James Burner



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Burner, James B.




1 audio file (running time: 1:55:15)

Interview Number


Location of Interview

Page County, Virginia

Date of Interview



Records the reminiscences of James Burner, who was born in Page County, Virginia, not far from the future site of Shenandoah National Park. Mr. Burner served in the Civilian Conservation Corps, (CCC), during the construction of the park and later became a park ranger in the National Park Service. Describes his experiences working with local mountaineer men in the CCC camps, their history and social conditions in the 1930s. Mr. Burner refers to numerous local mountain families and prominent individuals involved in the creation of the park. Topics include mountain agriculture and wildlife, folk music and dancing, traditional medicines, clothing, schooling, feuds and moonshiners. Mr. Burner was present at the founding of the first CCC camps in Virginia and discusses them in great detail. As a naturalist and conservationist, he discusses the local flora and fauna of the region in great depth as well. Identifies numerous local plant and animal species and their habitats. Comments on early efforts to rebuild the local deer population while reducing the number of wild bears. Comments on the social and economic effects of the Chestnut Blight of the 1930s on local families.


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Personal Names

Burner, James B., 1915-1996

Family Names

Burner family


Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.) -- Virginia -- Shenandoah National Park – History; Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.). Camp NP-1 -- Shenandoah National Park (Va.) -- History; Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.). Company 334 (Va.) -- History; Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.). Camp NP-2 -- Shenandoah National Park (Va.) -- History; Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.). Company 350 (Va.) – History; 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; Agriculture -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Food habits -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Traditional medicine -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.); Manners and customs -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.); Folk music -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.); Forest products industry -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History; Land use -- Government policy -- Virginia; Funeral rites and ceremonies -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Distilling, Illicit -- Virginia; Chestnut blight; Clothing and dress -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) – History.

Place Names

Skyline Drive (Va.) – History; Appalachian Trail – History; Page County (Va.) – History; Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Manners and customs; Shenandoah National Park (Va.) -- History, Local


Smith, Dorothy Noble, 1915-1999


Bradley, Peggy C.

Collection Title

Shenandoah National Park oral history collection

Collection Number

SdArch SNP

Streaming Media

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(SNP019) James Burner interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Peggy C. Bradley



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