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Ceremony Remembering The Displaced

13 October 2018 News

The families displaced by the creation of the Shenandoah National Park will be honored today, with the dedication of a 9 foot tall brick chimney. The dedication will take place at 460 East Criser Road near Happy Creek Road at 1 pm. The chimney and dedication is sponsored and organized by the Blue Ridge Heritage Society, dedicated to remembering those who were displaced in the 1920s. The properties of about 500 families across 8 counties were condemned, and the owners removed to make way for Shenandoah National Park. The chimney was chosen as the symbol of remembrance because it was often all that remained of the properties after the occupants were removed and the homes burned.  The commemorative chimney will have a plaque featuring the names of 68 individuals from 30 local families who were removed from their property for the creation of the park. The ceremony will include comments by Mayor Tharpe, representatives of the park, and Circuit Court Clerk Daryl Funk, a member of one of the displaced families.

While the dedication ceremony represents the completion of the construction of the commemorative chimney, further construction of benches and an informational kiosk is planned for the location. The Blue Ridge Heritage Society also plans on linking the site with other counties via a driving tour in the future.

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