The first traces of humans within Shenandoah National Park are around 8,000 to 9,000 years old. Native Americans seasonally visited this area to hunt, gather food, source materials for stone tools, and trade. In the 1700s, European hunters and trappers explored the mountains of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley. Soon after 1750, European settlers moved into the lower hollows near springs and streams. Over the next century and a half hundreds of families worked the land, planting orchards and crops, building homesteads and mills, using the mountains for logging and mining.
Mountain residents, CCC boys, eccentric entrepreneurs, and even presidents helped shape Shenandoah National Park.
From a presidential retreat to quiet former homesteads, historical places are abundant in Shenandoah.
Stories inform who we are, how we understand the world, and our desires to shape the future.
Last updated: December 3, 2020