Download Full Text (20.4 MB)


Nicholson, Nelson M.,




1 audio file (running time: 1:22:31) :

Interview Number


Location of Interview

The Nicholson's home in Madison, Va

Date of Interview



Records an interview with Nelson Nicholson and his wife, Claudia, who lived in Nicholson Hollow, 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, hunting and fishing. Discusses the limited economic opportunities available to the mountain people, such as the apple and chestnut harvests, bark peeling and moon-shining. Includes references to local entrepreneur, George Freeman Pollock, owner of nearby Skyland resort.


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,

Personal Names

Nicholson, Nelson M., (Nelson Murphy) 1913-1980, Interviews; Nicholson, Claudia F., (Claudia Frances) 1916-2010, Interviews; Pollock, George Freeman, 1869-1949 -- Anecdotes

Family Names

Nicholson 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; Hunting -- Virginia -- Shenandoah National Park; Courtship -- Virginia – History; Land use -- Government policy -- United States.

Place Names

Madison County (Va.) – History; Nicholson Hollow (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


Bradley, Peggy C.

Collection Title

Shenandoah National Park oral history collection

Collection Number

SdArch SNP, (formerly SC# 4030)

Streaming Media

Media is loading
(SNP101) Nelson and Claudia Nicholson interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Peggy C. Bradley



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.