As terrible as the Great Depression and the years following the stock market crash of 1929 were, we have this awful episode in American history to thank for the creation of the scenic highway The Blue Ridge Parkway and all of the beauty and recreation it affords. The idea for the 469-mile road that meanders through some of the best spots of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina was first proposed by the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The name for the project was originally the Appalachian Scenic Highway, but, later, it changed. Construction began on The Blue Ridge Parkway right by an area in which I list and sell real estate, Alleghany County! That’s right – back in September of 1935, the digging and other groundbreaking activities began on the roadway that would become the Blue Ridge Parkway right near Sparta and the Virginia state line at Cumberland Knob. Today there is a marker and visitor center at Cumberland Knob. Check out my real estate listings near this region.
Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway
Most of the work on the Blue Ridge Parkway was carried out by various government work agencies that Roosevelt had established to help put able bodied men in the country back to work. Workers from programs such as the Works Progress Administration and the Civil Conservation Corps helped to build the parkway and private contractors under the supervision of federal Public Works Administrator Harold L. Ickes also aided in the construction. Construction on The Blue Ridge Parkway took many years and was not really finished until the Linn Cove Viaduct portion near Grandfather Mountain was completed in 1987. In June of 1936, Congress renamed the project The Blue Ridge Parkway and placed the lands and forest under the direct jurisdiction of the National Park Service, although the parkway is not technically considered a park.
There are several historic cabins and log homes that dot the parkway’s roadway. Most all of them have been marked with a marker and a few are easy to tour when you stop. One in particular, Brinegar Cabin, is located near some of the numerous Blue Ridge Properties in my listings. If you are looking for Western North Carolina Mountain Property in the NC High Country, get ready to explore and enjoy The Blue Ridge Parkway.