Skip to main content

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 190.0 - Puckett Cabin

Throughout the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are countless stories of past inhabitants of the mountains.  And at Mile 190 in Southern Virginia, the Parkway tells the tale of one truly remarkable woman.  Puckett's Cabin is the former home of Orlena Hawks Puckett, whose story of strength and goodwill has survived generations.
 
"Aunt Orlene" was born in 1837 and her story to many is a perfect strength of Appalachian women in the 1800 and the early 1900's.  For over seven decades, Mrs. Puckett served as a midwife, and assisted in the birth of over 1000 babies.  She was well known throughout the mountains of Southern Virginia and continued to serve as a midwife until her death in 1939 at the age of 102.   What makes the seventy plus years as a midwife in the rural mountains remarkable is the tragedy of the loss of 24 of her own children between 1862 and 1881.  Many of her children were stillborn and none of her children survived infancy. 

Puckett's Cabin
Today, Orlena Puckett's story continues to be told.  Phyllis Smith performs "They Call Me Aunt Orlene" at the Parkway's cabin site a few times each year.  Smith wrote the one-woman play in 2003.  Also, Puckett's story is told by Karen Cecil Smith's book, "Orlean Puckett: The Life of a Mountain Midwife."


http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/p/the-blue-ridge-parkway-drive.htmlNavigation:
 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Roebling Aqueduct

In a quiet and often overlooked corner of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the country's oldest surviving suspension bridge crosses the Delaware River into New York.  The Delaware Aqueduct, designed and built by famed engineer John A. Roebling, has withstood a very colorful history from being an important piece in the region's transportation, to uncertainty during the growth of rail, nearly eight decades of neglect and poor management as a private toll bridge, to finally being restored by the National Park Service and in use as an automobile bridge today.

Construction and Canal Era (1847-1898):
During the 1840's, the Delaware & Hudson Canal was looking at ways to speed up service along its route.  One of the major bottlenecks was where the canal reached the Delaware River.  Since it began operation in 1828, the D&H used a rope ferry to pull traffic along to Canal across the Delaware.  The conflicting traffic of vessels going down the Delaware to Trenton or Philadelphia and…

Quemahoning Tunnel

The Quemahoning Tunnel may have never been built by the Pennsylvanina Turnpike Commission, but it still has a history unto itself.  Originally planned to carry rail along the South Penn Railway, the tunnel never would not see any trains until 1909 when a small line named the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland & Somerset began utilizing it.  The use was brief and by the end of 1916 the PW&S was no longer in operation and abandoned the facility.  Twenty-some years later, the newly formed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission considered using the abandoned tunnel, in fact it was shown on some original plans.  However, the PTC decided against using it, and the tunnel remained empty.

The eastern portal of the Quemahoning Tunnel is easily accessible from the PA Turnpike.  The portal is located at mile 106.3 along the westbound roadway.  The tunnel is one of the many "What Could Have Been's?" of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Below, Bill Symons shares photos taken in late Fall of 1986 of …

The National Road - Maryland - Jug Bridge Memorial Park

For over 130 years, from 1808 to 1942, a very unique stone arch bridge carried everything from horse and buggy, Civil War troops, and finally automobiles over the Monocacy River just east of Frederick.  The bridge's most unique feature, and what would give the bridge its name, was the jug shaped stone demijohn on the east banks of the Monocacy.  The bridge was built in 1808 during the construction of the Baltimore-Frederick Turnpike - a precursor to the National Road and eventually US 40.   In 1824, the Marquis de LaFayette was greeted by Fredericktonians at the bridge upon his return to the area.  The Jug Bridge would see action in the Civil War during the Battle of Monocacy in July 1864.  At the time of battle, the bridge was under Union control and was attacked by Confederate troops hoping to move closer to Washington as a way to divert some of Ulysses S. Grant's troops from the Petersburg campaign. (1)

The bridge 425 foot long bridge consisted of four 65 foot stone arch s…