Town offers land to honor families displaced by Shenandoah National Park creation

Published: Jul. 29, 2016 at 2:03 PM EDT
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The town of Shenandoah has offered Big Gem Park as a potential site for the Blue Ridge Heritage Project to build a monument to honor the families who were displaced by the creation of Shenandoah National Park.

At least 500 families lost their homes when the national park was formed in the early 20th century, including families in Augusta, Rockingham and Page counties.

Now, Big Gem Park could be the place where the memorial for the about 115 families in Page County will be placed.

The Blue Ridge Heritage Project is planning eight memorials throughout Virginia. Rose Ann Smythe with the group says the recent dedication of the one in Madison County inspired her to take action. "Just seeing people coming showing their children their family names and citing their family history —I thought if they can do that in Madison County, we can do that in Page," Blythe said.

A committee hopes to visit all the proposed sites in September and make a decision shortly after. The group needs $12,000 to build the memorial which will include a chimney and a plaque with the names.