Shannondale is a census-designated area at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Jefferson County between the Shenandoah River and the West Virginia and Virginia border. A census-designated area is similar to an incorporated town or city, but it has no separate municipal government. In the 2010 Census, the area of Shannondale was comprised of approximately 3,000 residents. Properties in Shannondale are listed with an address of Harpers Ferry. Photo credit: Ken Thomas
The first mention of Shannondale in public records was in the conveyance of a 29,000-plus parcel from Lord Thomas Fairfax to his nephew William Fairfax. The land was originally conceived as a resort and spa in the early 1800s. It was called Shannondale Springs, and it provided rich urbanites from Washington D.C. and Baltimore relief from the sweltering summer heat.
The modern version of Shannondale was born in the mid-1950s when developer Charles M. Johnson built an Adirondack-style clubhouse with an Olympic-sized swimming pool and bathhouse. He built vacation homes there as well. The homes were purchased by city residents who sought to escape the city and take advantage of the recreational and camping opportunities in the area.
In 1961, the Army Corps of Engineers was enlisted to construct an earthen dam that created a 55-acre lake next to the clubhouse and pool. The lake became the largest privately owned lake in West Virginia. Membership and access to the lake came through the purchase of property in the Shannondale community.
The lake and lodge were eventually purchased by a consortium of members in 1978. Currently, it’s operated as the Mountain Lake Club. In 2003 the main lodge was destroyed in a fire and was never rebuilt. The boat house was converted to a clubhouse with restaurant and banquet facilities.
The area of Shannondale now consists of over 1,200 homes. Many back up to the Shannondale Springs Wildlife Management Area, and most homes are occupied year round. The close proximity to Frederick, Maryland and the Northern Virginia and Maryland tech corridors also makes Shannondale an attractive place to live full time.
Single family homes range from rustic log cabins to new constructions and can range anywhere from two hundred thousand all the way up to one million dollars. Building lots are also available to build your dream home!
The proximity of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, the Appalachian Trail, and National Parks such as Harpers Ferry, the C & O Canal, and the Antietam National Battlefield make Shannondale an ideal place to live for those who love outdoor activities. There are many opportunities to go kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, and biking.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Shannondale, please contact Linda Kilroy. She’s a real estate agent with knowledge and expertise, not only about Shannondale, but about communities throughout the entire Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Her team can be reached at (304) 725-1145.