Fisher F. Finks



Download Full Text (21.8 MB)


Finks, Fisher F.




1 audio file (running time: 1:44:33)

Interview Number


Date of Interview



Records the reminiscences of Fisher Finks and his wife, Myrtle Hurt Finks, who lived near the Big Meadows area of Shenandoah National Park until the mid 1920s. Opens with Mr. Finks reading from family documents that establish the presence of the Finks family in Virginia dating back to 1736. Describes daily life in the mountains, including local agriculture, livestock production and food preservation, as well as the important tan bark industry. Discusses popular community events, such as weddings and funerals, corn husking, apple butter boilings and courting. Recalls the traditional remedies used for common ailments and injuries, as well as a brief discussion on deadly diphtheria outbreaks and the Influenza Epidemic of 1918. Includes discussions of race relations in the region, the prevalence of moonshine and its possible connection to numerous local murders. Also recalls local entrepreneur, George Pollock, owner of Skyland resort and the construction of Camp Hoover, the presidential retreat created by Herbert Hoover.


The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Personal Names

Finks, Fisher F., 1907-1993; Finks, Myrtle H., 1912-1996; Pollock, George Freeman, 1869-1949 -- Anecdotes.

Family Names

Finks family; Hurt 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; Bark peeling -- Virginia; Country life -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Funeral rites -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Courtship -- Virginia -- History; Food habits -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Holidays -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History; Traditional medicine -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.);Land use -- Government policy -- United States; Distilling, Illicit -- Virginia; Homicide -- Virginia -- History; Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919 -- Anecdotes; Chestnut blight.

Place Names

Virginia -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century; Big Meadows (Va.) -- History; Skyland (Va.) -- History; Camp Hoover (Va.) -- History; Madison County (Va.) -- History; Page 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

Media is loading
(SNP047) Fisher F. Finks 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.