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.
A Savory Taste of Winchester. Six different tastings will be included on each lunch or dinner tour. Evening Tours available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. Adult Tickets: $54.95 each ages 13 years and up. Youth Tickets: $32.50 each ages 8-12 years. Child Tickets: $12.50 each ages years and under. Group rates available. Reservations required. Admission: $9.99. For more information, call 540-827-9948.
Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen St. Fourth Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit. From eastern W.Va. panhandle region counties. Runs through Nov. 5. Oct. 14 reception from 5-7 p.m. 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 artworks.berkeleyartsWV.org
Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium, 1460 University Dr. Leonard (Len) Shapiro, former reporter, editor and columnist for The Washington Post. For more information, call 540-665-4572 or visit su.edu
116 North Queen St. Back Space gallery. 2016 Eastern West Virginia Juried Art Exhibit. Runs Oct. 5 through Nov. 5. Original watercolor, color pencil, and mixed media works. Reception Oct. 14, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.berkeleyartswv.org/artworks
10 S. Market St. Twelfth Night performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com m.
I Believe in Democracy. Presidential politics from a historical perspective, comparing the 1916 U.S. presidential election. Runs through Nov. 8. For more information, visit www.woodrowwilson.org
Blue Sky Bakery, 16 Lee Ave. Live bluegrass music every Wednesday morning. Bring a musical instrument to jam with, or just listen.
Wharf Lot. Runs every week hrough 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
131 W. German St. Wicked Wednesday series: Humorous Horror. Wicked Wednesday series: Humorous Horror. 1986. 8 p.m., Rocky Horror Picture Show. 1975. Donatations benefit Opera House Preservation Fund. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 304-876-3704 or visit www.operahouselive.com
Entler Hotel, 129 E. German St. American Conservation Film Festival. Thirty conservation films from around the world on topics ranging from agriculture to climate change to wildlife. Meet filmmakers and experts, take workshops, debate issues, vote for the winner. For more information, visit conservationfilm.org
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.
The Edinburg Mill survived the Burning of the Shenandoah Valley in 1864, now a museum and visitor center in Edinburg, Virginia