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Opening of the Skyline Drive, Photograph, 1934


This photograph depicts the opening of the Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in 1934. The Skyline Drive was created to be a scenic driving road along side of the mountains and to be a part of the Shenandoah National Park. The Shenandoah National Park was created in 1926 to preserve the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains for recreational use and for future generations. The creation of the Shenandoah National Park represented one of the biggest land seizures using eminent domain in Virginia state history. The park is composed of about 190,000 acres of donated and state purchased land that was later donated to the federal government for a national park, skyline drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. Today the park has grown to about 200,000 acres and serves as one of the most popular parks in the country.

Citation:  Heinemann, R. L. Shenandoah National Park. (2012, January 18). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from “Opening of Skyline Drive,” Library of Virginia, accessed September 14, 2015, “Shenandoah National Park,” Library of Virginia, accessed September 14, 2015, Virginia Conservation Commission. The Library of Virginia. 03-0605-18.


VS.1, VS.9(a), USII.1, USII.6, VUS.1, VUS.8, VUS.10

Suggested Questions

Current Connections: How does the right to private property vs. the state's invocation of eminent domain conflict?  Can you cite a current issue that illustrates this conflict?

Artistic Exploration:  Look at the photograph provided;  what details in the photo tell you about the opening of the Skyline Drive?  Be specific.


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