A Guide to the Christine Hoepfner Collection, 1911-2000

Collection Number SC 4042

Processed by: Julia Merkel, Sarah Vaughan, and Chris Bolgiano

Revised by: Alicia Henneberry, September, 2013

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Christine Hoepfner Collection, 1911-2000

Collection No.: SC 4042

Creator: Christine Hoepfner

Extent: 1 and ½ Hollinger Box

Language: English


Contains photocopies of letters, reports, and news stories, mostly from the National Archives and the Shenandoah National Park Archives, which deal with the formation and early administration of Shenandoah National Park in VA.

Adminsitrative Information

Access restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: Christine Hoepfner Collection, 1911-2000, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: Donated by Christine Hoepfner in 2002

Bio/Historical Note:  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 first told her 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 that was 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. 

Scope and Content:  This collection contains photocopies 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 removals, as well as programs and newsletters documenting the later establishment of a group of descendants of the removed families, The Children of Shenandoah.

Series I, Letters/Correspondence, 1925-1999, consists of 9 folders, which contain letters and correspondence between government officials/members of the Department of the Interior and residents of the area of the proposed Shenandoah National Park and other private citizens. Also contains job applications and work requests for the Department of the Interior, along with letters to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, messages from John D. Rockefeller Jr. , and various reports and legal documents pertaining to permits, land ownership and resettlement efforts.

Series II, Publications, 1911-1990, consists of 4 folders which contain press releases and letters concerning news stories from the Department of the Interior, various newspaper articles, and dissertations and publications.

Series III, Children of Shenandoah, 1981-2000, consists of 1 folder containing letters, program announcements, and other items pertinent to the establishment and work of the group, Children of Shenandoah.


The collection is arranged in 3 series:

1. Letters/Correspondence

2. Publications

3. Children of Shenandoah


Related Material: See also the newsletter, Children of Shenandoah, in Special Collections



Box: Folder

Series I: Letters/Correspondence


      Department of Int. w/ Residents


      Private citizens w/ gov’t agencies


      Memos, Letters from John D. Rockefeller


      Job Applications/Work Requests


      Letters to FDR


      Land Records


      Land plats.


Series II: Publications


      Dept. of Interior Press Releases/Letters


      Newspaper Articles






      Dissertations and Publications


Series II: Children of Shenandoah


      Letters, program announcements, etc.