt.11).

Seven Bends State Park Planning Committee – our representation, in 2007, played an important part in the development of a Master Plan for this new state park on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Ray Powell was our representative on this committee.

Shenandoah County Farm Task Force – appointed by the Board of Supervisors, our representative (Barbara Adamson) participated, in 2008, in formulating recommendations to the Board regarding the preservation and future use of the historic Alms House as well as the future use of the County Farm acreage. The Alms House has since been destroyed by fire but a permanent committee dedicated to the preservation and use of the County Farm acreage was created.

We participate in local festivals including the Edinburg Ole Time Festival each September.


Download a printable Membership application HERE.

The Shenandoah County Historical Society was formed in 1985 by a group of County citizens interested in preserving and sharing our County’s heritage. Recognized as the County’s official historical society, we are now some 200 members strong, and are undertaking major projects.  We need your help if we are to succeed.

Among the current projects are:

✓Developing a local historic register through an inventory of historic landmarks

✓Genealogical research services

✓Sharing of information on County families

✓Involvement in local historic preservation issues

✓Providing access to information on historic sites in the County-homes, schools, churches, mills,  furnaces, roads, depots,  post offices, photos, books, etc.

✓Collecting copies of old documents, photos, books, etc.

✓Publishing a quarterly newsletter

✓Inventorying, reproducing, and documenting items in the Morrison Studio Photo Collection

✓ Presenting programs meetings on a regular basis;

✓ Publication and sales of local history books

Our program meetings are held four times a year.  Check the local papers or the SCHS Newsletter for details.  Our annual membership meeting is in May.

If you would like to help us or if you have information to share with us, please fill out the form below and give it to a Society member or mail it to: Shenandoah County Historical Society, Inc., PO Box 506 Edinburg, VA 22824

You don’t have to join to share–- we need your help!

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