Appalachian Trail Histories

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Jean Stephenson, in the late 1960s, either just before or just after she retired as editor of the Appalachian Trailway News.

Collection: Builders
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Richard Stanton (National Park Service) and Jean Stephenson at a Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club Board meeting, November 1971

Collection: Builders
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Jean Stephenson (left) and Marion Park (right) on a day hike on the Appalachian Trail sometime in the 1930s or 1940s. Stephenson was the long-time second in command to ATC Chairman Myron Avery and Park was the long-serving secretary of the ATC.

Collection: Builders
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The Wilson Gap Shelter was built in 1941, by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club's shelter crew. It was an atypical trail shelter, because it was built of stone, with an internal fireplace. This particular design happened because the landowner felt that such a structure would present less of a fire hazard on his land. It was the second trail shelter south of the Potomac River, near the present Blackburn Trail Center. It no longer exists, because by the late 1970s, its proximity to a county road meant it had become a party location for non-hikers. It was torn down in 1978.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Three Springs Lean-to (shelter) in Northern Virginia was located on a stretch of the Trail just north of FEMA's Mount Weather Emergency Management base. This shelter no longer exists, because in the late 1970s the Trail was relocated away from the site and the shelter was torn down. It was maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Birch Run lean-tos were built in 1934 by workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the Michaux State Forest in Pennsylvania. Like other shelters in this stretch of the Trail, these lean-tos were constructed in pairs of smaller shelters, rather than as one larger shelter. The original structures were torn down in the 1980s, and replaced with a single, larger shelter. These shelters were and the new shelter is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC).

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Tumbling Run Shelter in the Mont Alto (now Michaux) State Forest (PA) was built in 1936, by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The original structure was torn down and rebuilt in the 1980s by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, as a pair of shelters, in keeping with the other shelters in this stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Racoon Run Shelters in the Michaux State Forest (PA), were built by workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1934. Smaller than the standard Appalachian Trail lean-tos built at this time, the paired shelters in this stretch of the Trail in Pennsylvania are unique along the Trail. The Raccoon Run Shelters were maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, but they were torn down in the 1980s when the AT was relocated away from its current route. The Raccoon Run Shelters were among those too close to the road, and often frequented by non-hikers.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Quarry Gap shelters in Michaux State Forest (now Caledonia State Park) were built in 1934 by workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The trail shelters in Michaux State Forest at this time were unique in that they were built as pairs of smaller structures rather than one larger lean-to. At some point in their history, the Quarry Gap shelters were re-roofed with a single, continuous roof, providing shelter for hikers between the two structures. These shelters are maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Mosby Shelter was located on the Appalachian Trail between Manassas Gap and Chester Gap in Northern Virginia. It was built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, operating from their camp in Linden, Virginia, just north of the site of the shelter. Today, the location of the former shelter is called the "Mosby Campsite" and the nearby Tom Sealock Spring, which is one of the sources of the Rappahannock River.

The 1941 edition of the ATC's Guide to the Paths of the Blue Ridge  offers this description of the shelter:
Mosby Lean-to is situated on the edge of a clearing on the crest of the long spur extending to the east from High Knob, about half way between Manassas and Chester Gaps. A small settlement that formerly was in this locality is said to have been called "Mosby" because several of Colonel Mosby's rangers resided nearby.
In 1980, the Mosby Shelter was stolen. Hikers arrived at the site to find that the shelter had been dismantled and removed, likely for the chestnut logs that had been used in its construction. It was not rebuilt.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Milesburn Shelter (now Cabin) is located in the Michaux State Forest in southern Pennsylvania and is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). Built in 1930 as a park ranger cabin, Milesburn was converted to an Appalachian Trail shelter by the PATC a few years later. It is one of the locked cabins along the AT between Waynesboro, Virginia and Duncannon, Pennsylvania that hikers can reserve in advance for a fee.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Deer Lick Run Shelters in the Michaux State Forest in Pennsylvania were built after the removal of the Mackie Run Shelter in the early 1980s. Although these are newer structures, they are built in the same paired shelter style of many of the original lean-to shelters in this stretch of the Trail. These shelters are maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC).

Collection: Trail Shelters
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