By Katrina M. Powell

With the Commonwealth of Virginia's Public Park Condemnation Act of 1928, the
nation surveyed for and bought 3 thousand tracts of land that may turn into Shenandoah
nationwide Park. The Commonwealth condemned the houses of 5 hundred households in order that their land
should be "donated" to the government and positioned below the auspices of the nationwide Park
provider. triggered through the condemnation in their land, the citizens begun writing letters to
nationwide Park and different govt officers to barter their rights and to request various
prone, estate, and harvests. more often than not represented within the well known media as lawless,
illiterate, and incompetent, those mountaineers turn out themselves differently during this poignant
selection of letters. The historical past instructed via the citizens themselves either provides to and counters
the tale that's quite often approved approximately them.

These letters are
housed within the Shenandoah nationwide Park files in Luray, Virginia, which was once opened in brief to
the general public from 2000 to 2002, yet then closed because of loss of investment. this feature of roughly
a hundred and fifty of those letters, of their entirety, makes those records on hand back not just to the
public but additionally to students, researchers, and others attracted to the region's background, in the
politics of the park, and within the family tree of the households. Supplementing the letters are
introductory textual content, pictures, annotation, and oral histories that additional rfile the lives
of those individuals.

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"Answer at Once": Letters of Mountain Families in Shenandoah National Park, 1934-1938 by Katrina M. Powell


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