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 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.
They 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, as well as 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.
11012 Edmonds Ln. Recurring monthly program. Settle`s Kettle. First Saturday of the month from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 540-592-3556 or visit http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows
JMU Convocation Center. JMU Pops. JMU Wind Symphony, Brass Band, Chorale and Steel Band. For more information, visit www.jmuforbescenter.com
412 W. King St. Rabbit Saves the Day, Based on the story Sody Sallyratus. Runs Sept. 10 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
128 East Martin St. Rock Of Ages. Community Theatre productions. Shows on Sept. 23, 24, 25, 30, and Oct. 1 and 2. For more information, call 304-263-6766.
9357 N. Congress Street. My Fair Lady. Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14-16. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit www.schultztheatre.com
780 University Blvd. Sept. Every Saturday, through Oct. 22, 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. All levels. Bring your own mat, water and towel. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum
JMU Godwin Field. Oct. 1-2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sale closes with the football game kickoff. JMU Colors Annual Bulb Collection, plus selection of other bulb varieties. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum
Goodson Chapel - Recital Hall, 1400 L.P. Hill Dr. A musical adaptation of the seminal play, Spring Awakening reveals the angst and frustration of teenage life. Oct. 1 at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Oct. 2 at 2:30 p.m., Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. Admission: $20. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs
101 Maury River Drive. Sept. 26-Oct 2. For More Information, call 540-261-7321 or visit www.glenmaurypark.com
Parking Lot alongside Arch Ave., 215 W. Main St. Saturdays, May 7-Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.waynesborofarmersmarket.org
Headquarters: Clarke County visitor center at the Barns of Rose Hill. Clarke County Studio Tour. Oct. 1 and Oct. 2. Self-guided tour through rural Clarke County and the towns of Berryville, Bluemont, Boyce, Millwood, and White Post. Thirty artists and 22 stops located along tour route. Artist studios will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Demonstrations, refreshments, and items for sale at most stops, including woodwork and furniture. Watercolor, pastels, acrylics, and oil painting artwork. Pottery, sculpture, fiber art, jewelers, floral design, antiques and more. For more information, visit clarkecountystudiotour.com
10 S. Market St. Twelfth Night performance at 2 p.m. The Rise of Queen Margaret - Henry VI, Part 2 performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com
336 Belle Grove Road. Special events scheduled throughout 2016. Octoberfest at Historic Birdwood, 1880s home of Belle Grove family decendants. German music, food and drink. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit www.bellegrove.org
Butlers Farm Market, 1793 Dry Run Rd. Open through November 10, Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fresh produce and fruit, homemade goods, jams and local and state wines and spirits. For more information, visit www.gowhereitgrows.com
Thoburn Redoubt property, located on Bowman`s Mill Road, in Warren County. National Park Service events, held in partnership with the Shenandoah Astronomical Society and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Rain date Oct. 29. Free admission. For more information, call 540-869-3051 o visit www.nps.gov/cebe
Wharf Lot. Runs every week through November. Saturdays: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Producer-only market with fresh foods, baked goods, plants and more. Free parking available. For more information, visit www.safarmersmarket.com
Emily Smith House porch at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library at 24 North Coalter St. Saturdays from May to Oct. 10 a.m. Hosted by Historic Staunton Foundation. Includes four of six historic districts, with volunteer guide. Covers history and architecture. Approximately two hours. No reservations required. Casual dress, wear comfortable walking shoes. Rain or shine. For more information, call 540-885-7676 or visit www.historicstaunton.org
Centennial Quilt Collage: 13 art quilts, created by Fiber Works, a group of textile artists from the Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska area, celebrates National Park Service Centennial. The quilts are on a year-long tour of the 13 chosen parks. Runs during October. For more information, visit nps.gov/shen
Downtown Dayton. 36th Annual Dayton Days. Arts and crafts festival held annually on the first Saturday in October. Over 300 vendors from numerous states. Food available, shop at specialty shops, visit he Heritage Museum, tours of Fort Harrison (Daniel Harrison House c. 1749), Silver Lake Mill. Youth activities. Fred shuttle service from nearby school parking lots. Handicap-accessible, with handicap parking and restroom facilities. No bicycles, skates, skateboards. No pets except service dogs.Free admission. For more information, call 540-246-4272 or visit www.daytonva.us
Byrd Visitor Center. National Park Soundscapes. Composer Jill Haley and guitarist David Cullen perform an instrumental concert of music written about 12 National Parks, including Shenandoah National Park. The music will be performed on oboe, English horn, guitar and keyboard. For more information, visit nps.gov/shen
Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton. Weekends through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit www.ghostsofstaunton.com
Wilsons Wild Animal Park, 985 W. Parkins Mill Rd. Pumpkin patch and hayrides on weekends, through October. For more information, call 540-662-5715
Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. Wine and Trotter Festival. 4th annual event. Oct. 1 and 2. Parimutuel Harness Races on newly-renovated track. Food, crafts and wine-tastings. Up to 10 races. Gates open at 11 a.m., racing starts at 1 p.m. Tickets available online. Admission: Up to $20. For more information, visit shenandoahdowns.com
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.
Bridgewater Presbyterian Church was founded in 1878, home to a Christian faith whose roots can be traced back in America to 15th century Puritan colonists.