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"The Long Way Home," based on the life of Mary Draper Ingles and adapted for the stage by Earl Hobson Smith and performed in the City of Radford, was designated the official historical outdoor drama of the Commonwealth and approved April 8, 1994
In July of 1755, Shawnee Indians, allied with the French, raided the early Western Virginia Frontier. The result of one of those raids was Mary Draper Ingles' Journey, The Long way Home. You can experience this historic epic in Earl Hobson Smith's most stirring play, which is now designated as "Virginia's Historical Outdoor Drama of the Commonwealth."
Come see this true heroic adventure depicting Mary Draper Ingles' 850 mile escape through some of the most rugged, and then unexplored terrain of the North American Continent by following the rivers. A trip fraught with danger to give warning of a second Indian attack, her incredible journey, as portrayed in this drama has won the approval of audiences since 1971.
The story of endurance and courage that Mary Draper Ingles told in the days following is astonishing. Her saga is the subject of Alexander Thom's best-selling novel, "Follow the River"; Earl Hobson Smith wrote an outdoor drama, "The Long Way Home," still produced each summer in Radford; ABC made it the basis of a made-for-television movie which aired early in l995.
Come to the beautiful, lush valley of the New River, between the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, where this brave woman and her husband, William Ingles, lived, help shape an entire nation and told her story that is retold each night in the Ingles Homestead Amphitheater at her homesite and grave.
The Long Way Home
PO Box 711, Radford,
And while some of the story's details, told and retold over the past 240 years, are understandably hazy, the essence of what Mary Draper Ingles did - her 42-day, 800-mile escape from her Shawnee captors across a mountainous wilderness - couldn't be more clear.
JAN. 2, 2002
Bringing back the 'Long Way Home'
By LAURA OSBORNE
This past summer, for the second year in a row, Radford's outdoor drama, "The Long Way Home," was cancelled. Problems with directorship and outdated facilities have been cited as causes. A consultant was hired recently to determine the future of what has been designated "Virginia's Historical Outdoor Drama of the Commonwealth."
Recommendations to continue the outdoor drama include vastly updating the drama's physical conditions and equipment. They also include rewriting the script, which has been called "amateurish." Radford city officials should heed these recommendations and revive the popular local drama that began in 1971. Telling Mary Draper Ingles' story at this site along the New River is a natural tourist attraction. But first, the grounds and script, both inside and out, need total refurbishing.
An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 5 of Title 7.1 a section numbered 7.1-40.8, relating to the official outdoor dramas of the Commonwealth.
[H 599] Approved April 8, 1994
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Chapter 5 of Title 7.1 a section numbered 7.1-40.8 as follows:
§ 7.1-40.8. Official outdoor dramas.
"The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama," adapted for the stage by Clara Lou Kelly and performed in the Town of Big Stone Gap, is hereby designated the official outdoor drama of the Commonwealth.
"The Long Way Home," based on the life of Mary Draper Ingles and adapted for the stage by Earl Hobson Smith and performed in the City of Radford, is hereby designated the official historical outdoor drama of the Commonwealth.
The law designating "The Long Way Home," based on the life of Mary Draper Ingles and adapted for the stage by Earl Hobson Smith and performed in the City of Radford as the official Virginia state outdoor drama is found in the Code of Virginia, Title 1, Chapter 5, Section 1-510. Virginia symbols were re-organized under one section of the Code of Virginia in 2005.
Title 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS.
Chapter 5 - Emblems
§ 1-510. Official emblems and designations.
The following are hereby designated official emblems and designations of the Commonwealth:
Artisan Center - "Virginia Artisans Center," located in the City of Waynesboro.
Bat - Virginia Big-eared bat (Corynorhinos townsendii virginianus).
Beverage - Milk.
Blue Ridge Folklore State Center - Blue Ridge Institute located in the village of Ferrum.
Boat - "Chesapeake Bay Deadrise."
Covered Bridge Capital of the Commonwealth - Patrick County.
Covered Bridge Festival - Virginia Covered Bridge Festival held in Patrick County.
Dog - American Foxhound.
Emergency medical services museum - "To The Rescue," located in the City of Roanoke.
Fish - Brook Trout.
Fleet - Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, which comprised the Commonwealth's founding fleet that brought the first permanent English settlers to Jamestown in 1607, and which are exhibited at the Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg.
Flower - American Dogwood ( Cornus florida).
Folk dance - Square dancing, the American folk dance that traces its ancestry to the English Country Dance and the French Ballroom Dance, and is called, cued, or prompted to the dancers, and includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, the Virginia Reel, and heritage dances.
Fossil - Chesapecten jeffersonius.
Gold mining interpretive center - Monroe Park, located in the County of Fauquier.
Insect - Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus Linne).
Motor sports museum - "Wood Brothers Racing Museum and Virginia Motor Sports Hall of Fame," located in Patrick County.
Outdoor drama - "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama," adapted for the stage by Clara Lou Kelly and performed in the Town of Big Stone Gap.
Outdoor drama, historical - "The Long Way Home" based on the life of Mary Draper Ingles, adapted for the stage by Earl Hobson Smith, and performed in the City of Radford.
Shell - Oyster shell (Crassostrea virginica).
Song emeritus - "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia," by James A. Bland, as set out in the House Joint Resolution 10, adopted by the General Assembly of Virginia at the Session of 1940.
Sports hall of fame - "Virginia Sports Hall of Fame," located in the City of Portsmouth.
War memorial museum - "Virginia War Museum," (formerly known as the War Memorial Museum of Virginia), located in the City of Newport News.
(Code 1950, § 7-35, 7-36, 7-37; 1966, cc. 102, 547, § 7.1-37, 7.1-38, 7.1-39; 1974, c. 24, § 7.1-40; 1982, c. 191, § 7.1-40.1; 1986, c. 138, § 7.1-40.2; 1988, c. 317, § 7.1-40.3; 1991, cc. 71, 575, § 7.1-40.4, 7.1-40.5; 1993, cc. 251, 509, § 7.1-40.6; 1994, cc. 33, 134, 220, 464, § 7.1-40.2:1, 7.1-40.8; 1995, cc. 12, 180, § 7.1-40.2:2; 1996, c. 52, § 7.1-40.9; 1997, cc. 66, 576, § 7.1-40.10; 1999, cc. 69, 336, § 7.1-40.11; 2001, cc. 97, 134, § 7.1-40.12; 2001, c. 228, § 7.1-40.13; 2005, cc. 557, 839; 2006, c. 128; 2007, cc. 391, 685; 2008, c. 262.)