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.

The Season of Peace and Goodwill to All
Shenandoah Valley battlefield

Once again, the Shenandoah Valley settles in for the Holidays. Special music concerts and shows bring joy, town and city parades and festivals bring folks of all ages together, faith is renewed. It’s true that the nights are the longest this month, but rest assured that they are brighter than ever here in the Valley. From the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, a wish for the most blessed of Seasons, and hope and good cheer for 2018.

  Happening today

Fishing event in Edinburg, Va.

Murrays Fly Shop, 121 S. Main St. Mastering Trout Fishing. Two-hour workshop. Find the best streams, tactics, and flies for fishing in SNP. Instruction follows book about this topic. Learn about the seasonal hatches of the aquatic insects and how to select the specific artificial flies to match. How to select proper equipment. Admission: $20 per person. For more information, call 540-984-4212 or visit

Bluemont Contra Dances in Hillsboro, Va.

Hillsboro Old Stone School, 37098 Charles Town Pike. Third Saturday of each month, through May.  New and experienced dancers: old-time square and contra dancing with live band. Instruction and figure calling. Beginners workshop at 7:30 p.m. Families, single dancers welcome. Admission: $12 per person, $8 for Bluemont Friends, students, and seniors, $5 for ages 12 and under, ages 3 and under admitted free. For more information, call 540-955-8186 or visit

Theater production at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Richard II. Opening performance. Hosted by American Shakespeare Center. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit

Theater performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Hamlet. Opening performance. Hosted by American Shakespeare Center. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit

Walking tour in Winchester, Va.

Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, 20 N. Loudoun St. Meet in front of the Old Court House Civil War Museum. Plaid Friday Walking Tour. Historical highlights of downtown area. Admission: $10. Ages under 12 admitted free. For more information, call 540-542-1326 or visit

Weekly dining festival in Harrisonburg, Va.

Visitor Center at Hardesty Higgins House, 212 S. Main St. Rocktown Bites Food Regular Tour. Saturdays at 2 p.m., 2.5 hours. Sample food, drink including craft beer and Virginia wines, at five independent restaurants, food shops, and local businesses. For more information, visit

Theater production at Winchester Little Theatre in Winchester, Va.

315 W Boscawen St. Tickets For Good People. Comedy. Jan. 12 - 21. For more information, call 540-662-3331 or visit

Bimonthly historical tours at Handley Regional Library in Winchester, Va.

100 W. Piccadilly St. History and architecture tours of the library. First Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and third Saturdays at 1 p.m. of each month For more information, call 540-662-9041 or visit

Walking tours in Staunton, Va.
Staunton Visitor Center, 35 South New St. Staunton Guided Tours. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. Guide available on-call daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 540-885-2430 or visit
Battlefield foundation annual meeting in Luray, Va.

Mimslyn Inn. Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation Annual Meeting and 2018 Preservation Ball. Col. Keith E. Gibson, SVBF CEO Keven Walker, speakers. Awards ceremony. Period dancers, music  and more. Refreshments available.  Tickets: $35 for individual tickets, $60 for couples, applies to membership. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or visit

Guided downtown tours in Staunton, Va.

Staunton Visitor Center, 35 South New St. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. Guide on call every day from 10 a.m, to 4 p.m. For more information, call 540-885-2430 or visit

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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.”

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.

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Natural Chimneys in Mt. Solon, Virginia

This natural wonder formed out of limestone rock that began to harden about 500 million years ago. The natural towers are now the site of a park and campground.

About Manny Jose

Manny Jose has loved the Shenandoah Valley since the mid-1970s when he came to the area as a university student. He moved back to the Valley permanently in 1999. Subsequently, since 2012, he has been passionately taking photographs to capture the scenic beauty, rich history, unique people groups and cultures, and current happenings in the Valley. by Manny Jose