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.
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
55 Kennedy-Wades Mill Road. Apple butter-making, blacksmithing, pottery, wood turning, basket weaving, bread baking and more. Live bluegrass music at 12 p.m. Family friendly. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-348-1400 or visit www.facebook.com/WadesMill
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
Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 620 Millwood Ave. Shenandoah Conservators dance division presents performs original works by faculty and guest choreographers. Oct. 22 at 8 p.m., Oct. 23 at 2:30 p.m. 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
131 W German St. Wicked Wednesday series: 6 p.m., Frankenstein. 1931. 7:30 p.m., Young Frankenstein. 1974. Free admission, donations accepted. For more information, call 304-876-370 or visit www.operahouselive.com
Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 620 Millwood Ave. The U.S. Army Blue,s part of the United States Army Band Pershing`s Own. Also features winners of the Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Soloist Competition for aspiring high school students. Tickets: $15. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs
Goodson Chapel - Recital Hall, 1400 L.P. Hill Dr. Elena Mullins, dancer and soprano, David McCormick, violin, David Ellis, cello, and Jennifer Streeter, harpsichord. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs
780 University Blvd. Sept. All levels. Bring your own mat, water and towel. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum
780 University Blvd. Frances Plecker Education Center. Remarkable Trees Field Trip, Remarkable Trees Field Trip. Group tour to United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. Free admission. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum
Rockbridge County High School, 143 Greenhouse Road. Fall and holiday craft fair. Live entertainment, youth activities, food available, community displays, pumpkin-related activities. Benefits local career and technical education programs. Family friendly. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 863-242-3837 or visit www.rockbridgepumpkinfestival.org
Marker-Miller Orchards, 3035 Cedar Grade. Pumpkin pie, rolls, bars and donuts. For more information, call 540-662-1980 or visit ww.markermillerorchards.com.
Paul Roth of the historic John Kline Homestead, located in Broadway Va. discusses Elder John Kline`s medical and pastoral care of Civil War solders in New Market. No registration required. Free admission. For more information, visit countylib.org
95 Chalmers Ct. Magic Carpet Ride. Also featuring Miramar, from the Winchester, Va. area. Documentaries about belly dancing and more. Admission: $20 in advance $25 at the door, ages 12 and under admitted free.. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit barnsofrosehill.org
15 N Loudoun St. Cecile McLorin Salvant. For more information, call 540-665-2878 or visit www.brightboxwinchester.com
10 S. Market St. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson performance at 2 p.m. King Lear performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com
173 Skirmisher Lane. Lord Fairfax Community College Center for Civil War History Fall 2016 Seminar and Tour. Morning lecture and afternoon carpool tour of local Civil War historical sites. Involves walking over uneven terrain. Bring your own lunch. Limited availability. Reservations required. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or visit shenandoahatwar.org
Downtown. Skeleton Festival. Blends aspects of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Trick-or-treating at downtown businesses 2-4 p.m., all-ages party at the Turner Pavilion and Park 4-9 p.m. Kid, dog, and adult costume contests, face painting, fire dancing, food trucks, live music, a community ofrenda, video art, trunk or treating, wacky shacks, goober blobs and whisker biscuits. Reservations required. For more information, visit www.skeletonfestival.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
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
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
Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton. Weekends through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit www.ghostsofstaunton.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.
Belle Grove Plantation is a 1797 manor house at the Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown, Virginia. Now a National Historic Landmark, Virginia Historic Landmark, and a National Trust for Historic Preservation historic property.