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Austin, Louise Wood




1 audio file (running time: 0:46:41)

Interview Number


Location of Interview

The Wood family homesite in Sugar Hollow, Virginia

Date of Interview



Records the reminiscences of Louise Wood Austin, who grew up in Sugar Hollow, Virginia, prior to the establishment of Shenandoah National Park in 1934. Mrs. Austin and her interviewer, John Dooms, returned to the section of Shenandoah National Park where her family home stood until 1941. Describes her home life and family history, including members of her extended family who represent a cross section of local family names. Among the topics discussed are the growing, harvesting and preserving of food, raising livestock, home remedies and folk medicine. Recalls cattle drives from Ivy, Va., to summer pastures in Jarman Gap, itinerant Syrian peddlers, midwives and square dances. Discusses several small businesses operated by her father and uncles, including a blacksmith shop, distillery and coffin making shop.


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Personal Names

Austin, Louise Wood, 1909-1993, Interviews

Family Names

Austin family; Ballard family; Ballou family; Dooms family; Taylor family; Wood 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; Canning and preserving – History; Cookery – Virginia; 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.); Folk music -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.); Distilleries – Virginia; Blacksmiths; Livestock; Peddlers – Virginia; Peddling.

Place Names

Sugar Hollow (Va.) – History; Jarman Gap (Va.) – History; Whitehall (Va.) – History; Albemarle County (Va.) – History; Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Manners and customs; Shenandoah National Park (Va.) -- History, Local.


Dooms, John D.

Collection Title

Shenandoah National Park oral history collection

Collection Number

SdArch SNP

Streaming Media

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(SNP006) Louise Wood Austin interviewed by John D. Dooms



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