Mystery Photo 31 Revealed: Lewis Mountain Negro Area Sign Exhibit at Shenandoah





The Lewis Mountain area at Skyline drive milepost 57.5 in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park was once a racially segregated facility. The mystery photo shows part of a replica sign on exhibit in the park's Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center at Big Meadows. The original sign, one side of which is shown in an accompanying photo, was removed six decades ago when Lewis Mountain ceased to be racially restricted.

Racial segregation was built into the park's original plan. In 1932, three years before Shenandoah National Park was officially established, Arno Cammerer (then-Deputy Director of the National Park Service) had specified that concession facilities for the proposed park should make "provision for colored guests." A proposed "colored picnic grounds at Lewis Mountain" was in the park master plan, but no such facility had materialized by mid-summer 1937 when the Washington office, irked by the delay, sent a blunt reminder to park superintendent J. Ralph Lassiter....

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