News & Events

Remembering Green Pastures, June 2

Join us in the John E Hillert Auditorium of The Historic Masonic Theatre at 2:30 on June 2 for Heritage Day’s Story Telling Event, Remembering Green Pastures. The audience will be able to eavesdrop on the stories of six friends who remember Green Pastures well.

Green Pastures was built by the Dolly Ann Civilian Conservation Corps Camp F24. Some of the men who helped build Green Pastures still live in the area, and visit today’s Longdale Recreation Area on a regular basis. Memories take them back to their days in the CCC and how they came together to build a new nation in the wake of the Great Depression. During World War II, Green Pastures was closed. The Forest Service utilized this time to make improvements and expand the area. It reopened in 1948 for public use. Also in 1948, when the James River Ranger District was formed, administration of Green Pastures was transferred to the George Washington National Forest. In 1950 when the military integrated its soldiers, Green Pastures became available to all people regardless of race. On April 26th, 1963, Green Pastures name was officially changed to Longdale Recreation Area. The name was changed so that the area would be welcoming to all persons; while many names were suggested, Longdale Recreation Area was selected because the community near the entrance to the area had been called Longdale for many years and was a well-known local landmark. To this day, however many people still refer fondly to the area as Green Pastures.

Historian, Josh Howard will introduce the story tellers and give a brief history, Dr. Calvin McClinton will talk about efforts to save Green Pastures, and Joan Vannorsdall with introduce the book that has been written about the area.

Previous Events

Over fifty people came together on January 12 “Remembering Green Pastures” storytelling
event at the Historic Masonic Theatre Underground. About ten shared stories from the past about Longdale and Green Pastures. Below are a few photos from the event.