Wayne Theatre presents Shenandoah: The Untold Stories Behind the Impossible Park

The Wayne Theatre presents Shenandoah-The Untold Stories Behind the Impossible Park with Jim Lawson on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

wayne theatreThe establishment of Shenandoah National Park was a real-life soap opera with twists and turns earning monikers such as the Impossible Park and the Saw Tooth Park during its decade-long creation.

No other national park has caused so much turmoil and impacted so many lives during a time span that covered three presidents.  What were the motives and politics behind the park and its location? The park was created entirely on private property by hostile takeover, a first for the Park Service.  The final park size was reduced by two-thirds during the struggles with residents, law suits, plus an economic downturn. How would one man and a rock pile change everything? How did a simple change in a mail box address possibly change the whole outcome of the park?  What was the true story behind Camp Hoover?

Above all, who waged an aggressive advertisement campaign against the residents that left scars even to this day? Jim Lawson’s emigrant European ancestors inhabited the Blue Ridge for over one and one-half centuries prior to the creation of the SNP.  He has made the park a lifelong study, intrigued by the family stories of pre-park life on the moutains.  He volunteers for SNP and Rivanna Master Naturalist Chapter.  Jim is a member of PATC, an instructor for JMU LLI and SNP Road Scholar Programs and has made presentations to local  historic and civic clubs.

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