Scenic USA - Virginia

Puckett Cabin

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Puckett Cabin - Blue Ridge Parkway, Viginia

Photo by Roger Gillette
Puckett portrait - National Park Service

     Weaving its way across the mountaintops and moors of three states, the 469 mile Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular scenic drives in eastern United States. First developed in the 1930s, by the time World War II began 170 miles were open and another 160 miles were under construction. During initial construction early parkway planners decided to preserve many pioneer homes as possible, moving a few to areas alongside the parkway. They also applied their own rustic style of architecture to much of the new construction, such as visitor centers and parkway support buildings. Even to this day the modern buildings continue to employ timber beam construction, shake roofs, stone chimneys and exterior porches.
     This pioneer cabin, belonging to John and Aunt Orelena Puckett, still stands along the Blue Ridge Parkway at John and Orelena Puckett - Blue Ridge Parkway, Viginia milepost 189.9 near Fancy Gap. The amazing story of Aunt Orelena Hawks Puckett focuses on her legendary role as midwife. She first served as a midwife in 1889 and for 49 years she traveled the Virginia countryside, helping out wherever she could. Aunt Orelena offered her services throughout three counties, having never lost a mother or baby, while making over 1000 deliveries. Aunt Orleana attended the last birth in 1931 at age 94. She passed away at age 102. Ironically, most likely due to Rh incompatibility, John and Orelena's own 24 children never lived past infancy.
      Blue Ridge Parkway planners make a strong effort to retain the pioneer look along the parkway drive. The Puckett Cabin is just one of many historic sites along the remarkable 469 mile route.

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