The Stonewall Jackson team works for one purpose: to ensure that you, our guest, are treated to the best home-away-from-home experience you can possibly imagine.
“Be Our Guest…”
As soon as you cross the threshold of our beautiful, three-story establishment, you are no longer a stranger to us, but a friend waiting to be made. Though the day-to-day tasks of working at and maintaining a thriving bed and breakfast can be time-consuming, if you see us, we would love for you to stop and say hello! Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you are liking your stay, and please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your stay with us more enjoyable.
Meet the Stonewall Jackson Inn Team:
DR. WAYNE ENGEL
Owner & Master Innkeeper
Wayne is an avid traveler and amateur chef. He likes to scuba dive, go hiking, camping, and grow roses. He is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at James Madison University and is interested in the history of the Civil War, the preservation and restoration of its happenings, and its psychological legacy to our country. He is a storyteller and he reads palms.
Innkeeping Management Intern
Fresh from the corporate world of healthcare management, Brittney came to the Stonewall Jackson Inn to mentor under Wayne, learning about operating a small business in the hospitality industry. Brittney is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who spent two years living and working in Mexico, which cultivated a passion for community development and nonprofit work. She is responsible for managing the bookkeeping and making sure operations run smoothly.
RENEE & BOB HODGES
Assistant Innkeeping Interns
After years in the education field, Bob and Renee decided to step out on faith and pursue their dream of being innkeepers. Bob’s love of cooking, Renee’s passion for hospitality, and their shared interest in travel and history makes being a part of the Stonewall Jackson Inn team the perfect fit for them. Bob’s always up bright and early in the kitchen, and you can find Renee socializing on the terrace or writing articles for the blog.
About the Inn
In 1999, Wayne with his son (a chef and trained chatelaine Innkeeper), opened the Inn, boldly branding the promise-guarantee of “A Night’s Delight & A Breakfast to Remember!” Mission accomplished, as it has now become the Shenandoah Valley’s legacy inn, well known for its hospitality, food, comfort, and value, operating as a landmark and community focal point of downtown Harrisonburg’s Historic District.
Named after the famed Southern general of the Civil War, the Stonewall Jackson Inn and its knowledgeable owner serve as an homage to a few of the brave men and women who had a significant impact during that era. A time of political and social revolution, the years surrounding this eventful war helped shape our young country into the great nation that it is today.
History aside, this restored mansion is the perfect place to bring a loved one and get away for a night (or two!) of fun and relaxation. Whether you decide to lounge around on the grounds for comfort and conversation, or make the short walk to Downtown Harrisonburg for a delicious meal and some live entertainment, you are sure to find what you’re looking for in a vacation when you stay with us. With ten unique, beautifully furnished rooms, it can be hard to pick just one!
The Building’s History
The Stonewall Jackson Inn is a restored mansion (circa 1885) that is unique to the Shenandoah Valley. While lodging at the Inn provides the feeling of an historic Civil War-era home, the design and materials are unlike any other Harrisonburg, Virginia bed and breakfast. Two architects from Boston (Richardson and Emerson) creatively adapted the traditional Queen Anne architecture to a stone-and-shingled New England cottage style. Thus, our Inn looks and feels like an old summer coastal home at Newport or Bar Harbor. The Mansion stands on two acres, landscaped with rose bushes, flowerbeds, and the old horse and carriage barn to complete the picturesque sight.
Just who the Inn’s builder was is obscure, but it is believed to have been a New England sea captain who moved to the area after marrying a valley debutante. Built into the mansion were techniques of construction familiar to the shipyards of the time: voice tubes for communication, distinctive beam structure, and separate family and servant living quarters and staircases. Also of note, the stairways and doors were made wide to accommodate the hoop skirts of guests entering from their carriage. Indeed, the building was constructed to entertain on a grand scale.
There are three finished floors. The first floor (now the basement and innkeeper’s quarters) was used for food and fuel storage, while the main or second floor was devoted to dining, dancing, and entertainment, with hotel-type kitchen facilities for the butler, maid, cook, and stable/handyman, all of whom lived in the back of the mansion. Leading off the Queen Anne “living hallway” entrance is the grand parlor with impressive beamed ceilings – an ideal spot to meet with friends, read a book, or savor the afternoon light. The third floor, where seven of our rooms are now, provided bed quarters for the family, complete with a nursery and family parlor. Dining areas include the large, outdoor raised deck and, indoors, the skylight breakfast room (our “Paradise Cafe”).
Virginia folklore has it that the attic is still “occupied” by an artist chatelaine (Audrey Long) who used it as a studio in the early 1900s – but that is part of the lure of this charming place. We will be happy to show you Audrey’s artwork and her room in the attic. Speaking of artists, we have an extraordinary collection of the limited-edition prints of P. Buckley Moss as well as stunning watercolors by Rachel Goodman.