Orleans Hawks Puckett Cabin, BRP


The Puckett cabin at milepost 189.1 on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a tribute to the  midwife Orlean Hawks Puckett.  She had little education and married John Puckett at 16.

Puckett gave birth to and lost 24 children. Many were stillborn and the rest died in infancy.  Many believe she symbolizes the strength of the Appalachian woman.  Several theories exist today about why Orlean’s was unable to carry a pregnancy to term.

In 1889, when Orlean was in her 50s, a neighbor went into labor and no doctor could be found. This began her career as a midwife, and for the next 50 years, she traveled the Virginia countryside, never charging for her services.   She was known for her compassion and skill. In more than 1,000 deliveries, she never lost a mother or a baby. Orlean delivered her last baby at age 94, and died in 1939. This cabin was her last home.

Orlean moved from her home in 1939 because of the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, she died three short weeks afterward. A small cabin on her property was preserved by the National Park Service, and is known to be Puckett Cabin.

Continuing her legacy, the Orlean Hawks Puckett Institute, in Asheville, North Carolina, works to promote and strengthen child, parent, and family development.


A few days in the NC Mountains

NC Arboretum

NC Arboretum

A few days off work coupled with a weekend allowed for a quick trip to the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, which included a visit to  the towns of Asheville and Boone.

While in Asheville, I really wanted to see the Biltimore but, a $59/per person entrance fee was rather steep, particularly when visit time was limited.    So… had to settle for a walk around the “Historic Biltimore Village” (which was nothing more than a high-end shopping area) and a drive around the city streets of Asheville  with dinner at the Mellow Mushroom .    I’ve got to admit the Mellow Mushroom was an evening highlight– good food, good company and outdoor dining made the evening quite lovely.

In a quandary over “what to do”, particularly since time was so limited, decided to visit the North Carolina Arboretum and again — we were not disappointed.    Arrived close to opening at  8:00 am  Friday and found nobody there.    We were able to mill about for a couple of hours…

Friday afternoon we winded our way northeast from Asheville to Boone on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping at most overlooks from Asheville to Little Switzerland (milepost 334).


Friday evening – Boone, NC — at the Holiday Inn Express preparing for an early (4:00 am) rise — to catch the sunrise on Beacon Heights.   The “pink” sunrise only lasted for a minute — and not much of a sunrise — but a beautiful view nevertheless.

View from Beacon Heights


And a bit later on:



View from Beacon Heights


Beacon Heights is part of the Mountain to the Sea trail, a 1000 mile trail going from the Great Smokies to the outer banks.    Visit ncmst.org for more information.

At mile marker 305.5 you can find the Tanawha Trail footbridge which has several small but pretty waterfalls.

The journey continued down the Blue Ridge Parkway to  mile marker 364, Craggy Gardens.   The clouds/fog rolled in early afternoon, but there were a couple of nice shots to be had with the rhododendron in bloom.

The final few hours in the area were spent at Grandfather Mountain before heading home.




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