(SNP 106) Zenith Shifflett Sampson interviewed by Chris Brasted, transcribed by Tiffany Cole - RESTRICTED


(SNP 106) Zenith Shifflett Sampson interviewed by Chris Brasted, transcribed by Tiffany Cole - RESTRICTED


Zenith Sampson



Sampson, Zenith,




1 audio file (running time: 1:02:01) :

Interview Number


Location of Interview

Mrs. Sampson's home in Ruckersville, Va.

Date of Interview



Records an interview with Zenith Sampson, (née Shifflett), who lived on Lewis Mountain, in Greene County, Virginia, within the future boundaries of Shenandoah National Park. Describes daily life in the mountains, touching on the work of growing and preserving food, the apple and chestnut harvests, bark peeling, and other local economic activities. Recalls popular community events, such as apple butter boilings, quilting and bean stringing parties, church gatherings and barn dances. Mrs. Sampson also recollects the earliest days of Skyline Drive and the impact it had on various mountain communities. At the time of the interview, Chris Brasted was an editor for the Greene County Record newspaper. His interview with Zenith Sampson was the basis for his Life in the Mountains article published in the newspaper on April 1, 1993. A photocopy facsimile of the article is included with the transcript.

For access to this interview, please contact JMU Special Collections (library-special@jmu.edu, or (540) 568-3612). Please reference the interview number SNP 106 when submitting your request.


Reproduction for publication, exhibition, web display or commercial use is only permissible with the consent of James Madison University's Libraries & Educational Technologies' Special Collections (540) 568-3612, library-special@jmu.edu.

Personal Names

Sampson, Zenith, 1922-1994, Interviews

Family Names

Sampson family; Shifflett family


Mountain people -- Blue Ridge Mountains -- Social life and customs; Mountain life -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) – History; Mountain people -- Virginia -- Shenandoah National Park -- Social life and customs; Rural poor – Virginia; Country life -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Bark peeling – Virginia; Food habits -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Holidays -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) – History; Funeral rites -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Land use -- Government policy -- United States.

Place Names

Greene County (Va.) – History; Lewis Mountain (Va.) – History; Skyline Drive (Va.) – History; Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Manners and customs; Shenandoah National Park (Va.) -- History, Local.


Brasted, Chris


Cole, Tiffany T

Collection Title

Shenandoah National Park oral history collection

Collection Number

SC# 4030