Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 460.
Harrisonburg, the county-seat, is 122 miles northwesterly from Richmond, 25 from Staunton, and 40 from Charlottesville. The town was established in May, 1780, and named from Thomas Harrison, who had laid out 50 acres of his land into streets and lots. It contains 8 mercantile stores, 2 newspaper printing-offices, a market, 1 Methodist, and 2 Presbyterian churches, and about 1100 inhabitants. There is a fine spring of water on the public square, neatly enclosed. The village is handsomely built, flourishing, and is surrounded by a beautiful and fertile country.