Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Shenandoah National Park: Remembering

Home of a mountain family who will be resettled on new land 

Photographer Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985) was just 20 years old when he came to Shenandoah National Park in October, 1935, on assignment with the Resettlement Administration. His pictures of the land and of the people who would soon be removed from the land document a way of life that would disappear forever.

At the time of the park's creation, little thought was given to preserving the story of the mountain folks who were removed from their homes. Most of the houses and farm buildings were dismantled and the material used in the construction of resettlement housing.  Some were left to rot away as the forests reclaimed the clearings. In October, 2000, a forest fire started by an arsonist burned across 24,000 acres in the parks Central District, destroying all but a few of the remaining historical artifacts.

Dicee Corbin's cabin

House in Nicholson Hollow

Mountain cabin, Corbin Hollow

(All photographs were taken in  October, 1935 by Arthur Rothstein and are archived in the Library of Congress. Captions are from the LOC catalog.)


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