Shenandoah's History

Where we come from and what has made us...

The Past is our rich history. Shenandoah County's iron furnaces steeled the American Revolution and furnished metal to the early Republic. Our fertile farms were the breadbasket of the Confederacy; and also became Civil War the fields of battles.

When a new, highly efficient process used by Pittsburgh steel furnaces out-produced Shenandoah's native industry; what was economic prosperity for America became a slump for Shenandoah. Yet two generations later during the dark days of the 1930's depression, our nation's first CCC camp –in Shenandoah County—became a beacon of hope for the whole country.

I walk this ground
of which dead men and women
I have loved are part
as they are part of me
...(Wendell Berry)

We all stand on the shoulders of giants; everything we know and possess is built on the past.

Just like reading is based on the alphabet, losing connection to the past –the basics—is ignoring how and why we arrived where we are. Without knowing how we arrived where we are now –the path Shenandoah County’s traveled—we can’t steer the present toward what we want in the future.

There must be balance. Not every item of history can be, or should be, preserved. But without respect, without a sense of worth and a sense of place, our values become commodities of the moment.