Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blue Ridge Mountain History

Leaving Skyline Drive of Shenandoah behind we are on to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Immediately I sense a difference in the Scenery.
The parkway follows the Appalachian Mtn. chain for seemingly endless views of parallel ranges connected by cross ranges and scattered hills

There is so much history preserved here in the Blue Ridge 
5 miles south of milepost 1 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA.  head down the trail alongside the tattered chestnut logs fashioned into  a split rail fence.

 It was a short walk but well worth the time to get the history lesson
This is a 'single pen' log cabin.
Every inch of space was used.  Many tools were hung on the walls.
The cooking pots were hung or gathered around the fireplace.  A butter churn is on the right.  You might see strings of beans, red or yellow peppers, sliced rings of pumpkins or apples in the fall drying.
They canned a lot of their garden vegetables.
A 'rope bed' was made with strips of rope or leather laced across the bed frame.  Sleepers needed to tighten the ropes often for firmer support.  Hence the expression 'sleep tight'
A child's chair, baby cradle and steamer trunk among many other things they needed
It took a crafty 'varmint' to raid this weasel-proof chicken house.  The cracks were constantly chinked with pieces of wood and the doors secured at night with wooden pegs
This chicken is a Barred Rock.  They lay about one egg per day so if you had a large family you would need enough  chickens to keep up with egg supply
Inside the chicken coop you see the nests and roosting ladder for the hens

these eggs were gathered that morning

Tiny square windows near the chimney were called "granny holes" because the extra bit of light allowed the grandmother to sit by the hearth and sew and knit, tend the fireplace and watch comings and goings of the grandchildren.

A hand made wooden checker game and hand made chairs with woven seats rest on the small front porch awaiting game players
Dug into the hillside this cool, dark root cellar was a storehouse for vegetables and fruits.  Smoked and cured meat hung from the rafters
Rambling stone walls were 'hog walls'  Built in the early 1800's.   They helped to keep out the half-wild hogs that foraged for acorns.
The barn  served as a shelter for livestock and storage for feed and farm equipment

A very large Walnut tree welcomes you to the property
It had to be a hard life but these farmers  were too busy making everything from the earth and by hand and taking care of their families to think about the hardships.

To God be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He hath Done

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