“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Luray in Page County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Through the Gaps

Through the Gaps Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 30, 2007
1. Through the Gaps Marker
Inscription.  In the valley below, Highway 211 snakes its way through the town of Luray and connects Thornton Gap, 1/2 mile to your left on Skyline Drive, with New Market Gap, the low point in distant Massanutten Mountain. Luray and Route 211 illustrate how mountain gaps have often determined townsite locations and travel routes.

Imagine yourself 300 years ago pushing west across Virginia's wilderness. Ahead, an imposing north-south wall of Blue Ridge Mountains blocks your path. Where do you cross? Like all travelers, you choose a low spot, or "gap," in the mountain wall. Now you look ahead again, there stands yet another wall. Your path across the intervening valley leads you to the next inviting gap. Over time, others follow and a gap-connecting travel route grows.

Towns like Luray often evolved near gaps as logical marketplaces where cross-mountain roads intersected north-south valley roads.

From Indian footpaths to modern highways, mountain gaps have controlled human movement and settlement.
Erected by Shenandoah National Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists:
View from Pass Mountain Overlook image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 30, 2007
2. View from Pass Mountain Overlook
The line of Highway 211 leads to Luray in the distant center. Beyond it further in the distance to the left is New Market Gap through Massanutten Mountain.
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Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 38° 40.505′ N, 78° 20.064′ W. Marker was near Luray, Virginia, in Page County. Marker was on Skyline Drive, on the right when traveling south. It was located at the Pass Mountain Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Luray VA 22835, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Gaps in the Story (a few steps from this marker); William Randolph Barbee (approx. 1.3 miles away); Thornton Gap (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rappahannock County / Page County (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Greatest Single Feature (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rocks Older than Mankind (approx. 2 miles away); Marys Rock Tunnel (approx. 2 miles away); Shenandoah National Park (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Luray.
More about this marker. On the right is a collage of drawing depicting the travel through the gaps throughout history. Indians, explorers, Civil War armies, settlers, merchants, and modern vacationers have all passed through Shenandoah's gaps. Below it is a map of this section of the park. Many of Shenandoah's gaps are marked on this map with red dots. Only the deepest - Thornton's, Swift Run, Rockfish - have major travel routes today. In the past, many of the others had minor routes.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 955 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Aug. 7, 2022