“Battletown” sounds like it should be the site of a major engagement in the Revolutionary War. It wasn’t. And Battletown was never the town’s official name, but apparently a nickname inspired by a local resident who apparently loved to pick quarrels with anyone and everyone. Legend has it that the guy used to pile up stones near the crossroads to use as ammunition. The resident was Daniel Morgan, outstanding battle tactician and hero of the Revolutionary War. The site known as Battletown formally became Berryville, Virginia in 1798 and it retains that name to this day. However, the fighting nickname did not die out with Morgan. Railroad workers also earned a reputation for Saturday night brawls in Battletown. Town fathers supposedly even had to amend the local law to include a prohibition on “hootin and hollerin” on street corners after 11 p.m.
With its collection of quaint storefronts and eclectic businesses, Berryville looks like it could be found in any number of rural counties in the U.S. But we passed through it on our way home from Shenandoah State Park, so it’s not far from the WashingtonDC metropolitan area. I looked around for signs of rich suburbanites and prefabbed history, but the town seemed pretty genuine. But then on a kiosk across from the town bandstand, I saw information about how the county has a low density zoning system and a high percentage of land placed in conservation easements. So my guess is that the area is now filled with rich people pretending to be small town America. It would be worth investigating because if it’s genuine, it would be a refreshing bastion of middle America in the midst of a government/lobbiest warped zone known as the nation’s capital. Now that I think of it, maybe “Battletown” is a nickname that still fits as well as it did 200 years ago…and maybe we should move that pile of rocks a little closer to DC and see if we can get the ghost of Daniel Morgan to knock some sense into our elected officials and their henchmen.