Appalachian Trail Histories

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Contents of Manassas Gap Shelter log book from July 7, 2012.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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5/16 - If there are any Southbounders that come through, there is a kid named Matthew that was in a wreck last night and ran into the woods near the A.T. headed south down at the next road that leads into Linden. His mom was down at the trail head asking us if we saw him. She was read torn up. But, he is a handsome 20-year-old with dark hair and is about 5'10". He was seen by a witness at the accident running into the woods with no shirt and no shoes. I don't know, maybe we can help find him somehow.
-- NoseHoSe [hiker trail name]

5/16 - Starburst are yummy for snacking. -- Maybe

5/16 - Not sure if we are here for the night or for the moment. Waiting out a T-storm. Saw a turtle on the way here...Neat.
-- Kremers

5/16 - Bojangles - Bri Bri in for the night. On to Ashby Gap plus Hunter's Head Tavern tomorrow! I've been anticipating a Hunter's Head Tavern visit since Springer Mtn. Anyone behind me - hitch East on hwy 50 for 5-7 miles to Upperville Virginia. Well worth the visit!

5/18 - HARD CORE 10:00

5/18 - In for a break. Great day so far. Nice breeze and sunny skies.
-- Hardrock


Collection: Trail Shelters
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Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps around 1933, just north of Linden, Virginia. Like many of the shelters along the Trail, the Manassas Gap Shelter resided on private land for many decades. Built from chestnut logs, the shelter is a simple lean-to with three walls. Until the 1980s there were also bunks across the back of the structure, but these were removed in the 1980s during a restoration of the shelter brought on by a severe infestation of mice and field rats. A covered spring is just downslope from the shelter.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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A menu from the restaurants along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in 1960. Restaurants were located at Skyland, Big Meadows, Panorama (Route 211/Thornton Gap), Elk Wallow, and Dickey Ridge. Today food service is still provided at Skyland, Big Meadows, Elk Wallow, and in the southern section of the park at Loft Mountain. The restaurant at Panorama was removed by the Park Service in 2008 as part of a cost cutting effort.

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Map from the Confederate Engineer Bureau in Richmond, Va. General J.F. Gilmer Chief Engineer . Presented to the West Point Military Academy by his only daughter, Mrs J.F. Minis, Savh, Ga

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Survey map of the land assigned to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) by the National Park Service around Corbin Cabin. Drawing no. 134-60010, Scale 1" = 60'

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Transcription of the log book entry:

May 28, 1954 through May 30, 1954

We had a beautiful weekend for the continuance of work & the dedication. Jeannette Fitz Williams & Earl Haskell merit special mention for their vigorous labor in the annex. Besides that, all those whose name appear below the arrow on the previous page contributed largely toward weeding, clearing, mortaring, tarring, painting, & rattle-snake killing. On Sunday afternoon, George Corbin, Chief Ranger Jacobs & Park Naturalist Favour & those whose names appear above the arrow on the previous page began to wander in & all of us finally gathered about 3:30 daylight savings time for the dedication over which President Blackburn presided. He gave a short history of the cabin before PATC & since. He introduced the new overseer, Karl Thrif [sp?], & presented his wife, Ann, with keys, this book, & the cabin sign, while Karl & many others took pictures. Pr. Blackburn introduced next Mr. Corbin who expressed his gratitude for the Club’s interest in his home. The rangers each said a few words & then the piece de resistance [winged?] up by physicist Blackburn & consisting of a spark-plug igniting a few drops of gasoline & thus shooting a can against the door & smashing a bottle of “champagne” against the threshold — but it didn’t work, but after 2 manual efforts, Canada Dry’s best was in smithereens.

At the same decisive moment, several hydrogen filled balloons were released from the attic windows and floated out over the park. Afterwards, George Corbin’s best apple brandy was served to the guests who later staggered up the hill & left the rest of us to continue our work.


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The families of Corbin Hollow--a community of perennial starvation and penniless squalor within a dozen miles of President Hoover's Rapidan camp--are about to come into something more than their own.

A plan to move the community, rooted in this one spot since the Revolutionary War, to a new section of the mountains adjoining a church mission has been virtually agreed upon between Federal and State officials.

Mixed up in the strange story are officials of the National Park Service, a Washington physician and a lone woman social worker, Miss Miriam Sizer.

Secretary Wilbur rode into the Hollow over the week end, accompanied by Horace M. Albright, director of the National Park Service; Dr. Lyman Sexton of Washington and Miss Sizer.

Corbin Hollow is within the limits of the new Shenandoah National Park. In order not only to aid the Corbins and the Nicholsons, but also to clear the park, the plan of providing a sizable plot for them near a mountain mission was advanced. Wilbur looked on it with favor.

"No matter what is done with these people," he said, "the will be better off. They have nothing to lose."



A undated photograph of Nicholson Hollow resident Fannie Corbin and one of her children. On the reverse of the print it says "Fannie Corbin and one of her 22 children." Fannie Corbin was a resident of Lower Nicholson Hollow in what is now Shenandoah National Park. This photograph, although undated, was almost certainly taken before the people of Nicholson Hollow were required to move by the Commonwealth of Virginia to make way for the new park in 1936.

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This photograph (photographer unknown) depicts Sam Corbin and Eddie Nicholson, residents of Corbin Hollow, Virginia at the time that Shenandoah National Park was being created. According to information on the reverse of the photograph, Sam Corbin is on the left, Eddie Nicholson is on the right. The children are not named.

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This photograph was likely taken in Corbin Hollow, Virginia, in 1930 (photographer unknown), along what is now the called the Corbin Mountain Trail. On the reverse of the print in the archives of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), it says "The Newt and Andrew Nicholson. 1930". Although there is no further information, the photograph likely shows three generations of Nicholsons. "The Newt" is Newton Nicholson (the older man) depicted here. Andrew Nicholson's home was located in Corbin Hollow, while Newton Nicholson's was on the northwest slope of Short Mountain, about two miles to the north of Corbin Hollow along what is now called the Hannah Run Trail. It is possible this photograph was taken there rather than in Corbin Hollow.

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This photograph, likely taken by Ed Garvey of the Potomac Appalachian Trial Club (PATC), shows Corbin Cabin between the time that George Corbin was forced to leave his home and the renovation of the cabin by PATC members in 1953-54.

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