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.Read more...
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.
204 N George St. Sherlock Holmes, the Final Adventure. Mystery. Shows on Oct. 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., $22 for adults. Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m., $22 for adults. Agues up to 17: $15. Student ages 18-25 and ages 65 and older: $25 for all shows. For more information, call 304-725-4420 or visit www.oldoperahouse.org
Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. JMU Symphony Orchestra. For more information, visit www.jmuforbescenter.com
11012 Edmonds Ln. Fall Farm Days - Rest and Rejuvenation Weekend. Oct. 22 and 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dogs welcome, 5k Trail Run, mountain biking, pony rides scavenger hunt, live music, BBQ and other food available. Pick a pumpkin, visit corn maze, historic house tours and more. Admission: $5 parking charge. For more information, call 540-592-3556 or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows
412 W. King St. Rabbit Saves the Day, Based on the story Sody Sallyratus. Runs through Oct 30, every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Doors open 12:40 p.m. Pre-show activities. Admission: $6 for ages two years and older, under age two admitted free. For more information, call 304-258-4074 or visit www.wondermentpuppets.com
Goodson Chapel - Recital Hall, 1400 L.P. Hill Dr. Featuring the student winners of the 2016 Bach-Handel Festival Competition. Admission: $15. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs
Oct. 23 and 29 at 12 p.m. 45 minute program examines Shenandoah Valley military campaigns and battles, and their effect upon the local communities. For more information, call 540-869-3051.
Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 620 Millwood Ave. Shenandoah Conservators dance division presents performs original works by faculty and guest choreographers. Contemporary ballet set to Britten`s A Ceremony of Carols, performed in collaboration with Cantus Singers and solo harp. Admission: $15. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs
Sunday Recital Series: Clement Acevedo, Piano. Tickets: $5. $4 for seniors and non-MBU students. Free admission for faculty, staff, and students. For more information, visit www.marybaldwin.edu/arts/music
487 Maury River Road, East Complex. Baroque Equestrian Games 2016 Competition, Expo and Grand Gala. Oct. 21 - Oct. 23, 9 a.m. Lectures and classes: ground work, classical schooling, mounted maneuvers, musical freestyles. Family friendly. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 352 502-5422 or visit VirginiaHorseCenter.org
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 www.thepumpkin-patch.net
10 S. Market St. The Importance of Being Earnest. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.
Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival. Oct. 20-23. Queen Pomona, Grand Feature Parade, arts and crafts, live music, car shows, agricultural tours, contests and more. Family friendly. For more information, visit www.msahf.com
Family Drive-In Theater, 5890 Valley Pk. Trunk or Treat and Costume Contest. Trunk or treat from car to car, costume contest, hayrides, bounce house, magic shows, pumpkin painting, and seasonal movies. For more information, call 540-514-6145 or visit www.thefamilydriveintheatre.com
Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton. Weekends through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit www.ghostsofstaunton.com
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. 23 and 30 at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24-16, 28-29, and Oct. 31 at 11:30 a.m. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe
537 N. Cameron St. Devils Den Haunted Attraction. Daily throughout October, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit visitwinchesterva.com/events
Wilsons Wild Animal Park, 985 W. Parkins Mill Rd. Pumpkin patch and hayrides on weekends, through October. For more information, call 540-662-5715
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 www.westoaksfarm-market.com
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
ShenandoahValley.com 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.
Hugh Morrison Jr. photographed the people and places of Shenandoah County, Virginia, during the first half of the 1900s, until 1950. He compiled an immense body of work, now archived by the Shenandoah County Historical Society. The collection includes more than 25,000 digital images.