Tanbark Industry in the Shenandoah Valley Oral Histories, 1987, 1991

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Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
Bolgiano, Chris
Creator:
Coleman, John
Creator:
Barb, Mia
Title:
Tanbark Industry in the Shenandoah Valley Oral Histories
Collection No.:
SdArch 4
Date:
1987, 1991
Extent:
4 folders, 4 audiocassettes, 3 cds, .25 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Abstract:
Tanbark Industry in the Shenandoah Valley Oral Histories, 1987, 1991, is comprised of audio interviews, transcripts, photographs, and a background paper, documenting the history of the bark peeling industry in the Shenandoah Valley.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], Tanbark Industry in the Shenandoah Valley Oral Histories, 1987, 1991, SdArch 4, Special Collections, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

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Bio/Historical Note

Two of the oral histories were created by Mia Barb, an undergraduate at JMU, who completed the project as an intern in Special Collections during the summer of 1991. The internship was a joint project between the Carrier Library, Special Collections and the U.S. Forest Service. The oral history interview with D.D. Wilkins was conducted by Chris Bolgiano, head of Special Collections, and John Coleman, who worked for the U.S. Forest Service.

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Scope and Content

Tanbark Industry in the Shenandoah Valley Oral Histories, 1987, 1991, is comprised of audio interviews, transcripts, and a background paper, documenting the history of the bark peeling industry in the Shenandoah Valley. The collection includes interviews that explore the various processes used to produce leather, including references to the peeling, grinding and extracting of bark to yield the tannin (tannic acid) which was used to tan animals skins and hides. The interviews focus specifically on the mills, extract factories and tanneries in the Shenandoay Valley, including the Timberville extract factory, and the Ziegler, Elkton and Houck tanneries of Rockingham County, Virginia.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Acquisition Information

Collection was donated in 1991 by Mia Barb.

Processing Information

Collection was cataloged at the item level in 1991; the descriptive metadata was compiled into a Finding Aid format in 2019. Cassette tapes were transferred to MAMA-R 700MB gold cd-r using Tascam cc-222 mkII; 618mb. Audio recordings were digitized by Kirsten Mlodynia, Digital Project Specialist at JMU Libraries in July 2018.

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • oral histories (literary works)

Personal Name

  • Barb, Mia

Subject

  • Tanning -- Virginia -- Rockingham County
  • Tanning -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Bark peeling -- Environmental aspects
  • Bark -- Harvesting
  • Bark peeling -- Economic aspects
  • Bark -- Virginia -- Rockingham County
  • Leather industry and trade -- Virginia -- Rockingham County
  • Tanneries -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Tanneries -- Virginia -- Rockingham County
  • Industries -- Virginia -- Rockingham County -- Sources
  • Tanners -- Virginia -- Rockingham County

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Tanbark Industry Background Paper and Photographs

13-leaf monograph describes the tanning industry in the United States and in particular the Shenandoah Valley. Both general information about the industry and specifics about the tanbark process are included. The various processes used to produce leather are described, including references to the peeling, grinding and extracting of bark to yield the tannin (tannic acid) which was used to tan animals skins and hides. References are made to American tanneries in general; specific information is supplied about bark mills, extract factories and tanneries in the Valley--including the Timberville extract (ooze) factory, and the Ziegler, Elkton and Houck tanneries of Rockingham County, Virginia. Transcription summary and letters are related to an interview with Mrs. Lettie Albrite and niece (Ms. Turner-Ritchie) conducted by Mia Barb, at Camelot Nursing Home, Harrisonburg, Va. on March 29, 1991. Refers to Mrs. Albrite's reminiscences of the bark extracting factory at Timberville, Va.; mentions Gen. John Roller, owner. Full transcription and tape of this interview are unavailable.

Box 1 Folder 1
Leecy Yankey interviewed by Mia Barb, February 26, 1991

This interview records the reminiscences of Mr. Yankey's days as a bark peeler of chestnut oak and hemlock in the Allegheny mountains in areas around Petersburg, Moorefield, Franklin, Cheat Mt., Cass, and Lost City, W. Va. Describes the process of peeling and transporting the bark. Mentions social life and medical care in camps. Refers to paper mill strike in Davis; work in the Timberville, Va. Peach Cannery. Recorded at the home of Mr. Leecy Yankey of Bergton, Va. on Feb. 26, 1991.

Transcript and Supporting Documents, February 26, 1991 Box 1 Folder 2
Original audiocassette, February 26, 1991 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA004-CS-001
Original audiocassette, February 26, 1991 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA004-CS-002
Preservation master cd Media Cabinet 1 CD SA004-OP-001
Kale Barb interviewed by Mia Barb, March 9, 1991

This interview records the reminiscences of Mr. Barb's days as a bark peeler of black, red and white oak in the Allegheny mountains region of Rockingham County, Va., in particular Little Turley Mt. Describes the process of peeling and transporting bark including detailed information on how draft animals (horses and mules) were used. Mentions social life, etc. in the camps. Worked for Neff Lumber Mills at Skidmore Fork Lumber Camp, etc. Recorded at the home of Mr. Kale Barb of Fairway Hills, Harrisonburg, Va. on March 9, 1991

Transcript and Supporting Documents, March 9, 1991 Box 1 Folder 3
Original audiocassette, March 9, 1991 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA004-CS-003
Preservation master cd Media Cabinet 1 CD SA004-OP-002
D. D. Wilkins interviewed by John Coleman and Chris Bolgiano, September 25, 1987

This interview records the reminiscences of Mr. Wilkins' (D.D. "Hun") days as a bark peeler of chestnut oak and hemlock in the Alleghenny mountains of West Virginia, especially in and around Lost River (also Stump's Run, Moorefield, Lost City and Trout Run). Mentions chestnut blight; blizzard of April 27, 1928. Mentions the Maryland-W. Va. Lumber Co., Natrick Lumber Co. and Williamsport, Md. Tannery. Reminiscences about conditions in the camps

Transcript and Supporting Documents, September 25, 1987 Box 1 Folder 4
Original audiocassette, September 25, 1987 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA004-CS-004
Preservation master cd Media Cabinet 1 CD SA004-OP-003