Joseph Fray



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Fray, Joseph




1 audio file (running time: 0:57:07)

Interview Number


Date of Interview



Records the reminiscences of Joseph Fray, who was a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Madison County, Virginia, in the 1920s, and witness to the events that led to the founding of Camp Hoover, Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park. Describes the work of local, state and federal officials in the planning and construction of Camp Hoover, also known as Rapidan Camp, which was a rustic retreat where President and Mrs. Hoover could escape the heat and congestion of Washington, DC. Fray reflects on the impact Camp Hoover had on Madison County, both as a works project and through the numerous benefits, such as roads, schools, and even air mail delivery, that came in the wake of its construction. Discusses the impetus Camp Hoover had on the founding of Skyline Drive and ultimately, Shenandoah National Park. Includes references to the lives of the mountain people and their sources of income, such as tan bark peeling and basket weaving, and local entrepreneur, George Pollock, owner of Skyland resort. A woman identified in the transcript as Mrs. Fray also contributes to the interview.


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Personal Names

Fray, Joseph, 1894-1987, Interviews; Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964 -- Homes and haunts -- Virginia -- Madison County; Hoover, Lou Henry, 1874-1944 -- Homes and haunts -- Virginia -- Madison County; Pollock, George Freeman, 1869-1949 -- Anecdotes.


Madison County Chamber of Commerce (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; Bark peeling -- Virginia; Basket making -- Appalachian Region; Land use -- Government policy -- United States.

Place Names

Big Meadows (Va.) -- History; Skyland (Va.) -- History; Skyline Drive (Va.) -- History; Camp Hoover (Va.) -- History; Madison (Va.) -- History; Madison 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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(SNP051) Joseph Fray interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Peggy C. Bradley



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