Nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains near Basye in Shenandoah Co. is a little-known community called “Bird Haven.” Amateur ornithologists as well as historians might be interested in Bird Haven.
Situated in the George Washington National Forest near the Alum Springs Hotel, the community became known as a bird sanctuary and as the home of an early American experiment in communal living called “The Shenandoah Community Workers.”
According to a 1927 article in “Nature Magazine,” the region had been occupied since the 1600s by a group of Pennsylvania Dutch. For years, they struggled unsuccessfully to farm. In the early 1900s, the farmers, encouraged by a wealthy local female landowner, put farming aside and pooled their skills to find an alternative use for the “bull” or yellow pines that grew in the area. [Read more…]