Missing Monday is your opportunity to help support the Truban Archives by donating historic materials that will help us fill gaps in our collection.
During the 20th century, Shenandoah County was home to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Apple Orchards like this one. A major part of our local economy and culture, these orchards supported communities, families, local businesses, and a way of life. They also brought outside influences, such as the railroad who came to transport apples and immigrants who were brought here during the harvest season to pick apples.
Since the mid-1990s Shenandoah County’s Apple Industry began to decline. Production began to move to other areas of the country and world due to consolidation, labor costs, trade, etc. Acreage and total production declined as land was sold to developers or transferred to other types of agricultural production.
The history of the Apple Industry in Shenandoah County is an important part of our community narrative. However, due to the small nature of most orchards, the transient nature of many workers, and the decline in production, much of its history has been lost or remains hidden.
As part of our “Missing Monday” project were are highlighting the Archive’s need to collect more materials related to the apple industry. This includes ledgers, business documents, photographs, employment information, and ephemera. Contact Archivist Zachary Hottel to arrange a donation.
Each Monday we will highlight one of these gaps and why the person, place, or thing mentioned is important to our community's history. Community members are invited to respond by contacting Archivist Zachary Hottel at (540)984-8200 to arrange a donation of related materials including documents, photographs, ephemera, etc. so we can better serve local historians interested in our area's past.
For the firs Missing Monday (11-18-19) we are highlighting Aileen, a textile producer who operated in Shenandoah County from the 1950s to the 1990s. With plants in four county towns, Aileen was a major employers before declaring bankruptcy and suddenly closing its plants in 1994-1995. With hundreds of employees, the company was a major part of the county's economic, social, and cultural fabric. The Truban Archives is looking to collect items from employees of the plant including pictures of buildings, workers, and activities, and any documents related to Aileen either before or after its closing. All items should be in reasonable condition and will be transferred to the Truban Archives.