New monument in Elkton to honor families displace by national park

ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) -- A new monument in Elkton is one step closer to honoring those displaced by Shenandoah National Park.

The beginning of a monument in Elkton that will honor families displaced by the creation of Shenandoah National Park

The memorial comes around 90 years after families were first displaced in the mountains to make room for the park. Ground was broken for the memorial Saturday at the Elkton Community Center.

The monument will be a chimney that will have a plaque with the name of every Rockingham County landowner that was displaced.

Teresa Kay Lam, a descendant of one of the displaced people and member of the Blue Ridge Heritage Project, said this weekend's ground breaking ceremony was a special moment.

"The sun rays came out and just warmed us up. And I do feel like... I believe in signs," Lam said. "I believe that was our ancestors, just shining down on us."

The chimney monument will represent the chimneys of the displaced families, some of which still stand today in Shenandoah National Park.

The memorial chimney will be about 14 feet high, according to Lam.

Shenandoah National Park displaced people from eight counties. The only place that does not have any sort of plan or existing monument for a memorial is Augusta County.

Lam said she also hoped the monument could help clear the air around her ancestors.

There's a lot of misinformation out, still to this day, about our ancestors," Lam said. "They were not these poor people who could not take care of themselves. They were just self sufficient."