Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine announced Friday, October 24 that the 105-mile Skyline Drive, which begins in Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro and extends to Front Royal, has been designated a national historic landmark by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.
The designation is the highest ranking bestowed by the U.S. government on a historic resource and is reserved for places that “possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.”
“This designation reminds Virginians of what an extraordinary national treasure we have in the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, that portion of the road extending beyond Shenandoah National Park,” Kaine said. “What better time for this honor to arrive than in October, when autumn colors along the roadway are at their peak, attracting visitors from around the state and nation to Skyline Drive’s vistas.”
In 1996, the Department of Historic Resources listed Skyline Drive on the Virginia Landmarks Register and nominated it to the National Register of Historic Places.
Skyline Drive was constructed from 1931 to 1942 as the backbone of Shenandoah National Park.
While Skyline Drive’s construction frequently is associated with the Civilian Conservation Corps formed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, work on the road officially began in 1931 under President Hoover.
Hoover had a presidential getaway cabin at Rapidan Camp, located today within the park in Madison County.
In Virginia, there are 118 other national historic landmarks, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Fort Monroe in Hampton and Richmond’s Jackson Ward.
Source: The News Virginian