Celebrating Mountain Heritage
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The Piedmont Environmental Council honors the history and heritage of the many hundreds of families that once called the Blue Ridge Mountains home through a variety of activities, events and partnerships

We've created an online survey to help identify undocumented, unrecognized or unprotected historic resources in the Blue Ridge. Please take a few minutes to help identify historic sites that are important to you or your community.


A walking history guide to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northern Greene and Western Madison County, Virginia. This new book, written by PEC's Kristie Kendall, provides a historic context and trail guide for life in the mountains, from the first white settlers through the 1930s, when land was obtained for the creation of Shenandoah National Park.

Attendees check out a schedule of events during the 2015 event at the Thornton Gap Primitive Baptist Church in Rappahannock. Photo by Paula Combs


Each spring since 2012, PEC hosts a mountain heritage day in a different location and different county surrounding Shenandoah National Park to recognize the history and heritage of the families that once lived in and around the mountains.

In the past, there has been misrepresentation and a lot of inaccurate information about Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains culture; these events have tried to focus on providing an accurate interpretation of these family histories and honor them in a way that hasn’t been done before.

Each event is held in a historic building that has direct ties to the mountain community of that particular area. We invite local families to come out to share their histories, photographs, and other memorabilia and display it inside the historic building, giving them an opportunity to share their heritage with 250-300 or more visitors from around the state and beyond.

The Blue Ridge Heritage Project
unveiled its first memorial site
in 2015 in Madison County.
Photos by Kristie Kendall.

Incorporated in 2013, the Blue Ridge Heritage Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to continue the work of honoring and preserving the culture and traditions of the mountain people. For over three years, the group and its Board of Directors have helped the eight counties where land was acquired to create the Park to plan memorial sites to those displaced in each county and exhibits and demonstrations to tell and show visitors the cultures and traditions of the Blue Ridge.

The Blue Ridge Heritage Project's Board of Directors includes PEC’s Historic Preservation Manager, Kristie Kendall, and PEC Board Member, Roy Dye. 


Historic Tract Maps

At our Mountain Heritage events we have had historic tract maps of Shenandoah National Park on display. These maps, which are 24"x36", show historic ownership in the Blue Ridge Mountains prior to acquisition of the land for the creation of Shenandoah National. Each tract of land is identified by the former landowner's name and current road and trails overlaid on the map, enable family members to figure out where their relatives once lived.

Due to interest, we are making our mountain heritage maps available for purchase by PEC members.

Find out more >>


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