The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
History still a big part of everyday life in Shenandoah County

Seven Bends of the Shenandoah River in Woodstock, Va.


The 1930s Great Depression brought a new level of hardship to the American experience, where daily life could often be summed up in one word: Desperation.

The U.S. economy was on the ropes after 1929 and by the early 1930s, many American workers had gone from the assembly line to breadlines or marching in union picket lines. Poverty was everywhere.

By 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s answer to the crisis was the New Deal. That program included a national citizen’s relief effort that, among other governmental actions taken, resulted in the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC.

The CCC provided hundreds of thousands of unemployed men with a way off the streets and into military-style work camps whose locations were spread all across the country. The camps were open only to males.

The sites were headquarters for supervised work crews that labored on a variety of public works projects, including the Shenandoah Valley’s Shenandoah National Park and its ambitious Skyline Drive mountain roadway.

The CCC “boys,” as the camp enrollees were called at the time, led a vigorous outdoor life. The camps insulated them from the danger of falling into a state of hopelessness, with no future to look to back home, and kept them away from various sorts of prevailing disreputable behaviors and unhealthy temptations.

Most importantly, they could work hard and send their pay money back to needy families. Whenever they left the camps for good, they often took along newly-acquired job skills. The CCC program continued until the outbreak of World War II.

The very first CCC camp, Camp Roosevelt, had been built on one side of a forested mountain ridge, in eastern Shenandoah County, Va. On the other side, Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park were waiting to be built.

The Season of Peace and Goodwill to All
Shenandoah Valley battlefield

Once again, the Shenandoah Valley settles in for the Holidays. Special music concerts and shows bring joy, town and city parades and festivals bring folks of all ages together, faith is renewed. It’s true that the nights are the longest this month, but rest assured that they are brighter than ever here in the Valley. From the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, a wish for the most blessed of Seasons, and hope and good cheer for 2018.

  Happening today

Glassblowing demonstrations in Staunton, Va.

Sunspots Studios, 202 S. Lewis St. Live demonstrations daily until 4 p.m. Open Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artists transform hot glass into colorful vases, ornaments, paperweights and more. For more information, call 540-885-0678 or visit

Downtown bi-weekly festival in Winchester, Va.

Haunted Pub Crawl. Every Wednesday and Saturday, 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tour downtown taverns and restaurants. Hosted by Ghost Tours Old Town Winchester, Virginia. Reservations requested. Admission: $29.99. For more information, call 540-827-9948

Weekly bluegrass music jam in Lexington, Va.

Blue Phoenix Cafe and Grocery, 110 W. Washington St. Live music. Every Wednesday morning. For more information, call 540-461-8306

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You’ve just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA.
“The daughter of the stars.”

Website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras. Words alone may not really describe the place.

Our regional events listings are always up to date, and we’re not really selling anything on here. In fact, we get no outside funding, but are wholly independent. Like many of our friends and neighbors who also feel blessed to live here, free and independent, surrounded by peace and beauty.

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Shenandoah County, Virginia

An old farmhouse stands in a wooded area of rural Shenandoah County.

About West Phillips

West Phillips is an international portrait and travel photographer, currently based in Miami, Florida. He began his photography career in 2010 while living in San Francisco, California. by West Phillips