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Puckett Cabin Exhibit

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c. 1874. Blue Ridge Pkwy., milepost 189.9

The longtime home of midwife Aunt Orelena (Orleans Hawks Puckett, who died in 1939 at more than one hundred years in age), this one-story log house on Groundhog Mountain is typical of the midsized single-pen log buildings erected in Virginia's southern Blue Ridge Mountains during the nineteenth century. The building is constructed of hewn logs joined with half-dovetailed corners and measures approximately 15 × 17 feet. An exterior-end chimney of stacked fieldstones and roofing of long boardlike wood shingles over narrow-diameter log purlins reiterate the handmade quality of the dwelling. In the late twentieth century, parkway designers modified the historic setting of the cabin for interpretive and aesthetic reasons, leading to the removal of several original outbuildings, including a barn, apple drying house, springhouse, and smokehouse. Reconstructed fences and the only remaining outbuilding, a chicken house, were repositioned to enhance views from the parkway approach and to frame better the open agricultural spaces near the cabin. The exhibit serves to memorialize the life of Puckett, who is reputed to have delivered more than one thousand babies in this mountainous area, using no medicine other than plenty of soap and water, plus a nip of whiskey flavored with camphor.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Anne Carter Lee
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Citation

Anne Carter Lee, "Puckett Cabin Exhibit", [Hillsville, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-02-CA8.

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