Estelle Dodson



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Dodson, Estelle




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Interview Number


Date of Interview



Records the reminiscences of Estelle Dodson, (née Nicholson), who grew up in a log house in Corbin Hollow, Virginia, prior to the establishment of Shenandoah National Park. Describes her early home and family life, household chores, and school days. Discusses the difficulties of making a living in the mountains during the Great Depression and her father's work as a basket maker. Other sources of income included harvesting chestnuts and ginseng, and selling flowers and berries at nearby Skyland Resort. Recalls numerous members of the Dodson, Nicholson and Corbin families, including her grandfather, David Nicholson and her first cousin, George Corbin, who built Corbin Cabin in 1910. Also includes anecdotes regarding George Pollock, local entrepreneur and owner of Skyland, and the importance of the resort to the local economy. Estelle Dodson's mother-in-law, who is only identified in the interview as Mrs. Dodson, contributes to the interview throughout. A note written on one of the transcripts identifies her as Mrs. Odie Dodson.


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Personal Names

Dodson, Estelle; Dodson, Odie, Mrs.,; Corbin, George T., 1888-1978;Pollock, George Freeman, 1869-1949 -- Anecdotes

Family Names

Dodson family; Nicholson family; Corbin family


George T. Corbin Cabin (Madison County, Va.); 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; Basket makers -- 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.); Ginseng; Land use -- Government policy -- United States.

Place Names

Corbin Hollow (Va.); Skyland (Va.); 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


Marston, Sharon G.

Collection Title

Shenandoah National Park oral history collection

Collection Number

SdArch SNP

Streaming Media

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(SNP042) Estelle Nicholson Dodson interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Sharon G. Marston



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