Group Working To Honor Families Displaced By National Park

Published: Dec. 17, 2015 at 4:23 PM EST
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At least 500 families lost their homes when Shenandoah National Park was formed in the early 20th century. Now a group in the commonwealth is working to honor them.

The Blue Ridge Heritage Project plans to build memorials in eight counties where families were displaced by the park's formation. So far, only one in Madison County has been finished, but there are plans for memorials in Rockingham, Augusta and Page counties.

"Right now, most people that come to visit the park have no idea of the actual suffering or sacrifice that these families made in being removed," said Jim Lawson, who helped to plan these memorials.

Lawson's mother was displaced in Greene County when she was young. About 60 families were displaced in Rockingham County, according to Lawson.

He said they will begin to make plans for the next memorial in the coming months.