Creating Shenandoah National Park

Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park
Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park

President Herbert Hoover donated his 164-acre fishing camp for inclusion within Shenandoah National Park. He notified William E. Carson, chairman of the Virginia State Conservation and Development Commission, in 1929 of his plans:1

...when the park becomes public property it will be desirable that no private property should be held within its boundaries.

Old Rag resident when Shenandoah National Park was created
Old Rag resident when Shenandoah National Park was created
Source: Library of Congress, Wife and child of squatter, Old Rag, Virginia (by Arthur Rothstein, 1935)

Many of the old roads that once crossed the Blue Rige or connected homesteads have been converted into hiking, horse, and fire trails. Today, a hiker who walks the 500 trails that lead in and out of Shenandoah National Park can earn membership in the Shen500 club. A new member in 2019 identified Leading Ridge near the Pinnacles picnic area as the hardest to hike in the park, because it had an extraordinarily steep 31% grade.2

the trees in the Eastern deciduous forest turn colors along the Skyline Drive each Fall
the trees in the Eastern deciduous forest turn colors along the Skyline Drive each Fall
Source: Virginia Department of Transportation, Fall colors on the Skyline Drive

owner of Skyland Resort, George Freeman Pollock (right) with the superintendent of Shenandoah National Park, James R. Lasiter (left) in 1936
owner of Skyland Resort, George Freeman Pollock (right) with the superintendent of Shenandoah National Park, James R. Lasiter (left) in 1936
Source: National Park Service, HPC_000189

Links

Blue Ridge mountaineers made baskets for sale to tourists after creation of Shenandoah National Park
Blue Ridge mountaineers made baskets for sale to tourists after creation of Shenandoah National Park
Source: Library of Congress, Settlers weaving baskets, Virginia (by Arthur Rothstein, 1935)

mountain cabin occupied when Shenandoah National Park was established

mountain cabin occupied when Shenandoah National Park was established
mountain cabin occupied when Shenandoah National Park was established
Source: Library of Congress, Home of Bailey Nicholson, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia and second image (by Arthur Rothstein, 1935)

the community of Nethers was disrupted when Shenandoah National Park was established
the community of Nethers was disrupted when Shenandoah National Park was established
Source: Library of Congress, Post office at Nethers. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia (by Arthur Rothstein, 1935)

References

1. "Letter Proposing Incorporation of Camp Rapidan Into the Shenandoah National Park," President Herbert Hoover, August 2, 1929, posted online by The American Presidency Project, University of California - Santa Barbara, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=21885 (last checked December 8, 2017)
2. "Reaching the peak of Shenandoah 500," Greene County News, November 21, 2019, https://www.dailyprogress.com/greenenews/news/reaching-the-peak-of-shenandoah/article_5dbfcdfa-0bcd-11ea-9ded-5f1f3f9638b8.html (last checked December 4, 2019)

farming the thin soil in Corbin Hollow, 1935
farming the thin soil in Corbin Hollow, 1935
Source: Library of Congress, Home of Fannie Corbin, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. House on Corbin Hollow farm (by Arthur Rothstein, 1935)

Corbin Hollow barn, 1935
Corbin Hollow barn, 1935
Source: Library of Congress, Barn on Corbin Hollow farm, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia (by Arthur Rothstein, 1935)

ruins of a former cabin in Corbin Hollow
ruins of a former cabin in Corbin Hollow
Source: Library of Congress, Corbin Hollow ruins, Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia (by John Vachon, 1937)

moving corn via sled rather than a wheeled wagon, 1935
moving corn via sled rather than a wheeled wagon, 1935
Source: Library of Congress, One of the Nicholson men hauling a load of cornstalks to the valley on a rude sled, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia (by Arthur Rothstein, 1935)

one tunnel was constructed for Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park
one tunnel was constructed for Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park
Source: National Archives, Tunnel near Panorama on Skyline Drive in Virginia


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