Hungry Mother State Parkis a family tradition. Each summer families return to the park to relive memories and create new ones.
Visiting Hungry Mother State Park is a family tradition!
The VA State Park system was created so everyone would have the same opportunity to enjoy the Commonwealth’s treasures. Who better to do that with, than those you love? Last week, I spent some time with campers Tom and Sallye Totten and their grandchildren Greyson and Thomas.
Tom recalled spending time with cousins at a private family cabin during the 1950’s. He said each week his parents and aunts and uncles would take turns staying at the cabin and watching the kids. Each day the group of cousins would walk a mile, each way, to Hungry Mother’s beach.
Around the same time period, Sallye’s family would camp at what was then a privately owned campground, Hungry Mother Campground, just outside of the park boundaries. The campground was purchased by the park in 2005 and is now Camp Burson Campground. They would stay 3 weeks each summer and enjoy the offerings of Hungry Mother State Park.
Ironically, the two didn’t meet at the park. It wasn’t until they were young adults and in Roanoke, that they met and fell in love. Tom was a recent Virginia Tech graduate serving in the Air Force which led the young couple away from Virginia, where they spent several years in Europe, and eventually ended up back in the state of Texas. In the late 1970’s, with two young children, the couple made their way back to Marion, VA, where Tom was employed at a local state hospital.
Camper Sallye Totten reminisces at Hungry Mother State Park
Hungry Mother State Park has been incorporated in family memories all through the years. The couple’s son, Joel, wanted to propose to his then girlfriend. He and his parents conspired and planned out the event. Joel secretly rented a cabin at the park. His parents were to sneak in and place a sculptured rose with the ring in a nightstand drawer. Joel then took his girlfriend to the park. He convinced her they should try one of the doors of a cabin and see if it was left unlocked. Nervously, she agreed. He then convinced her to look in the nightstand drawer to see if anything had been left behind by the last guests. And there she found the rose.
Now, Tom and Sallye, spend a couple of weeks each year with their grandchildren camping in the park. They go fishing, participate in programs, and build lifelong memories.
Hungry Mother State Park is honored to be a part of this family’s history. It is never too late to begin making memories.
Visit our website to find the VA State Park closest to you and create your family memories today.