Winchester is a small independent city of nearly 30,000 residents, located in Frederick County, in the famed Shenandoah Valley, in the northwestern corner of Virginia. Winchester was first settled by Quakers and Colonists in the 1700s, on land originally inhabited by several notable Native American tribes. It served as an important frontier city and counted George Washington among its visitors during the French and Indian War; it also served as a key strategic position for the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Winchester was named by Colonel James Wood, the first town clerk, who had come from Winchester, England. Winchester is a beautiful and very historic city, and contains a plethora of sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the entire Old Town section. Its downtown encompasses a charming pedestrian mall with boutique shops, gourmet restaurants, and beautiful landscaping. Winchester is notable for many reasons. It was the original site of Capitol Records Distribution Corporation, and was home to many notable residents including Admiral Richard Byrd, the pioneering polar explorer; Patsy Cline, a country music vocalist; and John Kirby, a musician in the Big Band Hall of Fame.