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National Park Mystery Spot 46 Revealed: Oh Shenandoah!

To solve the Mystery Spot 46 puzzle you had to figure out what named place in which of America’s 397 national parks can be identified by interpreting the following clues:

One thousand orange trees on a three-acre mini-farm.

The most attractive girl at the prom.

The great scent of great grandmother’s chest.

The bird that was early got a worm, but the general that was early did not get the victory.

The answer is Belle Grove Plantation in Virginia’s Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

Situated within Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historical District, an area famous for its historical landscapes and views of Massanutten Mountain and the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Ranges, the fairly new (2002) Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park preserves the site of the October 19, 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek as well as Belle Grove Plantation, the home of an early Shenandoah Valley settler. The National Park Service operates this park in cooperation with several nonprofit and municipal partners, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Belle Grove, Inc., Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, and Shenandoah County, Virginia.

Here is how the clues lead you to the answer:

The most attractive girl at the prom – or at any social event – is “the belle of the ball.”

One thousand orange trees on a three-acre mini-farm is an orange grove. Like any other area where trees are planted for commercial purposes, an orange grove is a plantation.

In your great-grandmother’s day, the chests and cabinets used to store blankets, quilts, linens, and woolens were commonly built of (or lined with) white or red cedar. It’s the wood of choice because it’s fragrant and (erroneously) thought to strongly repel moths. It’s likely that your great-grandmother had a hope chest (aka cedar chest) that she filled with useful household items in anticipation of marriage.

Despite the early success that Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early enjoyed after a surprise attack on the Federal army at Cedar Creek, he lost the battle so badly that his army was virtually destroyed. Losing control of the vital Lower Shenandoah Valley helped to seal the Confederacy’s doom.

Congratulations to the Traveler readers who figured this one out (we allowed a little leeway on the feature ID): Eric, Caprice Kutz, viewmtn, celbert, ron erpelding, KC Traveler, Ranger Dave, George S, s, Anon 12:48, David Crowl, Kevin M, Eric Nelson, Moon Pie, tomp2, Janna Lamb, jchappell740, Rangertoo, and RangerLady. All have qualified for our monthly prize drawing.


Bob, I'm pretty sure Belle Grove is in Frederick County and if not then Warren County in VA. I'm being picky because I missed the clues for this site in my own area!

I'm not sure what county or counties this park is in, Anon. Anyway, I simply stated that Shenandoah County is a partner of the park, and indeed it is. Check it out at this site.

Thanks for easing me in there. My internet crashed (again!) right after I submitted my guess. I was really hoping I was right since I couldn't guess again. Wish they would fix my wireless...

Out of curiosity, what happened to the mystery plant riddles?

The actual plantation is in Frederick County, VA

I'm going to admit that it took me a little while because I forgot about cedar chests. For some reason I was thinking of mothballs and couldn't figure out what that had to do with NPS

The mystery plant puzzlers and traditional quizzes (T/F, multiple choice) were suspended indefinitely when it became too difficult to keep these series going with our limited staff. Additional changes can be expected after September 30, which is the date the Quizmeister will become just a now-and-then contributor of puzzlers instead of a regular weekly contributor.

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