You may have seen Hungry Mother State Park, got it's name. There is a story and some think it was a publicity stunt. Regardless, Hungry Mother has one distinction among all of the other original six Virginia State Parks in that it was the site for the grand opening for all of the parks. Maybe that makes the Park the Mother of our system.
The story goes that Hungry Mother was the park farthest along in development and that is why it was chosen for the honor. After working for state government for 15 years I suspect the fact that the Virginia Governor, George C. Peery, happened to be from Tazewell County (making Hungry Mother the closest park to his home town) probably had as much to do with it.
A crowd of 5,000 people attended the two day event. A motorcade of 100 automobiles greeted the dignitaries that arrived via Norfolk and Western Train Number 41.
Last week I attended a Media Day at Hungry Mother State Park as we invited the press to come out and learn that as a product of our history we will be holding the grandest Anniversary/Birthday event of all at the park – indeed the Mother of all Birthday Celebrations.
The Park and members of the community have been working for months on plans for the celebration. At the Media Day, the committee talked about what Hungry Mother means to Marion, Smyth County and southwest Virginia.