U.S. Forest Service, George Washington National Forest,
Dry River District Collection
Carrier Library, James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Compiled by Chris Bolgiano, March 1998
Scope & Content
This collection consists of one Hollinger box and twelve maps, 1917-1994. Most file materials concern the Dry River District, which currently incorporates 227,000 acres on both sides of Shenandoah Mountain from state route 259 in the north to Lookout Mountain and state route 728 in the south, although locations in some other districts are mentioned. Most materials concern the fire-fighting activities undertaken by employees of Shenandoah National Forest, the predecessor of the George Washington National Forest. Fighting the forest arson prevalent during the first half of the twentieth century was at that time one of the U.S. Forest Service's foremost goals. There are also some items relevant to recreational and historical topics.
Donated February 1998 by District Ranger Stephen Parsons.
Mastran, Shelley S. and Nan Lowerre. Mountaineers and rangers: a history of federal forest management in the Southern Appalachians, 1900-81. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Forest Service, 1983.
Satterthwaite, Jean L. George Washington National Forest: a History. U.S. Forest Service, 1991.
Folder 1, Recreation, 1917-1934. Includes a 1917 prospectus on Stribling Springs as a recreation site, with photos; and several pamphlets on recreation in national forests.
Folder 2, Camp Todd, 1932-1968. Several memos and photo detailing history of Camp Todd in the North River watershed, first settled in 1800 and used by the Forest Service in the 1920s and 30s for fire warden meetings, as a base for forest improvement operations, and as a summer vacation camp for VIPs, including Congressmen from Washington, D.C.
Folder 3, Fire reports, 1917-1919. Forms with number of acres, cause of fire, cost of suppression, etc., for Spring Creek, Briery Branch, Edinburg, Armstrong, Deerfield, and several other locations.
Folder 4, High Knob Fire Tower, 1946-1994. Photo of the natural stone structure built on the Rockingham-Pendleton County line by Civilian Conservation Corp men 1939-40; memos concerning its construction and later renovation; and a 1994 list that includes the tower on the National Historic Lookout Register.
Folder 5, Fire warden system, 1922-1957. Correspondence, newsletters, and other documents detailing the inauguration of the system for selecting and training fire wardens in Shenandoah National Forest. Includes conference reports, fire fighting regulations, tracts for and against the long established custom of burning the woods, 1926 letters from the forest supervisor offering fire protection to landowners adjacent to the national forest, Pocket Guide for Fire Suppression (1961), and a small amount of statistical information.
Folder 6, Fire tower specifications, 1917-1990. General national forest specification; includes mention of High Knob tower. See also Oversize Box, below.
Folder 7, Civilian Conservation Corp photos. Copies of photographs taken in the 1930s of CCC men at work in several locations, including Camp Roosevelt. Not all pictures are identified.
Folder 8, Miscellaneous photographs removed from folders 1, 2, and 3.
One folder containing the 1938 Forest Service publication, Standard Lookout Structure Plans.
- Map no. 1 - 1917, Massanutton National Forest.
- Map no. 2 - 1917, Shenandoah National Forest.
- Map no. 3 - 1920, Shenandoah National Forest, oversize, with acquisitions boundaries.
- Map no. 4 - 1925 Massanutton Division, Shenandoah National Forest.
- Map no. 5 - 1927, Shenandoah National Forest, with text for general public.
- Map no. 6 - 1927, Shenandoah National Forest, with typed and penned text updates appended.
- Map no. 7 - 1927, Shenandoah National Forest, large.
- Map no. 8 - 1927, Shenandoah National Forest, with fire and ranger district boundaries drawn in and table of acreage's.
- Map no. 9 - 1927, 1932, Shenandoah National Forest, with approved and recommended change in boundaries drawn in.
- Map no. 10 - 1932, George Washington National Forest, with text for general public.
- Map no. 11 - ca. 1930s, George Washington National Forest, southern portion.
- Map no. 12 - 1971, George Washington National Forest Charcoal-Iron Furnaces.