Autumn was named, according to some accounts, after Autumn Stuart, the 7 year old daughter of an early settler who died of tuberculosis following a trip from the eastern side of the state. She had helped her father plant a red oak tree before her death, and the local residents watched over the tree until it became one of the biggest trees in the Shenandoah valley.
Three US presidents have given speeches in Autumn – Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter.
The city is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Appalachian Mountains to the west.
Architect Harold Wick (Mr. Wick), after living in Paris, moved to DC in the 1870’s and was given the task of promoting land development around the Shenandoah Valley. His long partnership with tycoon Raymond Greenwell was responsible for much of the city’s architectural beauty. His architectural firm created a standard for urban planning that continues to this day with the family still running it.
City Hall is directly inspired by the one in Philadelphia, built roughly a decade after construction started in the northeastern city.
In solidarity following the race riots during the 1980s and to boost the Open Arms Policy to attract immigrant citizens, the city temporarily renamed itself Otoño, the spanish name for Autumn.
The scenic railroad engine that carries tourists and residents around the perimeter of the city is called “The Black Onyx,” the original flagship steam engine of the Blue Mountain Railroad in the 1870s.
Whitebottom Hills, though actually a valley, is named for it’s wild white flowers that cover the ground.
There are two bronze statues next to the railroad station. One is of the railroad president and tycoon Raymond Greenwell, who financed the construction of the building. The other, is an African-American porter who represents the many men who served the railroad line during its long run.
Autumn went straight from being labeled as a village to being incorporated as a city, completely skipping the town designation.
I hope to revisit this project in the future, but it had to be put on hold indefinitely to pursue other things. Feel free to explore the site.