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.

Driving up to see the Blue Ridge foliage?
…Remember to thank the CCC
Heritage Museum in Dayton, Virginia

Spectacular mountaintop fall scenery has always been here, but it wasn’t always so accessible. The National Park Service celebrated its hundredth birthday this year. It brings to mind the Civilian Conservation Corps “boys” who built Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive and other public works during the 1930s. The first CCC camp in the nation, Camp Roosevelt, was located right here.

  Happening today

Theater production at Old Opera House Theater in Charles Town, W.Va.

204 N George St. Sherlock Holmes, the Final Adventure. Mystery. Shows on Oct. 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., $22 for adults. Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m., $22 for adults. Agues up to 17: $15. Student ages 18-25 and ages 65 and older: $25 for all shows. For more information, call 304-725-4420 or visit

Music and Dancing in Raphine, Va.

Clarks Ole Time Music Center, located at Clarks Lumber Co., 1288 Ridge Road. longtime Friday-night tradition of old-time music and dance from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission: $8 per person, $15 per couple. For more information, call 540-377-2490.

Guided walking tours in downtown Lexington, Va.

Meet at the Lexington Visitor Center. Every Friday at 3 p.m., from April through November. Rain or shine. No reservations required. Wear comfortable shoes. For more information, call 540-463-3777.

New Market Farmers Market in New Market, Va.

Behind the 7-Eleven store at I-81 interchange. Fridays from May 13 through October from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 540-740-3432 or visit

Art exhibition in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen St. Berkeley Arts Council Teaching Artist Judith Becker Original Paintings: Original watercolor, color pencil, and mixed media works. Runs through Nov. 5. Gallery hours: Wednesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4. p.m. For more information, call 304-620-7277 or visit

Halloween season festival at Hulls Drive-In in Lexington, Va.

2367 North Lee Highway. 4th Annual Hull-o-ween Bash. Oct. 21-22, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Gates will open at 5 p.m. Friday Night and at 4 p.m. on Saturday night. Pet Costume Contest-Prizes awarded for Most Original and Best Overall on Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Costume Contest Age groups: 4 and under, 5-10, 11-16, 17 and up. Prizes. 6:45 p.m. Oct. 21, 6:15 p.m. Oct. 22. Trunk-or-Treating. Trunk Decorating contest, prizes. Free caricature drawings. Admission: $ 7 for ages 12 and up, $3 for ages 5-11 and free admission for ages 4 and under. All activities are included with paid admission. For more information, call 540-463-2621 or visit

Guided Civil War Walking Tours in Winchester, Va.

Loudoun St. Walking Mall. Meet guide at 2 N. Cameron St. Hosted by Old Town Winchester. Every Friday through October. Reservations required. Admission: $5. For more information, call 540-542-1326 or visit

Youth program at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W Main St. Acrobats of Spooktacular Halloween Cirque-tacular show. Admission: $20-$25. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit

Fall Dance Concert at Shenandoah University

Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 620 Millwood Ave. Shenandoah Conservatory dance division peform original works by faculty and guest choreographers. Contemporary ballet set to Britten: A Ceremony of Carols, performed in collaboration with Cantus Singers and solo harp. Tickets: $15. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit

Art workshop at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

780 University Blvd. Meets in the pavilion before going on site. En Plein Aire Sessions, with Artist Martha Crider Henderson. All skill levels. Free admission. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit

Rock music concert at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 N Loudoun St. Love Canon. For more information, call 540-665-2878 or visit

Bach music concert at Shenandoah University

Goodson Chapel - Recital Hall, 1400 L.P. Hill Dr. Shenandoah Conservatory Chamber Orchestra and Conservatory Choir. Free admission. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit

Equestrian event at Virginia Horse Center in Natural Bridge, Va.

487 Maury River Road, East Complex. Baroque Equestrian Games 2016 Competition, Expo and Grand Gala. Oct. 21 - Oct. 23, 9 a.m. Lectures and classes: ground work, classical schooling, mounted maneuvers, musical freestyles. Family friendly. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 352 502-5422 or visit

Halloween season festival at Jellystone Park in Natural Bridge, Va.

The Haunted Trail at Jellystone Park at Natural Bridge, 16 Recreation Lane. Meet outside the Rec Center. Haunted Hay Ride. Oct. 21, 22, 28, and 29, 7:30-10 p.m. Rides run every 30 minutes. Appropriate for younger children. Family friendly. Tickets: $4. For more information, visit

Stage show at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center. Acrobats of Cirque-tacular Matinee and Acrobats of Spooktacular. Aerialists, acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, specialty acts. For more information, visit

Lecture program at James Madision University

Room 31, Burruss Hall. Babacar M`Baye, associate professor of Pan-African literature and culture at Kent State University: Reconstructing Homosexual and Transgender Identities in Colonial and Postcolonial Senegal from Neglected Sources. Sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters. Free admission. For more information, call 540-568-6472 or visit

Halloween season festival at Jellystone Park in Natural Bridge, Va.

The Haunted Trail at Jellystone Park at Natural Bridge, 16 Recreation Lane. Haunted House: The Dark Side of the Rainbow. Weekends in October, 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. For older children. Family friendly. For more information, visit

Civil War history program in Middletown, Va.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, front lawn. 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns in a Box. 30 minute program provides an overview of either the the 1862 or 1864 Shenandoah Valley Civil War campaigns. Oct. 21-22 at 2:30 p.m. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit

Historic firearms exhibit at Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market, Va.

8895 George Collins Parkway. New exhibit in 2016: The Kaminsky Gallery of Civil War Firearms. Display of rare firearms made during 1850 to 1865. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 1-866-515-1864 or visit

Halloween farm festival in Winchester, Va.

Hill High Farm, 933 Barley Lane. Haunted House and Corn Maze. Runs through Oct. 31. Indoor haunted attraction, hayrides, pumpkin patch and corn maze. For more information, call 540-667-7377 or visit

Halloween season festival in Lexington, Va.

Visitor Center, 106 E. Washington St. Haunting Tales Ghost Tours. Oct. 21-22, 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Includes local history. Family friendly. Reservations required. Admission: 13 for ages 13 and older, $6 for ages 6-12. For more information, call 540-464-2250 or visit

Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Twelfth Night performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit

Halloween season festival in Harrisonburg, Va.

Downtown. Haunted Harrisonburg Ghost Tours. Meet in the parking lot behind the Hardesty-Higgins House tourist center at 212 S. Main St. at 7 p.m. Oct. 21- Oct. 22 and Oct. 28-Oct. 31.
 Reservations required. Admission: $10 per adult, $5 for ages 10 and under. For more information, visit

Youth program at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W Main St. Matinee Arts Education Series: Acrobats of Cirque-tacular. For school ages K-12. Admission: $7.50. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit

Guided tours in Staunton, Va.

Meet at Staunton Visitors Center. Guided trolley and walking tours. Year-round. For more information, call 540-208-1741 or visit

Heritage festival in Shenandoah County, Va.

Various county locations and historic sites. Art in the Archives event series. Celebrate National Archives Month. Spotlights creative works in local collections on display every Friday and Saturday during October. Sponsored by the Truban Archives at the Shenandoah County Library in Edinburg, Va. For more information, call 540-984-8200 or visit

Civil War history program at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

Cedar Creek Battlefield. Fridays at the Front: Cedar Creek. Three-hour battlefield tours. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or visit

Battle of Cedar Creek Battlefield Tour in Middletown, Va.

Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main St.Two-hour, guided car-caravan tour led by ranger vehicle: Chronological interpretation of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Stops at key landmarks. Presented by Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Oct 21-22, 24, 28-29 at 2 p.m.  For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit

Weekend Pumpkin Patch and Hayrides in Winchester, Va.

Wilsons Wild Animal Park, 985 W. Parkins Mill Rd. Pumpkin patch and hayrides on weekends, through October. For more information, call 540-662-5715

Halloween outdoor festival weekends in Winchester, Va.

West Oaks Farm Market, Middle Road, next to Orchard View Elementary School. Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. Runs through Oct. 31. Bring a flashlight for the maze at dark. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. For more information, call 540-662-6622 or visit

Halloween festival in Middletown, Va.

Historic Larricks Tavern, 7793 Main St. Escape the Brass Key Tavern: discover clues and complete puzzles, solve the mystery before time runs out. Runs through Oct. 31, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, call 540-508-2443

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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.” is owned and operated by Shenandoah Valley Productions, a little “mom-and-pop” business, but one that’s located right here in the region. Our mission has long been to showcase the area’s visual beauty, unique “Valley” people and culture and, of course, some really, really rich history.

We first fell in love with Virginia in 1970, courtesy of the U.S. Navy, stationed in Norfolk. That was the year Virginia officially declared itself “for lovers.” But for us, the real love affair started in 1977, when we first visited the Shenandoah Valley on our wedding night. We moved here a year later, and well ...we are still here!

So it’s kind of a long story how we got from 1978 to this website, but here it is.

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.

Each month we head out to some part of this diverse region and do a feature story and travel video about it -- some cool event, piece of history or special place that makes the name "Shenandoah" so uniquely known worldwide.

So, come and set a spell, and please also consider making a donation. Either way, we’re glad you stopped by. Come on back to see us again!

Oh, and please visit our Facebook page, too.

Staunton, Virginia

Staunton has a distinctive 19th century skyline, and several historic districts. It's the home of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and the American Shakespeare Center, as well as the Frontier Culture Museum.

About Hank Zimmerman

Hank Zimmerman owns and operates Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC, publisher of by Hank Zimmerman