The Resource Oral history interview, Ralph Baugher ; conducted by Janet Baugher Downs, (sound recording :)

Oral history interview, Ralph Baugher ; conducted by Janet Baugher Downs, (sound recording :)

Oral history interview
Oral history interview
Statement of responsibility
Ralph Baugher ; conducted by Janet Baugher Downs
Title variation
Blue Ridge families
Records the reminiscences of Ralph Baugher, who was born in Swift Run, Va., prior to the establishment of the Shenandoah National Park in that region in the 1930s. Describes his early childhood and family life, including his education at the two-room Swift Run School, and working on the family farm after graduation. Recalls his parents, Joseph W. (referred to as Jerrad) and Sarah Baugher (née Haney), particularly his father's occupation as a blacksmith and grave digger for the local undertaker, Ott Brill. Mentions other members of the extended Baugher family. Mentions common folk remedies, popular Halloween pranks and Christmas traditions , and the practice of "serenading" newlyweds on their wedding night, also known as a "shivaree." Recalls moving from Swift Run to Solsburg, in 1935, in the wake of a federally mandated eviction of all local residents to make way for the Shenandoah National Park. Speaks of being drafted into the army in 1942, where he served for three years in the Pacific. Is joined in the interview by his wife Clara Baugher and his niece Janet Baugher Downs, who add their reminiscences of life in Swift Run prior to the opening of the Shenandoah National Park. Included in their descriptions of daily life and farm chores are recollections of the prominent roles played by local grist mill and general store owner Lester Meadows and Postmaster John Hughes, in the community. Speaks briefly of several Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps constructed in the area during the Depression. Discusses cider-making, moonshiners, and a number of local murders. Closes with an epilogue by the interviewer which further describes Ralph Baugher's work history after returning from World War II
Cataloging source
Date time place
Recorded at the home of Ralph and Clara Baugher, in Solsburg, Va., March 5, 2000
Form of composition
not applicable
Format of music
not applicable
Literary text for sound recordings
Series statement
James Madison University sound archives
Series volume
no.23-2a - 23-2b.
Oral history interview, Ralph Baugher ; conducted by Janet Baugher Downs, (sound recording :)
  • Complete transcription of tape available in Special Collections
  • STACK COPY: Transcripts and accompanying text only. There is no background paper for this oral history project. Call no.: F232.S48 B38 2000
  • Forms part of the Blue Ridge families oral history project. FOR ACCESS TO THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, including tapes, original copies of all text material and interviews, see Special Coll. call number SdArch nos. 23-1 through 23-2. (Tapes only: Special Coll. Oral history interview [sound recording] / Virginia E. Baugher (SdArch no.23-1), conducted by Janet Baugher Downs
Accompanying material
1 transcript (28 leaves ; 28 cm.)
Control code
1/8 in. +
2 sound cassettes (ca. 90 min.)
Other physical details
1 7/8 ips




Library Locations

    • Special Collections Research CenterBorrow it
      Carrier Library Second Floor Room 203, MSC 1704, 880 Madison Drive, Harrisonburg, VA, 22807, US
      38.438299 -78.8741916
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