Club History

Club Biography

   The Shenandoah Valley Knife Collectors began in Harrisonburg in 1989.  A local insuranceman, Weldon Layman, ran an advertisement inviting others interested in knife collecting to meet with him to explore the idea of a knife collectors club in the greater Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia.  The first meeting was at Weldon’s home, and there were five other collectors in attendanceWes Shrader, Jacob Jay Martin, Mike Walsh, Larry Gray and Glenwood Rubush. These charter members were all from the Harrisonburg area, and after the initial meeting, a new knife collector’s club came into existence: The Shenandoah Valley Knife Collectors.

   Today, our club has approximately 102 members, many living far from Harrisonburg. Our club has several members who are affiliated with two other clubs within the state: the Northern Virginia Knife Collectorslocated in Falls Church, Virginia, and the Old Dominion Knife Collectors, located in Bedford, Virginia. In addition, we also have membership ties with the Mason-Dixon Knife Club, located in State Line, Pennsylvania.

Annual Knife Show

   Since its beginnings, the Shenandoah Valley Knife Collectors has existed primarily to promote the collecting of factory and custom made knives in the greater Shenandoah Valley and in the state of Virginia. One of the earliest endeavors that has helped our club achieve this goal has been our annual knife show.

   The initial idea and encouragement for this was suggested by a former memberTom Legard, of Bedford, Virginia. Although he lived roughly 120 miles from Harrisonburg, Tom was an avid collector and pocket knife repairman. He was a long-standing member of the Old Dominion Knife Collectors, and had dreamed of the opportunities that a successful knife show could offer in Virginia. His enthusiasm was contagious, and others in the club rallied around the idea. Although Tom Legard passed away in July of 1991, his dream was realized the next year.

   In April of 1992, our club held the 1st Annual Greater Shenandoah Valley Knife Show, with approximately 100 tables of  factory and custom knives. This has been one of the crowning achievements of the club, and each year the members look forward to the work necessary for the next year’s show. It is now a 200 table, 2½ day show and is held in the main building of the Rockingham County Fairgrounds on Route 11 south of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Charitable Endeavors

  The spirit of giving back to the community from our successes has been long standing tradition  of Shenandoah Valley Knife Collectors. With the proceeds from the annual knife show, our club is proud that each year we can donate generously to several worthy organizations:  Area Food Banks, Hunters for the Hungry, Boy Scouts of America, Blue Ridge Search and Rescue, and the Izaak Walton League. In addition, we have also provided aid during local or state disasters, or to individuals in need, as brought to the club’s attention.

Regular Meetings

   Meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM at the Izaak Walton League Barn. In December, our annual Christmas Banquet is held at the Wood Grill off Reservoir Road in Harrisonburg, Va.