Letter from Harvey Benson (NPS) to Myron Avery (ATC), 11/28/1941
During the 1930s a series of trail "shelters" (now referred to as cabins) and "lean-tos" (now referred to as shelters or huts) were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Shenandoah National Park along the route of the Appalachian Trail for the convenience of short and long distance hikers.
The outbreak of World War II brought the CCC to an end and so the work on these structures was completed by members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in conjunction with staff of the National Park Service in 1941.
One shelter/cabin (Rock Spring), pre-dated the work of the CCC, and since the 1940s, several huts have been added to the inventory of places for hikers to shelter from weather or to spend the night. One shelter/cabin (Meadow Spring) burned on Thanksgiving night, 1946, and one (Rip Rap) was removed by the Park Service due to overuse in a protected area of the Park.
A letter from Harvey Benson, the Park's Landscape Architect, to Myron Avery, President of the Appalachian Trail Conference, on November 28, 1941, provides an inventory of the completion date of the various structures.
SubjectCompletion of Trail Shelters in Shenandoah National Park
Structure Completion Dates
Lewis Spring Lean-to: May 1936
Rock Spring Shelter: June 1937
Doyle River Shelter: March 1937
Pocosin Shelter: June 1937
Big Run Lean-to: February 1939
Rip Rap Lean-to: February 1939
Old Rag Lean-to: September 1939
High Top Lean-to: October 1939
Pass Mountain Lean-to: October 1939
Meadow Springs Shelter: September 1939
Hawksbill Gap Lean-to: May 1940
Bearfence Lean-to:June 1940
Shaver Hollow Lean-to:July 1940
South River Lean-to:July 1940
Pinefield Lean-to: August 1940
Big Flat Lean-to: December 1940
Gravel Springs Lean-to: January 1941
Indian Run Lean-to: March 1941
Black Rock Lean-to: June 1941
Sawmill Run Lean-to: June 1941
Elkwallow Lean-to: December 1941