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Blue Ridge Parkway Historical MarkersThe Blue Ridge Parkway is a national parkway, a scenic roadway and protected corridor of surrounding parkland, managed by the National Park Service. The limited-access road travels 469 miles through 29 counties in North Carolina and Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
By J. J. Prats, June 9, 2017
Fox Hunters Paradise Marker
|The knoll low on the ridge to the right boasts this celestial name. It is well known locally that hunters often sat about a night fire there while they followed the chase in the lowlands. They knew which hound held the lead by the . . . — — Map (db m104662) HM|
|Robert Lee Doughton, for whom Doughton Park is named, was born in Alleghany County, North Carolina, November 7, 1863. An original and leading advocate of the establishment and development of the Blue Ridge Parkway, he was a member of the United . . . — — Map (db m91786) HM|
|The massive gray rock before you is Stone Mountain, formed about 350 million years ago from intense heat and pressure deep within the earth. Centuries of erosion uncovered the rock and sculptured it into the curious shape it is today.
At one . . . — — Map (db m140553) HM|
|For thousands of years Native Americans cultivated the fertile valleys of the Blue Ridge region including North Carolina. Employing techniques such as “slash and burn” to clear small areas of forested land and fertilize the soil, the . . . — — Map (db m123230) HM|
|Mount Jefferson looms high over the town of Jefferson for which it is named. It was formerly called Negro Mountain because run-away slaves supposedly hid out there while fleeing north. The summit and slopes of the mountain now make up Mount . . . — — Map (db m140555) HM|
| The French Broad River played a major role in this region’s early development. Initially called the “Broad River” by eighteenth-century French hunters and traders, it was later named the French Broad River. With headwaters on Pisgah . . . — — Map (db m58937) HM|
|Nestled in the valley below is the Cradle of Forestry in America, the birthplace of science-based forest management and a living legacy made possible by George and Edith Vanderbilt of the nearby Biltmore Estate. Some 87,000 acres of the Vanderbilt's . . . — — Map (db m123232) HM|
| Named in honor of R. Gerry Browning, 1884 – 1966. Location and Claims Engineer and Parkway Consultant for North Carolina State Highway Commission, 1925 – 1964. His forceful presentation of the high quality scenery found in North . . . — — Map (db m58935) HM|
|The United Daughters of the Confederacy in cooperation with the United States Forest Service planted this 125 acre forest as a living memorial to the 125,000 soldiers North Carolina provided the Confederacy. The 125,000 Red Spruce tree forest was . . . — — Map (db m123435) WM|
|Apple butter, apple cider, applesauce, apple pie! There were few home grown products more useful to the mountain farmer than apples. Cuttings from favorite trees were often taken from place to place when the family moved or children left home. Today . . . — — Map (db m140612) HM|
|The scenic mountain highway idea originated long before the Blue Ridge Parkway project began. In 1906, Joseph Hyde Pratt, North Carolina's State Geologist, proposed a toll road following the crest of the Ridge mountains from Marion, Virginia to . . . — — Map (db m140600) HM|
|The old Clinchfield Railroad loops and tunnels through the Blue Ridge Mountains before you. Construction of this difficult section began in 1905 when 4,000 workmen, mainly Russian, German and Italian immigrants, began blasting and hammering their . . . — — Map (db m123180) HM|
|From here you can see the Qualla Boundary, the 56,000-acre home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. It borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. The Cherokee originally held over 140,000 square miles in parts of eight . . . — — Map (db m150379) HM|
|The Blue Ridge Parkway is a collection of diverse and inspiring places. The 469-mile road links Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Like a long beautiful ribbon connecting distinctive gems, the Parkway joins high . . . — — Map (db m150299) HM|
|The bare rock profile named Devil's Courthouse is sinister in appearance and legend. Its "devilish" look has contributed to the many folk tales surrounding this mountain.
Within the mountain is a cave where, legend claims, the devil holds . . . — — Map (db m70413) HM|
| What killed the trees? The balsam wooly adelgid, a pinhead-size insect native to Europe, is responsible. It began attacking the Fraser fir forests here in the 1970s. The red spruce, unaffected by the adelgid, survives in the midst of this . . . — — Map (db m58934) HM|
| 6053 Ft. Highest elevation Blue Ridge Parkway Motor Road. United States Department of the Interior National Park Service — — Map (db m58933) HM|
|Like a gigantic mirror, Looking Glass Rock reflects a dazzle of sunlight when water collects on its granite face. This display is especially spectacular in winter when the water turns to ice.
Looking Glass Rock is a pluton formed by underground . . . — — Map (db m70420) HM|
|Moses H. Cone Memorial Park preserves the country estate of Moses Cone, a prosperous textile entrepreneur, conservationist, and philanthropist of the Gilded Age. Its centerpiece is Flat Top Manor, a gleaming white 23-room mansion of almost 14,000 . . . — — Map (db m123231) HM|
|Flat Top Manor, once the home of textile magnate Moses H. Cone and his family, presides over the former Cone Estate—3,600 acres of forests, meadows and rolling farmlands.
Moses Cone, whose hobbies included road-building and cultivating . . . — — Map (db m20349) HM|
|All the materials Martin Brinegar needed for building a cabin were here on this farm—trees, rocks, even clay. Martin Brinegar began building this cabin in 1886. Working in his spare time, it took him three years to finish the original cabin . . . — — Map (db m123406) HM|
|Caroline Brinegar had to plan ahead for many months to make a garment. She made her family's clothes from a fabric called linsey-woolsey that she wove on her loom. Linsey-woolsey is woven from wool yarn and linen (flax) thread. The wool made the . . . — — Map (db m123297) HM|
|The Brinegars were not famous or rich, but they were important to their families and neighbors. In 1876 Martin Brinegar purchased this 125 acre farm from Henderson Crouse, Caroline Joines' uncle, for $200. Two years later Martin and Caroline were . . . — — Map (db m123298) HM|
|By the mid-1800s, the village of Mons, which is Latin for mountain, had grown up around the Peaks of Otter. There was a church, a school, two mills, and a hotel. The small community provided services to tourists who had discovered the Peaks of Otter . . . — — Map (db m134491) HM|
|The first resident landscape architect and planner of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was his vision, imagination, and creative talents in the Parkway's formative stages that made the Blue Ridge Parkway unique. — — Map (db m9743) HM|
| The parkway reaches its highest elevation in Virginia - - 3950 - - on Apple Orchard Mountain. Wind, ice and snow of raging winter storms have pruned this mountaintop forest, giving it an “Old Apple Orchard” appearance. This . . . — — Map (db m95966) HM|
On May 26, 1864, Union Gen. David Hunter marched south from Cedar Creek near Winchester to drive out Confederate forces, lay waste to the Shenandoah Valley, and destroy transportation facilities at Lynchburg. His raid was part of . . . — — Map (db m55780) HM|
|Built in the early 1800's, this simple mountain cabin was operated as an inn, or "ordinary", from about 1830 until about 1850. Here the widowed Polly Woods catered to the "ordinary" needs of the weary mountain traveler -- a hot meal, a comfortable . . . — — Map (db m9655) HM|
| When George Washington stood here in 1772, he sought a way to open a water route to the West. Traveling over the region’s most rugged mountains was time consuming and dangerous. New settlers needed a more efficient way to transport goods like . . . — — Map (db m95959) HM|
| . . . — — Map (db m95963) HM|
| The James River flows from the mountains through Lynchburg and Richmond to the coast. It is the largest river in Virginia and, historically, one of the state’s most important transportation corridors. Before the Civil War, investors built a canal . . . — — Map (db m95958) HM|
|The Appalachian Trail crisscrosses the Blue Ridge Parkway for 100 miles in Virginia. Farther south, it winds through the Great Smoky Mountains. The trail usually follows the crest of the Appalachian chain, occasionally descending into scenic . . . — — Map (db m134499) HM|
| Straight ahead are SharpTop Mountain and Flat Top Mountain. They are two of the three prominent summits that surround the Peaks of Otter area, approximately 6.5 miles distant. No one knows for certain why the area is called the Peaks of Otter. The . . . — — Map (db m95955) HM|
|The Blue Ridge Parkway showcases some of America's best rural and natural landscapes. Rocky Knob is known for its pastoral, or agricultural, countryside. The topography of this plateau differs from much of the Parkway. Here generations of family . . . — — Map (db m140516) HM|
|Low passway across Blue Ridge, elev. 1909. Served the buffalo, Indian, and covered wagon. Thomas Jefferson came via stage coach in 1818 to Rockfish Tavern. He presided over a prominent group who resolved to locate the University of Virginia "in the . . . — — Map (db m71553) HM|
|In June and July during corn-choppin time, this cliff serves the folks in White Rock community as a time piece. Twenty minutes after sunlight strikes the rock face, dusk falls on the valley below — — Map (db m61338) HM|
|Down this path you will find buildings,
farm implements and other displays that
document rural life in Appalachia over
a period of about 100 years. Most were
restored and arranged here during the
1940s and 1950s.
These displays illustrate . . . — — Map (db m11083) HM|
|Rising to 3,972 feet, Buffalo Mountain is an old and familiar landmark to local residents. Mothers would tell their children that they could go anywhere in a day as long as they could see "the buffalo." The great hump towers a thousand feet above . . . — — Map (db m134597) HM|
|The gorge is best seen from Rocky Knob's summit, where one can look into the valley 1800 feet below. An old road parallels the creek through the gorge. Initially a trail and later a wagon road, the old road has reverted to its former use as a hiking . . . — — Map (db m134594) HM|
|The city of Roanoke — the historic crossroads of western Virginia — lies in the distance. First established in 1825, it was called "Big Lick" after a nearby marsh where animals found abundant salt licks.
In the early 1880s, the little . . . — — Map (db m140526) HM|