A Guide to the Christine Hoepfner Collection, 1911-2000
Collection Number 4042
Processed by: Julia Merkel, Sarah Vaughan, and Chris Bolgiano
Preferred Citation: Hoepfner, Christine. Collection. SC# 4042, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, 22807.
Physical Characteristics: Consists of one and 1/2 Hollinger boxes.
Abstract: Contains photocopies of letters, reports, and news stories, mostly from the National Archives and the Shenandoah National Park Archives, that deal with the formation and early administration of Shenandoah National Park in VA.
Scope and Content: This collection contains photocopies of of letters, reports, memos, land records and other documents from the National Archives and Shenandoah National Park archives concerning the formation and early administration of Shenandoah National Park. The condemnation of private land and removal of approximately 500 families from the Park in the 1930s, the attempts of those families to deal with the government, and the response of the public and of governmental agencies to the removal, form the focus of the collection. Also included are newspaper articles about the removal, and programs and newsletters documenting the later establishment of a group of descendents of the removed families, The Children of Shenandoah.
Biographical/Historical: Christine Hoepfner began working for Shenandoah National Park as a historian and archaeologist in 1992. While out in the field one day she met an elderly man who told her for the first time about the removal of mountain families. At the time, Hoepfner was also working on a Ph.D. dissertation about the creation of Shenandoah National Park for the University of Pennsylvania. Later, she served as president of The Children of Shenandoah, a group of descendants of the families removed, formed in 1994 by Lisa Custalow to lobby for more complete and accurate historical displays and videos in Park visitor centers. Hoepfner moved away from the area in 2002.
Series 1. Letters/Correspondence, 1925-1999.
Series 2. Publications, 1911-1990.
Series 3. Children of Shenandoah, 1981-2000.
BOX 1. SERIES 1: Letters/Correspondence.
Folder 1-2: Correspondence between residents within the proposed boundaries of Shenandoah National Park and officials of the Department of the Interior. Arranged alphabetically by name of resident. 1930-1938.
Folder 3: Correspondence between private citizens and various governmental agencies concerning improvements to Shenandoah National Park, resettlement of mountain people, and offers of artifacts for a museum. Includes a 1925 "Donor's Certificate." Arranged chronologically, 1925-1939.
Folders 4-5: Memos and letters mostly among state and federal officials on administrative aspects of Shenandoah National Park, but also includes letters on funding from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 1926-1934, 1935-1948 and undated.
Folder 6: Job applications and work requests to the Department of the Interior. Four items, 1933-1941.
Folder 7: Letters to President Franklin D. Roosevelt concerning removal of mountain people. 1933-1937 and undated.
Folder 8: Land records. Contains letters, reports, and legal documents concerning ownership of land, permits, and resettlement efforts. [1927-1936]-1952 and undated.
Folder 9: Land plats. Contains ownership plats for some tracts within the Park including Cave Cemetery, and lists of map sources. Fourteen Items, 1927-1999 and undated.
BOX 2, SERIES 2: Publications.
Folder 1: Press releases and letters concerning news stories from the Department of the Interior. [1928-1932]-1996 and undated.
Folders 2-3: Newspaper articles, 1911-1949; 1971-[1992-1999].
Folder 4: Dissertations and publications. Includes excerpts from or citations to six dissertations. 1990 & undated.
BOX 2, con't.: SERIES 3: Children of Shenandoah.
Folder 5: Letters, program announcements, and other items pertinent to the establishment and work of the group, Children of Shenandoah, 1981-2000. (See also the newsletter, Children of Shenandoah, in Special Collections)
Acquisition Information: Donated by Christine Hoepfner in 2002.