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Thu Jun 20, 2024, 02:15 PM Jun 20

Longtime Madison resident to discuss histories of families displaced to build Shenandoah National Park

Longtime Madison resident to discuss histories of families displaced to build Shenandoah National Park

Madison County contributed the largest portion of land for the national park, resulting in a significant number of its residents being uprooted


A local Madisonian will be the guest speaker at Revalation Vineyard’s upcoming Sip and Learn talk next week.

Longtime Madison County resident Nancy Knighting will present a discussion on the Madison families displaced by the creation of Shenandoah National Park.

In the 1930s, the United States government embarked on a project to establish a national park on the East Coast. Spurred by President Herbert Hoover’s fondness for the Blue Ridge Mountains, where his family kept a summer retreat called Rapidan Camp, the government decided to create Shenandoah National Park. This decision led to the forced displacement of more than 400 families, primarily from Madison County. These families were not given a choice and were compelled to leave their homes and lands, some of which had been in their families for generations.

When Congress established Shenandoah National Park in 1936, many of these displaced families witnessed their homes being burned to the ground if they did not leave voluntarily. The government relocated most families to “resettlement” areas nearby, while others moved farther away in search of new opportunities. In Madison County, an area on Oak Park Road still houses some of these displaced families.


Rapidan Camp, also known as Camp Hoover and the Brown House, is a historic landmark and the former rural retreat of the Hoover administration in the 1930s.


Revalation’s Sip & Learn is an opportunity to remember and reflect. ... Knighting is set to speak at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Revalation Vineyards, at 2710 Hebron Valley Road.
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