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

Guarding the Past

Shenandoah National Park

 
 
Guarding the Past Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, July 14, 2016
1. Guarding the Past Marker
Inscription.  
In the end, the character of a civilization is encased in its structures.”   Frank Gehry, architect

Historic preservation honors and saves our past. Preservation, both natural and cultural, is a mission and mandate of the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS is obligated to preserve, restore, rehabilitate, and reconstruct the objects that link us to bygone times and our heritage – furnishings, buildings, even guardrails.

When Skyline Drive was built in the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed barriers at the edges of the road and overlooks. Here at Franklin Cliffs, CCC workers laid a log guardrail. Because it had rotted, the log guardrail was removed in the 1950s. In 2009, as part of a historic preservation project for Skyline Drive, log guardrails were rebuilt along 11 miles of the scenic highway, including here at Franklin Cliffs Overlook.

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Changing Guards

Architects used various materials, including stone walls and log guardrails, to protect motorists from Skyline Drive’s steep slopes. Original log guardrails were made from the wood of the American
Guarding the Past Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, July 14, 2016
2. Guarding the Past Marker
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chestnut tree.

Franklin Cliffs Overlook had no safety barrier after the original guardrail was removed in the 1950s. In 2009 the log guardrail was rebuilt to adhere to current safety standards and to recapture the original 1930s look.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkMan-Made Features.
 
Location. 38° 32.217′ N, 78° 25.168′ W. Marker is in Stanley, Virginia, in Page County. Marker is on Skyline Drive (at milepost 49), on the right when traveling south. Marker is located on Skyline Drive, in the Franklin Cliffs Overlook (MP 49). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stanley VA 22851, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stonewall Jackson's Marches (approx. ¼ mile away); Getting to know the air you breathe! (approx. 1.3 miles away); Big Meadows Lodge (approx. 1.3 miles away); Dark Hollow (approx. 1.4 miles away); National Park Service CCC Camps (approx. 1.6 miles away); Iron Mike (approx. 1.6 miles away); Skyline Drive Historic District (approx. 1.6 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 1.8 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker features a photograph of Franklin Cliffs Overlook with the log guardrail. At the lower left side of the marker is a reproduction of a postcard showing “Franklin Cliff from the overlook on Skyline Drive.” It includes a caption of “Souvenir postcards of Skyline Drive like this one of Franklin Cliffs Overlook are pleasant reminders of the past historic preservation seeks to save.”
 
Marker on Skyline Drive image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, July 14, 2016
3. Marker on Skyline Drive
Guardrails at Franklin Cliffs Overlook image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, July 14, 2016
4. Guardrails at Franklin Cliffs Overlook
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2016, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 348 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 28, 2016, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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Feb. 1, 2023