(SNP009) Harold Baugher interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Sharon G. Marston

Dublin Core


(SNP009) Harold Baugher interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Sharon G. Marston


Oral history, Harold Baugher, mountain people


Records the reminiscences of Harold Baugher who grew up in Swift Run, Virginia, in the 1930s, on a farm that became part of Shenandoah National Park. Describes home and family life, daily chores, schooling, holidays and community events. Among the topics discussed are the growing, harvesting and preserving of food, traditional herbal medicines and apple orchards. Includes references to wakes and funerals, sorghum production, bark peeling, Kris Kringling and the evictions of local families to make way for the national park.


Smith, Dorothy Noble, 1915-1999 Interviewer.
Harold Baugher, Interviewee.


Shenandoah National Park oral history collection.


James Madison University.


April 6th, 1979.


National Park Service.


The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).


Audio File.




Oral History.


Oral history of Harold Baugher, mountain man from Shenandoah National Park, 1930s.


1930s Shenandoah National Park.

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Smith, Dorothy Noble, 1915-1999 Interviewer.


Harold Baugher.




D.S.: Yea, Now Did you used to visit people in the hollow or a
few miles away, or do anything , walk around like that ?
H.B.: Well yes, I usta kind of do a little courting in some of the
other hollows. But we didn't do to much visiting around, not
too much.
D.S.: How would you meet the girls, in the other .hollows?
H.B.: Well, maybe go to church or something like that, find em
and meet them or some party or something you'd meet them.
D.S.: Uhhuh. Yea. Okey. So there was visiting back and forth,
wasn't there?
H.B.: Well, in a way yes. In a way not too much.
D.S.: Yea.
H.B.: We couldn't go too far back same day because of the rigs
we had you know go visiting sometime out in
not too many miles away. Get back before dark do the milking
D. S. : Did you ever walk down toward Big Meadows area. That wasn't
too far away from you.
H.B. : No
D. S. : Did you ever go over to Dark Hollow or around there.
H.B. : No. That's on the other side, of the mountain isn't it?
D. S.: Yea.
H.B.: I was strickly a Eastern Virginian.
D.S.: Eastern side.
H.B.: Western side, I'm sorry.
D.S.: How did you celebrate Christmas?
H.B.: Celebrate well we'd have to eat, I don't know
what else maybe some kind of a program maybe at the church ••
something like that maybe not much.
D.S.: Did you do the Kris Kringling?
H.B.: Oh, yes indeed.
D.S.: Well that's part of Christmas isn't it?
H.B.: Yes we'd go Kris Kringling. We'd have a big old clown suit
I call it and a mask or something on our face we'd go around
and try to fool people, which we did. We'd all get together
a bunch of us and go from house to house. They'd try to guess
who it was, and didn't have much luck sometime.
D.S.: And then would you get something to eat?
H.3.: Well, we didn't eat too much, because we had other visits,
going ot he r places same night you know.
D.S.: Oh yea, right. Did you shoot off firecrackers?
H.B. : Oh yes. We had firecrackers, roma1il candles, that was the long
ones you know Right smart of those.
D.S. : Yea, sure. I know your family didn' t because you've already
said so, but did any of your neighbors make moonshine?
H.B.: Not my neighbors, no.
D.S.: Not your neighbors.
H.B.: Not anywhere close that I know of. One fellow did come by one
time and say come over tonight. He lived a ways from me, and
uh, he said we gon run off tonight. I said no, I
don't believe I'll be over there. So I didn't go, because I
didn't know who else might be there too.
But nobody close,
D.S.: Yea. Right. Do you could you tell me how the people felt
when they knew the park was coming in7
H.B.: Well, the most of them opposed it because they weren't allowed
to have anything for their place. They set a price for it, and
you had to take it or else get out, now! That's uh, pretty
the my dad was I think.
D.S.: Yea.
H.B.: Even tho they didn't take all of his place. And some of
them got a pretty good price I don't know we didn't. We
had to work hard no too hard we had a lot of fun a lot
of fast time along with it and we had good fresh air, good
water, and healthy. Most of us. And if we
ever got sick,
the neighbors would come in and help you. Same way vice
versa. Anything like that. Man get a broken leg, take
care of til get you know what I mean.
D.S.: Uh, what kind of a lock did you have on your door?
H.B.: Just a small lock. You know, turn a knob one key fit everything.
D.S.: How do you feel about a person, if there had been one your
neighborhood who did any stealing?
H.B.: ell, I don't know.
D.S.: Was there any stealing?
H.B.: There probably was. I've heard of some along the line, but uh,
not too much. They might have took a bag of corn or some at night; but I don't think there was too much
D.S.: Were there any you know Elkton area has always been sort of
noted for lots of fights, among the mountain people. Do you
recall any that went on.
H.B.: Whatcha mean something like a feud?
D.S.: Not exactly a feud, but just men with very firey tempers.
H.B. : Well, yes. they usta have
a few fights around occasionaly;
especially young boys from you might say. Boys
visiting a girl from the other hollow, boys over here didn't
like that. They'd rock you at night. Throw rocks at you.
I've had to run a few times myself. But far as fights or
something they didn't fight no.
D.S.: I was fairly sure all the stories couldn't have been wrong,
there were fights going on.
H.B.: Oh yes. yes.
D.S.: Yea.
H.B.: Sometimes brothers would fight. Yea. I've known a couple
brothers three brothers fighting one night. Course you
know one of them was laying in the water, uh, mud hole,
and my dad pulled him out, to keep him from drowning. That's
a little story off to the side.
0.5.: Yea. right.
H.B.: There wasn't too many fights usually.
0.5.: Do you think if given the opportunity, would you go back to
live the reo
H.B.: You mean in those days. I believe in a way I've thought of
it quite a few times it would be right interesting and I'd
kinda like it because the thing we had to do what I even
since I've been married we had taken care of all our fruit s
just like I did when I was a boy. We got dried apples, we got
dried beans, and all that sort of thing. And uh, and it would
be right interesting to go back and do what they done then. lIve
said it, and I'll still say it, a lot of the people today if
they had to put up with what we did when we were children the
way we live which we were happy with what we had and we got
along fine half of them would starve today. They don't know
how to survive. That's my way of thinking. I might be wrong.
D.S.: You're absolutely right. was an independence of the
people that you had to learn to stand on your own feet.
You had to work hard.

Original Format

Oral History


8 minutes and 48 seconds.

Time Summary

This section of the interview runs at 49:08-57:56.


Smith, Dorothy Noble, 1915-1999 Interviewer. and Harold Baugher, Interviewee., “(SNP009) Harold Baugher interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Sharon G. Marston,” "Map of The Stony Man Region in the Shenandoah National Park" Digital Map, accessed February 29, 2024, https://ashleypalazzo.org/SNPdigitalprojectcollection/items/show/31.

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