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.

Driving up to see the Blue Ridge foliage?
…Remember to thank the CCC
Heritage Museum in Dayton, Virginia

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.

  Happening today

Weekly open jam session Thursdays in Berryville, Va.

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

Convocation program at Bridgewater College

Carter Center for Worship and Music. Turkish music and folklore presented by Latif Bolat. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit

Art exhibition at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

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

Choral music concert at James Madision University

Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Madison Singers and JMU Chorale. For more information, visit

Flute music concert at Shenandoah University

Goodson Chapel - Recital Hall, 1400 L.P. Hill Dr. Ronn McFarlane, flute. Free admission. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit

Classical violin music concert at Shenandoah University

Armstrong Concert Hall, 702 University Dr. Professor of Music California State University, Fullerton School of Music and guest artist Ernest Salem. Admission: $20. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit

Family Picking Music Rally at Glen Maury Park in Buena Vista, Va.

101 Maury River Drive. Multi-Purpose Area. Oct 17-22. For More Information, call 540-261-7321 or visit

Weekly old-time music jam at the Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

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

Historical program at Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg, Va.

Central Library, 174 S. Main St. Annual Deyerle Program Series lecture series. Chaz Haywood, Clerk of Rockingham Circuit Court: Preservation of Historic Records at Rockingham County Courthouse. Every Thursday in October. For more information, call 540-434-4475 or visit

Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Twelfth Night performance at 10:30 a.m. Talk-back performance. King Lear performance at 7:30 p.m. Talk-back performance. Inside Plays workshop at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit

Apple Harvest Festival in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival. Oct. 20-23. Queen Pomona, Grand Feature Parade, arts and crafts, live music, car shows, agricultural tours, contests and more. Family friendly. For more information, visit

Film screening at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W Main St. On Screen In Person Series, Screening and filmmaker discussion: You Belong to Me. independent documentary. Admission: $10 for adults , $7 for students. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit

Civil War history program at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

336 Belle Grove Rd. Belle Grove Plantation front yard. Belle Grove in a Box. 30 minute interactive orientation for all ages about the history and settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War on the Valley. Various props from a box to visually interpret surrounding landscape features. Oct. 23 and 30 at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 20-22, 24-16, 28-29, and Oct. 31 at 11:30 a.m. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit

Halloween festival in downtown Winchester, Va.

537 N. Cameron St. Devils Den Haunted Attraction. Daily throughout October, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit

Click here to see more things to do...


You’ve just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA.
“The daughter of the stars.” 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.

State Arboreum at Blandy Experimental Farm

Since 1927, Blandy Experimental Farm includes 172 acres of open and wooded land with over 5,000 species of plants. Open to visitors, it's also the home of the State Arboretum of Virginia, offering a variety of nature programs, festivals and other public activities.

About Hank Zimmerman

Hank Zimmerman owns and operates Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC, publisher of by Hank Zimmerman