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Nicholson, Ray A.




1 audio file (running time: 1:12:49)

Interview Number


Location of Interview

Mr. Nicholson's home in Madison County, Virginia

Date of Interview



Records an interview with Ray Nicholson, who lived in Nicholson Hollow and on Old Rag Mountain, within the future boundaries of Shenandoah National Park. Describes daily life in the mountains, touching on the work of growing and preserving food, herbal remedies, fishing. Discusses the limited economic opportunities available to the mountain people, such as the chestnut harvests, bark peeling, stone masonry and moon-shining. Includes references to local entrepreneur, George Freeman Pollock, owner of nearby Skyland resort. Includes numerous references to Mr. Nicholson's relatives, on both the Nicholson and Fincham sides of his family.


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Personal Names

Nicholson, Ray A., (Nelson Murphy) 1913-1980, Interviews; Pollock, George Freeman, 1869-1949 -- Anecdotes

Family Names

Nicholson family; Fincham 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; Traditional medicine -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.); Distilling, Illicit -- Virginia – History; Bark peeling – Virginia; Food habits -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Holidays -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) – History; Fishing -- Virginia -- Shenandoah National Park; Land use -- Government policy -- United States.

Place Names

Madison County (Va.) – History; Nicholson Hollow (Va.) – History; Old Rag Mountain (Va.) – History; Skyland (Va.) – History; Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Manners and customs; Shenandoah National Park (Va.) -- History, Local.


Smith, Dorothy Noble, 1915-1999


Marston, Sharon G.

Collection Title

Shenandoah National Park oral history collection

Collection Number

SdArch SNP

Streaming Media

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(SNP102) Ray A. Nicholson interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Sharon G. Marston



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