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Location of Interview
Date of Interview
Records the reminiscences of Elmer Atkins, who was born and raised near Beech Spring, Virginia prior to the establishment of Shenandoah National Park in 1934. Describes his home and family life, schooling, holidays and community events. Among the topics discussed are farming, raising of livestock, log homes and the local bark peeling industry. Includes references to revival meetings, wakes and funerals, herbal remedies, moonshining, the Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 and the chestnut tree blight that decimated the species in the early decades of the 20th century. Mr. Atkins also comments on the forced eviction of his family and neighbors to make way for the construction of the national park.
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Atkins, Elmer, 1906-1993, Interviews
Atkins family; Dodson family; Claytor 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; Farm life -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Country life -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Agriculture -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Food habits -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919 -- Anecdotes; Chestnut blight; Folklore -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History; Holidays -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History; Traditional medicine -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.); Funeral rites and ceremonies -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Distilling, Illicit -- Virginia; Revivals -- Virginia; Bark peeling -- Virginia -- Rappahannock County -- History; Forest products industry -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History; Land use -- Government policy -- United States.
Beech Spring (Va.) – History; Sperryville (Va.) -- History; Rappahannock County (Va.) -- History; Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Manners and customs; Shenandoah National Park (Va.) -- History, Local.
Smith, Dorothy Noble, 1915-1999; Northrup, Jim
Marston, Sharon G.
Shenandoah National Park oral history collection
Elmer Atkins interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith and Jim Northup, July 24, 1979, SdArch SNP-4, Shenandoah National Park Oral History Collection, 1964-1999, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University