My Own Dear Maggie: A True Shenandoah Love Story


Compiled by Elsie Renalds Newcomer & Janet Renalds Ramsey

398 pages



     As the title states, this truly is a Shenandoah Valley love story. This book continues the series of books about Life in the Shenandoah Valley for the Henkel family through the years 1861-1865. In 1866, during the first year of Reconstruction, Siram Henkel and his children are rebuilding their lives. In June, they welcome in their home a burst of new life, their 13th child, little Maggie.

     Over the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison County, William Richard Renalds had returned home from the War to his wife Sidney Leah Wayland and six little children. In May 1866, he and his wife had welcomed their 7th child, little Willie.

     Maggie’s father, Siram, keeps a journal which captures a little of what life was like at the Henkel homestead during her childhood. Little Maggie and little Willie grow up and go to school and have many friends.

     While Their friendship develops over several years, as revealed through letters which capture the fascinating story. Maggie says she will never leave her home at The Plains. But emotions take a turn, Willie begins to visit Maggie more frequently and things start to get serious. Read this beautiful tale in its entirety through their correspondence in My Own Dear Maggie

My Own Dear Maggie is a fascinating love story which uniquely reveals the rebuilding and growth of the Shenandoah Valley, after The War Between the States. Letters between Willie Renalds and Maggie Henkel and other family members, pictures, and newspaper articles paint a vivid picture of what the people of the Shenandoah Valley endured during and after its rebuilding.” ~ Robert E. Henkel, Pres., Henckel Family Nat. Assoc.

“The letters between Maggie and Willie were fascinating. it was like reading a novel. When is the movie coming out?” ~ Carolyn Kennington, “Lucille’s” Daughter

Additional information

Weight .34 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 1 × 9 in