Shenandoah National Park announces new online interactive on ‘Life at Lewis Mountain’

Life at Lewis Mountain

LURAY — Shenandoah National Park launched the fourth in its series of web-based curriculums on March 7, 2024. The interactives are designed for high school students to explore national events and cultural changes through the lens of Shenandoah National Park. All are aligned with Virginia and national standards of learning. 

The newest program, “Life at Lewis Mountain: Shenandoah in the Jim Crow Era,” gives students, and others, the opportunity to explore how African Americans experienced Shenandoah National Park during segregation. The program also touches on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the struggle for desegregation. July 2, 2024 will mark the 60th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“Life at Lewis Mountain” is the result of decades of research and collaboration. Audrey Tutt Smith, one of the Lewis Mountain staff in the 1950s has worked closely as an advisor to park staff for over two decades. She has been an instrumental part of Shenandoah’s efforts to provide this story in the park’s exhibitry, as well as through this curriculum-based interactive. 

“We are grateful to our partners in this endeavor,” said Shenandoah Superintendent Pat Kenney. “Ms. Tutt-Smith, as well as other former Lewis Mountain staff, and members of the local Black community shared their stories and experiences generously. We could not have created this product without them.”  

“We also appreciate those who supported the project with funding,” said Kenney. The Appalachian Mountain Club donated funds to engage the Federal Research Division of the National Archives to provide additional research. 

“The Appalachian Mountain Club congratulates the National Park Service for telling the story of Shenandoah in the Jim Crow Era,” said Nicole Zussman, president & CEO of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). “As an organization committed to reducing economic and social barriers to the outdoors, AMC knows it can’t welcome everyone to Be Outdoors until we end the silence around the history of exclusion and segregation in outdoor spaces. We applaud the tireless efforts of the AMC Potomac Chapter in partnership with Shenandoah National Park to share this history with vivid immediacy. We are grateful to the National Park Service for the opportunity to contribute to a project that advances AMC’s mission to foster the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the outdoors.” 

Funding for the technical development by A&T Integrated, Inc. came from the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), which allows parks to utilize funds generated through entrance fees for mission-centered projects. 

All four educational curriculums can be accessed on the park’s website at 

Educators who are interested in professional development workshops about the park’s curriculums should contact the park’s education office at



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