The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
History still a big part of everyday life in Shenandoah County

Seven Bends of the Shenandoah River in Woodstock, Va.


The 1930s Great Depression brought a new level of hardship to the American experience, where daily life could often be summed up in one word: Desperation.

The U.S. economy was on the ropes after 1929 and by the early 1930s, many American workers had gone from the assembly line to breadlines or marching in union picket lines. Poverty was everywhere.

By 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s answer to the crisis was the New Deal. That program included a national citizen’s relief effort that, among other governmental actions taken, resulted in the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC.

The CCC provided hundreds of thousands of unemployed men with a way off the streets and into military-style work camps whose locations were spread all across the country. The camps were open only to males.

The sites were headquarters for supervised work crews that labored on a variety of public works projects, including the Shenandoah Valley’s Shenandoah National Park and its ambitious Skyline Drive mountain roadway.

The CCC “boys,” as the camp enrollees were called at the time, led a vigorous outdoor life. The camps insulated them from the danger of falling into a state of hopelessness, with no future to look to back home, and kept them away from various sorts of prevailing disreputable behaviors and unhealthy temptations.

Most importantly, they could work hard and send their pay money back to needy families. Whenever they left the camps for good, they often took along newly-acquired job skills. The CCC program continued until the outbreak of World War II.

The very first CCC camp, Camp Roosevelt, had been built on one side of a forested mountain ridge, in eastern Shenandoah County, Va. On the other side, Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park were waiting to be built.

Driving up to see the Blue Ridge foliage?
…Remember to thank the CCC
Heritage Museum in Dayton, Virginia

Spectacular mountaintop fall scenery has always been here, but it wasn’t always so accessible. The National Park Service celebrated its hundredth birthday this year. It brings to mind the Civilian Conservation Corps “boys” who built Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive and other public works during the 1930s. The first CCC camp in the nation, Camp Roosevelt, was located right here.

  Happening today

Music and Dancing in Raphine, Va.

Clarks Ole Time Music Center, located at Clarks Lumber Co., 1288 Ridge Road. longtime Friday-night tradition of old-time music and dance from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission: $8 per person, $15 per couple. For more information, call 540-377-2490.

Guided walking tours in downtown Lexington, Va.

Meet at the Lexington Visitor Center. Every Friday at 3 p.m., from April through November. Rain or shine. No reservations required. Wear comfortable shoes. For more information, call 540-463-3777.

New Market Farmers Market in New Market, Va.

Behind the 7-Eleven store at I-81 interchange. Fridays from May 13 through October from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 540-740-3432 or visit

Theater production at Shultz Theater and Performing Arts Center in New Market, Va.

9357 N. Congress Street. The Elves and the Shoemaker. Oct. 28-Oct. 31. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit

Fall theater production at Bridgewater College

Cole Hall. The Green Bird. Romance. Oct. 27 - 29 at 8 p.m., 3 p.m. on Oct. 30. Tickets: $10 adults, $8 non-BC students and senior citizens. For more information, call 540-828-5631 or visit

Art exhibition in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen St. Berkeley Arts Council Teaching Artist Judith Becker Original Paintings: Original watercolor, color pencil, and mixed media works. Runs through Nov. 5. Gallery hours: Wednesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4. p.m. For more information, call 304-620-7277 or visit

Theater production at Shenandoah University

Goodson Chapel - Recital Hall, 1400 L.P. Hill Dr. The Typists - The Root of Chaos. Two distinct styles of twentieth century theater in one, back-to-back program. Free admission. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit

Guided Civil War Walking Tours in Winchester, Va.

Loudoun St. Walking Mall. Meet guide at 2 N. Cameron St. Hosted by Old Town Winchester. Every Friday through October. Reservations required. Admission: $5. For more information, call 540-542-1326 or visit

Youth Art exhibition at James Madison University

Memorial Hall. Ninth year. Runs through Dec. 14, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artwork by local public and provide school students in all grades. Supported by JMU College of Education. Free admission.

Halloween season festival at Jellystone Park in Natural Bridge, Va.

The Haunted Trail at Jellystone Park at Natural Bridge, 16 Recreation Lane. Meet outside the Rec Center. Haunted Hay Ride. Oct. 28, and 29, 7:30-10 p.m. Rides run every 30 minutes. Appropriate for younger children. Family friendly. Tickets: $4. For more information, visit

Halloween season festival in Berryville, Va.

Meet in front of the Fire House Gallery at 23 East Main St. Historic Walking Ghost Tours. Oct. 28 and Oct. 30, from 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Includes Halloween Scavenger Hunt for youth. Family friendly. Reservations required. Tickets: $12, one parent admitted free for scavenger hunt. For more information, call 540-955-4001 or visit

Civil War history program in Staunton, Va.

Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. 2016 Annual Meeting, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. Staunton and The Civil War. Pre-meeting tour of Civil War map-maker home. Meeting includes historical lecture, SVBNHD meeting and award presentations. Reception follows meeting. Tickets: $20. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or visit

Historic firearms exhibit at Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market, Va.

8895 George Collins Parkway. New exhibit in 2016: The Kaminsky Gallery of Civil War Firearms. Display of rare firearms made during 1850 to 1865. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 1-866-515-1864 or visit

Halloween farm festival in Winchester, Va.

Hill High Farm, 933 Barley Lane. Haunted House and Corn Maze. Runs through Oct. 31. Indoor haunted attraction, hayrides, pumpkin patch and corn maze. For more information, call 540-667-7377 or visit

Meditation program at Mary Baldwin University

Miller Chapel. Anna Vanhoy, LCSW. Mindfulness Meditation Hour. Oct. 28. Nov. 4, 11, 18. Dec. 2, 9. Open sessions from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Free admission, open to the public.

Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. The Rise of Queen Margaret - Henry VI, Part 2 performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit

Halloween season festival in Harrisonburg, Va.

Downtown. Haunted Harrisonburg Ghost Tours. Meet in the parking lot behind the Hardesty-Higgins House tourist center at 212 S. Main St. at 7 p.m. Oct. 28-Oct. 31.
 Reservations required. Admission: $10 per adult, $5 for ages 10 and under. For more information, visit

Dance music concert at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 West Main St. Who`s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience, tribute concert show. Tickets: $30 and $35. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit

Art exhibition in Staunton, Va.

Co-Art Gallery, 22 West Beverley St. Charlottesville artist Julia Lesnichy. Exhibition runs Oct. 28 through Nov. 24.

Guided tours in Staunton, Va.

Meet at Staunton Visitors Center. Guided trolley and walking tours. Year-round. For more information, call 540-208-1741 or visit

Ghost tours in Staunton, Va.

Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton. Weekends through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit

Pop music concert at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W Main St. Who`s Bad - The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience. Admission: $30-$35. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit

Civil War history program at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

336 Belle Grove Rd. Belle Grove Plantation front yard. Belle Grove in a Box. 30 minute interactive orientation for all ages about the history and settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War on the Valley. Various props from a box to visually interpret surrounding landscape features. Oct. 30 at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 28-29, and Oct. 31 at 11:30 a.m. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit

Halloween festival in downtown Winchester, Va.

537 N. Cameron St. Devils Den Haunted Attraction. Daily throughout October, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit

Battle of Cedar Creek Battlefield Tour in Middletown, Va.

Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main St.Two-hour, guided car-caravan tour led by ranger vehicle: Chronological interpretation of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Stops at key landmarks. Presented by Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Oct 28-29 at 2 p.m.  For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit

Weekend Pumpkin Patch and Hayrides in Winchester, Va.

Wilsons Wild Animal Park, 985 W. Parkins Mill Rd. Pumpkin patch and hayrides on weekends, through October. For more information, call 540-662-5715

Halloween outdoor festival weekends in Winchester, Va.

West Oaks Farm Market, Middle Road, next to Orchard View Elementary School. Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. Runs through Oct. 31. Bring a flashlight for the maze at dark. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. For more information, call 540-662-6622 or visit

Halloween festival in Middletown, Va.

Historic Larricks Tavern, 7793 Main St. Escape the Brass Key Tavern: discover clues and complete puzzles, solve the mystery before time runs out. Runs through Oct. 31, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, call 540-508-2443

Ghost tours at Old Town Winchester in Winchester, Va.
1400 S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Haunted History Ghost Tours. Oct 28, 29, and 31 at 6 p.m. Guided tours of historic buildings. For more information, call 540-542-1326
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You’ve just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA.
“The daughter of the stars.” is owned and operated by Shenandoah Valley Productions, a little “mom-and-pop” business, but one that’s located right here in the region. Our mission has long been to showcase the area’s visual beauty, unique “Valley” people and culture and, of course, some really, really rich history.

We first fell in love with Virginia in 1970, courtesy of the U.S. Navy, stationed in Norfolk. That was the year Virginia officially declared itself “for lovers.” But for us, the real love affair started in 1977, when we first visited the Shenandoah Valley on our wedding night. We moved here a year later, and well ...we are still here!

So it’s kind of a long story how we got from 1978 to this website, but here it is.

Website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras. Words alone may not really describe the place.

Our regional events listings are always up to date, and we’re not really selling anything on here. In fact, we get no outside funding, but are wholly independent. Like many of our friends and neighbors who also feel blessed to live here, free and independent, surrounded by peace and beauty.

Each month we head out to some part of this diverse region and do a feature story and travel video about it -- some cool event, piece of history or special place that makes the name "Shenandoah" so uniquely known worldwide.

So, come and set a spell, and please also consider making a donation. Either way, we’re glad you stopped by. Come on back to see us again!

Oh, and please visit our Facebook page, too.

Country road near Mount Jackson, Virginia

Mount Jackson is located in Shenandoah County, surrounded by rural farmland and small villages along scenic backroads.

About Charles Oliver

Charles Oliver has been involved with fine art professionally since 1969 when he returned home from Vietnam and the Marine Corps. During the early 70s he worked as an art consultant to fine artists and exhibited his works in many shows in the Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York areas. In 1976, he started his commercial art career and continued to do fine art in his spare time. In 2007 he returned to full-time pursuit of fine arts after moving to a mountaintop home in Mt. Jackson, Virginia. by Charles Oliver