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.
Memorial Hall. Ninth Annual Area Youth Art Exhibition. Runs July 1-Dec. 14. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artwork by K-12 students from Harrisonburg Public Schools, Woodland Montessori School and Redeemer Classical School. Supported by JMU College of Education. Free admission. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu
Stimpson Auditorium. Hollows, Peepers and Highlanders, with George Constantz. Photographic exploration of the mysteries and histories of Appalachian plants and wildlife. Hosted by Blandy Experimental Farm. Presented in partnership with Shenandoah University`s Dept. of Environmental Studies and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Admission: $10 Foundation and FONZ Members, $12 non-members. SU students and staff: Free admission. For more information, call 540-837-1758, extension 224 or visit blandy.virginia.edu
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 www.bridgewater.edu
Blandy Library. Fourth Thursday of the month, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Participants should read book before then meeting. Free admission. For more information, visit blandy.virginia.edu.
Fire House Gallery, 23 East Main St. Lunchbox Jam Session at 12 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call 540-955-4001 or visit www.firehousegalleryva.com
Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. The Milk Carton Kids. Folk music. For more information, visit www.jmuforbescenter.com
780 University Blvd. Frances Plecker Education Center. Art in the Arboretum: Martha Crider Henderson, Shenandoah Valley artist. Runs Sept. 9 through Oct. 31 , 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Free admission. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum
Location: Stimpson Auditorium, Halpin-Harrison Hall, Shenandoah University. George Constantz, Author and Ecologist: Hollows, Peepers and Highlanders. Co-sponsored by the Shenandoah University Department of Environmental Studies and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Adaptation of organisms in the Appalachian ecosystem. State Arboretum Foundation members and Friends of the National Zoo members: $10. Non-members: $12. Reservations required. For more information, call 540-837-1758, extension 224 or visit blandy.virginia.edu
95 Chalmers Ct. Every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Play old-time music, or just listen. Family friendly event. Barns bar open untill 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.
10 S. Market St. King Lear performance at 10:30 a.m. Talk-back performance. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson performance at 7:30 p.m. Talk-back performance. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com
Central Library, 174 S. Main St. Annual Deyerle Program Series lecture series. Local architect Charles Hendricks: Restoring and Renovating the Chesapeake and Western Train Depot in Harrisonburg. Every Thursday in October. For more information, call 540-434-4475 or visit www.mrlib.org
Skyland Resort, on Skyline Drive at mile 41.7 and 42.5. So, You Want To Be An Astrophotographer? Learn the basics of how to photograph Shenandoah National Park and its night skies. For more information, call 1-877-847-1919 or visit www.goshenandoah.com/activities-events.
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
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!
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Old building ruins are discovered when exploring the Harpers Ferry historic district on foot