Thursday, June 7, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Hiking the Massanutten 1924

Those Places is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that invites family historians to post photos and stories about places their ancestors lived. 


This is the second in a series based on my great-aunt Velma Davis Woodring’s scrapbook that she kept during her freshman year at Harrisonburg Teachers College (now James Madison University).  Click HERE to read the first one.

Probably the most recognizable physical feature of the Shenandoah Valley is Massanutten Mountain. My mother used to say it looks like an elephant’s head and trunk.  I think so too.  Can you see it?


from Google Images

Velma tells about a hike up the Massanutten one Saturday in October 1924.  She and her classmates were accompanied by the young college president, Samuel Duke. 

Samuel P. Duke, President from 1919-1949

Here is a transcription of her report along with the photos she took to remember that day. (I had to guess what Velma wrote in some places where the white ink has faded.  Impressions in the paper helped.)


One Saturday about 250 girls went to the station at H.T.C. and went to the foot of the Massanutten Peak on the train.  Here we all got off and started on our way up the mountain.  About every five minutes, when climbing the mountain, we would stop and rest. We got to the top about one thirty. We stopped and ate our lunch and walked over to the peak as we wanted to. 




Velma on the right.
 Then at three o’clock when everyone was tired of looking around at the beautiful Valley we started down the mountain. We got to the station about four o’clock and had to wait a while for the train. During the time we were waiting we found many ways to amuse ourselves. We got back to H.T.C. just in time for dinner.




She is not identified anywhere in the
scrapbook except in one photo
captioned "Bill." 






















Oh how I wish Velma had revealed how they amused themselves. 

9 comments:

  1. I never thought about Massanutten looking like an elephant's trunk but it does! I have only been there a few times. I'm going to investigate to see what hikes are available now.

    This album must be so interesting!

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    1. I've hiked it only once -- when I was in college. I should do that again.

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  2. yes, it does doesn't it! You certainly have quite a treat with your aunt's album and it's wonderful that you can share it with us too!

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    1. Thanks Karen. I am enjoying looking through the album because it's fun to see MY college in its early days.

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  3. I was thinking the same thing: I wish she had said what they did. Still, it's wonderful that you have her trip report. :)

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    1. A good reminder that I should just be happy to have the scrapbook at all.

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  4. Never hiked Massanutten, but skied every Monday night my junior year in college-yay for P.E. class!

    I am sure Velma was entertaining! Too bad she didn't have her circle skirt to twirl around.

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  5. I can see the elephant :-). It's nice you can read about a trip made so long ago.

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    1. It's a magnificent mountain. I'm glad everyone is able to see the elephant -- and not any pink ones.

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