ED GARVEY SHELTER
Work & Fax (202) 651-5847
Assistant Leader: Jim Skinner
Home (301) 588-8607
Shelter Webpage (built/maintained by Stan Turk) Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club Headquarters (703) 242-0315
118 Park Stree, S.E., Vienna, VA 22180-4609
PATC website URL www.patc.net
In the fall of 1998 two sites along the Maryland Appalachian Trail were identified as needing shelters:
1) Weverton Cliffs needed a shelter due to the long stretch of trail without one,
2) Hemlock Hills Shelter needed to be replaced as well as relocating the A.T. which was on a gravel road.
Hemlock Hills was selected as the site to work on first since the project could proceed quickly with the least amount of red tape. The property was purchased along with a needed spring near the shelter site.
Earlier, in May of 1998, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club received a letter from David & Cynthia Cowall of Salisbury, MD that read: "We are exploring the possibility of making a donation to the PATC in memory of our late son, ENS Phillip Cowall, USCG… Phil loved the wilderness and especially the AT. He had hiked several hundred miles of the AT (mostly in VA), and hoped one day when time allowed to through-hike the entire trail. Since that dream was never realized, perhaps we could help make that journey easier for others." This event coincided with the plans to build a shelter in that area -PATC approved the project and funding was allocated for the Phillip Cowall Memorial Shelter.
Upon completion of the Cowall Shelter in the fall of 1999, the focus turned to the Weverton Cliffs area near Harpers Ferry. At the Cowall Shelter dedication in October, talk began about possibly naming the next shelter after Ed Garvey, who had passed away the previous month. In December '99 the PATC approved the new shelter and in January, 2000 the PATC Council agreed to name it the Ed Garvey Shelter.
Edward Bohan Garvey:
(the following information is adapted from Washington Post article published on Thursday, September 23, 1999).
"Ed Garvey was retired from the National Science Foundation as chief financial officer, an author of three
books and a strong advocate of the Appalachian Trail stretching from Georgia to Maine. He died at age 84 of congestive
heart failure on Sept. 20 at Arlington Hospital.
Beyond his government work, Mr. Garvey dedicated his time to the 2,000 mile Appalachian trail, writing about his hiking experiences and working with interest groups for its preservation.
He authored the 1971 book, "Appalachian Hiker: Adventure of a Lifetime," which was based on his six-month thru hike of the trail… the bookwhich was revised and republished in 1978, offered practical advice for hikers on equipment and locating mail drops. It also was an adventure story that helped to ignite widespread interest in the trail. In 1976, he published another book, "Hiking Trails in the Mid-Atlantic States," and continued to write articles for a nubmer of different magazines. In 1990, at the age of 75, he attempted a 2nd thru-hike of the AT, completing about 2/3 of it before terminating his hike after injuring his knee. His account of that experience plus an overview of the Appalachian Trail Movement are the subject of his final book, "The New Appalachain Trail," published in 1997.
Mr. Garvey, a native of Farmington, Minn., lived in Falls Church and was a Washington area resident since the mid-1940's.
His first trip to the Appalachians came in the early 1950's, when he ventured for a summer hike with a Boy Scout troop to Skyline Drive at Shenandoah National Park. He became involved in various organizations, serving as president of the PATC and as a member of the Appalachian Trail Conference board of managers.
In 1996, he received the American Land Hero Award from the Wilderness Society and the Izaak Walton League for what they said was his "tireless effort to protect the Appalachian Trail."
Exactly where will the shelter be placed?
The site is atop a wide, level ridge on the southern half of Maryland's A.T. Map 5/6 in the approximate vicinity of map coordinate E - 28. PATC member, John Akerley has determined the GPS location coordinates to be something like 39 degs, 21.54 min North, 77 degs, 39.75 mins West(exact information pending). It is about 2 miles North of Weverton Cliffs.
On page 112 of Garvey's, The New Appalachian Trail Garvey states: "Upon reaching Weverton Heights, we stopped to look down at the Harpers Ferry area, the town itself, the two rivers (Shenandoah and Potomac), plus the three other modes of transportation, the highway (U.S. 340), the B&O Railroad, and the C&O Canal. It is one of the most spectacular views along the entire Trail." (This view is about 2 mi. S. of the Garvey Shelter site.)
Is there a water source for the Garvey Shelter?
Individuals familiar with this section of A.T. are aware of its scarcity of water. The spring is ¼ mile and 300' downhill east of the shelter site.
Where did funding come from?
Donations are being received in Ed Garvey's memory. You can contact PATC if interested in contributing to the success of this shelter..
Where did the logs come from?
A generous donation of Loblolly Pine was secured from Bowie Resident, Huart Travis. The find was made during a conversation between Frank and Jerry (his neighbor) after responding to a newspaper ad and making a purchase of a cement mixer for the Garvey shelter. Everyone was happy - Jerry and Huart's lawns and gardens will have more sunlight after the donation of 22 trees for the Garvey Shelter. (Beginning Saturday, January 22, 2000, Robert of Wallace Johnson Logging Company and volunteers felled and hauled the trees to the construction site 5 miles south.)
After hauling the logs to the worksite it was determined that we didn't have enough large logs and the logging crew has agreed to deliver additional logs as soon as they can be located in southern maryland.
Jerry, the neighbor, gave us a loblolly pine from his backyard as well. It was used as the 2nd big, back shelter log and we also got a couple of sawlogs from it.
Why is the shelter being built off-site, not on the AT?
The desire is to keep the shelter close in proximity so Model Secondary School for the Deaf (Washington, D.C.)
students can continue to participate in this unique community service project while having an economically reasonable
commute, since each trip involves hiring transportation. This also allows less time spent traveling and more time
actually working on the shelter & privy for volunteers. Picture of happy workers at the
Bowie MD site.
For more information about MSSD's After School Program see:
for more information about the Cowall Shelter completed Fall 1999 see:
How was the South Bowie worksite found?
In the course of building the Cowall Shelter (1999), the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission (MNCPPC) enthusiastically accepted the idea and identified the current location and agreed to allow construction for the Garvey Shelter at the same site.
Behind the scenes
As you may guess, many logistical details are associated with placing a shelter on the Appalachian Trail. Completing a New Shelter Project Planning Outline by Charlie Graf, preliminary cost estimates, land details (acquisitions, permits, access, water source identified, etc), site inspection & layout, drawing shelter plans, final approval by PATC Council. Once the shelter is approved there is shopping for materials, collecting and maintaining tools, advertising, all before the actual work began.
Thurston Griggs, Charlie Graf, Karen Lutz and others identified the exact AT shelter and spring locations, Rick Canter & the South Mountaineers trail crew cleared the access road to AT shelter site.
How Can I receive a T-Shirt?
People who work 9 or more days on the shelter will receive a beautiful T-Shirt designed by Ed Garvey's daughter, Sharon.
· The log construction style we are using on the shelter is a Scandinavian "chinkless" method where no mortar or chinking is needed between the logs. The majority of work is done with a chainsaw, then chisel work is done to get a good fit between the logs.
· Hemlock Hills shelter is to be moved onto the Big Blue/Tuscarora Trail.
· Construction on the Cowall Shelter began on January 23rd and it was completed in Mid- September, 1999.
· In November, 1999 construction began on a log privy intended for use at the Garvey Shelter (using leftover logs from Cowall Shelter) as more or less a training opportunity for folks interested in learning the chainsaw techniques (John Akerley, John Graul and Justen Burns), with Jim Skinner and Frank Turk. With the privy logwork 2/3 complete on January 7th , Jim Skinner suggested using the new logs for the Garvey Privy and using first log privy at another site to be determined by PATC.
· In January, 2000 Frank met with Ed Garvey's daughter, Sharon at Union Station and discussed the shelter plans. There was much to talk about. It was decided that since Sharon and her sister Kathleen were talented artists they would be involved with designing artwork for the decorative door window, cabinet design, and T-Shirt. Sharon noted that we can expect her and other Garvey family members and friends to work on the shelter.
Approximate Shelter Timeline
November 21, 1999 - Work began on the log outhouse using leftover logs from Cowall Shelter.
January 22, 2000 - New logs felled, cut and brought to South Bowie (Queen Anne) work-site.
January 23 - Log work begins on shelter. (As of March 4/5, we are still awaiting the arrival of larger logs so the focus is split between shelter and privy.
May/June - Anticipated completion of logwork and roof rafters at South Bowie work-site.
July/Aug - Begin foundation work and privy.
Aug/Sep - Foundation work and privy complete.
Oct/Nov - Logs transported to AT.
December - Approximate shelter completion.
Proposed Work schedule:
Work occurs every weekend until the shelter is complete but please call or email in advance to confirm.