Category Archives: Shenandoah

The Grandmother I Never Knew

I know only wisps of my grandmother’s life, those parts that came to me in stories told by my mother, or from the occasional times our family made the 3,000 mile trip from Southern California to the Virginia farm where she spent … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Blue Ridge Mountains, Collier, Meadows, Merica, Old Photos, Shenandoah | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Book Review: “Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal”

The following is a review of Sue Eisenfeld’s new book about the hearty mountaineers who lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains before creation of Shenandoah National Park, and who were evicted and moved from their homes to make way for the … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Shenandoah | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

At the Wheel: The Life of Jessie Merica, Part 1

I don’t know if Jessie Thomas Merica was a horse-obsessed boy, but even if he was, I bet he soon forgot ole’ Pet the family equine once the automobile came into his life. Jessie was born in 1916, which was … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Merica, Old Photos, Shenandoah | Tagged , | 5 Comments

I Never Loved Her More

Snow came the night we reached Shenandoah in late December of 1968 after driving night and day from Southern California to make it while there was still time. It lay shining on the fields in the light of a full moon, glistening on … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Shenandoah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

My German-(A)Merican Heritage

This is the first of a several-part series on my grandfather, Thomas Austin Merica. Thomas Austin Merica was born on May 28, 1884 in Greene County, Virginia. Or at least that’s the family legend. He was from sturdy German stock, … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, Blue Ridge Mountains, Collier, Merica, Shenandoah | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My Mysterious Mary Margaret Magdalene Meadows

My great grandmother is a mystery to me. My mother knew her well, but she’s 93 and can’t think of much to say about her. My cousin knew her too, but she has nothing to add either. I have no … Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century, 20th Century, Collier, Meadows, Shenandoah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Gypsies, Maligned and Misaligned

On a cool, late autumn day in 1930, or maybe 1931, Ruthy Merica and a small swarm of her grade school friends from the Fleeburg section of Shenandoah, Virginia, walked home from school as they always did, down the dirt … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Shenandoah | Tagged , , | 2 Comments