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Luray Caverns, discovered in the quiet valley community of Luray in 1878, became the main attraction in Page County. In hopes of capitalizing on this new found "Wonder of the World," executives of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad completed the rail from Hagerstown and Basic City to Luray by 1881. Mann Almond drove the final ceremonial spike just north of Deford's Tannery in Luray. With the arrival of the railroad came a new economy supported by passengers, excursionists, lodging, and freight transport. The bulk of these transports were Eureka Mining Company's mineral extractions and Shenandoah's "Big
Gem" iron bloom shipments. Luray's own "Mercantile Mile" leading to the caverns was laden with storehouses, offering goods found in larger cities, and the rail brought visitors in droves. The photographers who produced the images contained here did so only as a means of income, but today their work is our visual link to the past.

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