Center is situated on Garbers Church Road in Harrisonburg,
with a hilltop site providing vistas spanning the Valley. The 14-acre
campus has been designed as a farmstead with a central
garden. At the present, the 1854 Burkholder-Myers house, and the Whitmer School
and Cove Mennonite Church, a one-room school house and
a meetinghouse have been moved to the site.
Facilities can be rented for group use; download reservation information and form here
Burkholder-Myers House (above): In
1854 Mennonite Bishop Martin Burkholder built this house,
the first building to open at the center. A Myers
family, descended from early Brethren settlers, owned the house in recent
years and donated it to CrossRoads. It was moved up the hill to the CrossRoads
site in 2002 to make room for Harrisonburg High School's relocation.
Whitmer School (right)
one-room structure was built
about 1904 above Mathias, WVA, by Mennonite and Brethren
folks who had settled the area. When the school closed
about 1940, it continued to serve as a meetinghouse
for Sunday school and church, known later as Cove Mennonite
Church. After the church closed, the five children of the Jesse and Beulah (Whitmer) Halderman family donated the building to CrossRoads. It was sawn in thirds and reassembled at the CrossRoads
site in late 2004 to illustrate early education and mission
work in the mountains. (see
photos of the reconstruction)
The Welcome Center (left):
three-bedroom house was purchased
and remodeled in 2005 to
serve as a gateway and orientation
place for visitors to the
Blacksmith Shop (right):
This 1900s era shop was moved to the CrossRoads site in 2008 and is now fully equipped with blacksmithing tools and equipment, including a new forge. Blacksmiths are shown at work in it for special events,
such as Harvest Day the last Saturday in September, and for group tours, including schools or home-schooled students and
their parents. See photos of Larry Martin at work at the forge at CrossRoads.
Wash House (left):
This 1854 era Wash House is typical of the structures built near farm houses of the time.
It includes an inside fireplace where water could be heated for washing clothes or making soap. During butchering days,
the fireplace was used to boil fat for pressing into lard or cooking side meat to grind into a pudding that was stored in
crocks and eaten with corn meal. This Wash House was moved to the current CrossRoads site in 2002,
along with the nearby Burkholder-Myers House, but was set on the current foundation in 2008 and finished in 2009.
July and August, visitors can
experience the serenity of
Sunday evenings in a peaceful
woodland setting with a mediation
and inspirational music. At
the top of the hill at CrossRoads,
follow the 100-foot trail down
the gently sloping hillside
to the Amphitheater. Bring
a chair to sit on. Services
begin at 7:00 p.m. and end at 7:45.
In addition to the above facilities on the site, construction of the 1829 Weaver-Brunk Log House is now underway. See photos of the building process of the Weaver-Brunk Log House at CrossRoads. J. Allen Brubaker, photo credit.
Plans for the site include
a Welcome Center,
summer kitchen, and vintage
Rockingham County barn.
A work in progress. The
CrossRoads site is very much a work in progress. “Farmstead” is
often used to describe the 14-acre site, where visitors
will experience life as it was lived by Brethren and Mennonites
in the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1829 log house and an 1800s barn (still to be erected),
and the 1854 farmhouse will depict 19th century life. A
20th century set of buildings, such as the Whitmer School,
a still to be erected church and an outdoor amphitheater help to tell the stories of 20th century life.
The site will also feature a Visitor
Center with a gift shop offering books, art, crafts, and special