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Recommended Books

Below is a list of non-fiction books that might be of interest to anyone seeking to learn more about the lives of the people who lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains before the formation of Shenandoah National Park, and about how the creation of the Park affected the residents who were displaced.

The following books are suggested reading for anyone wanting to learn about the human history of Shenandoah National Park.  A number of the books are available from the Shenandoah National Park Association ( and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (, both SNP partner organizations.  Book purchases from these groups help support programs and trail maintenance in the park.   Some materials are also available for purchase at the bookstores at Byrd Visitor Center and at the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center when these facilities are open.   You can find most in the Amazon shared list available here and at the bottom of the page.


  • The Undying Past of Shenandoah National Park:  Darwin Lambert

  • Shenandoah Heritage - the Story of the People Before the Park:  Carolyn and Jack Reeder

  • Shenandoah Secrets - the Story of the Park's Hidden Past:  Carolyn and Jack Reeder

  • Shenandoah Vestiges -What the Mountain People Left Behind:  Carolyn and Jack Reeder

  • In the Shadow of Ragged Mountain:  Audrey Horning

  • Lost Trails and Forgotten People - the Story of Jones Mountain:  Tom Floyd

  • Shenandoah – A Story of Conservation and Betrayal:  Sue Eisenfeld

  • Memories of a Lewis Mountain Man:  John W. Stoneburner

  • These Hills Were Home:  Kristie Kendall

  • A Database of Shenandoah National Park Land Records:  Reed Engle and Caroline Janney

  • Everything Was Wonderful by Reed Engle

  • In the Light of the Mountain Moon by Reed Engle

Available from The University of Virginia Press: (search for Katrina Powell) and through other sources such as Amazon or other online booksellers:

  • The Anguish of Displacement:  Katrina M. Powell

  • Answer At Once:  Katrina M. Powell


Of Time and Place:  A Shifflett-Morris Saga:  Anne Frysinger Shifflet. 

This book has limited availability and may be available directly from the author.  It is in the collection of Massanutten Regional Library at the main library in Harrisonburg and the Grottoes branch


Remembering a Blue Ridge Mountain Father:  Sherman T. Shifflett.  Available from the Greene County Historical Society:


Recollections - the People of the Blue Ridge Remember:  Dorothy Noble Smith. 


Hollow Folk:  Mandell Sherman and Thomas R. Henry: 

            “Three hollows on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains became the subject of a 1933 sociological study, and Hollow Folk is the summary of the sociologists’ findings.  The researchers described the residents of these hollows as ‘unlettered folk, sheltered in tiny mud-plastered log cabins and supported by a primitive agriculture,’ in communities which were ‘almost entirely cut off from the current of American life.’”    From its initial release this was a controversial book, and even today some people have a strong reaction to Hollow Folk because it created and reinforced stereotypes of the families living in the mountains.  However, those familiar with the people of the Blue Ridge Mountains view this book for what it is – a thinly veiled attempt to portray the residents in a negative light at a time when the promoters of Shenandoah National Park were seeking ways to justify removing the people from their homes so development of the new park could proceed without outside interference or concern about how the people were being treated.  Knowing the story behind the book, it is valuable reading for anyone interested in the history of the founding of Shenandoah National Park.  An excellent companion read is Audrey Horning’s book, In the Shadow of Ragged Mountain (see above).  Horning has made a contemporary examination of the realities of life before the Park, and her findings strongly refute the assertions of Sherman and Henry.

            Copies of Hollow Folk are available, though prices range widely.  Facsimile copies may sometimes be found for under $10 while original and reprint editions are listed for sale from under a hundred dollars to many hundreds of dollars.  Books for purchase may be found by doing an online search for “Hollow Folk Sherman Henry”. 

            Copies of Hollow Folk are available at libraries in the Shenandoah Valley/Blue Ridge region.  Go to and enter your zip code to find it in a library near you.  Alternatively, Hollow Folk  may be read on line at:$b297150;view=1up;seq=6

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