One of the stops on the Parkway is a homestead that a family called the Brinegars once occupied. The state puts on different reenactments or displays for travelers to participate in. Well the Brinegars homestead had such a display the day we stopped. The park service had many displays set up around the grounds and in the home to show how the family lived and who they were. It is too bad that we had some pretty big rain showers that hindered them. We had quite a surprise there because this is where we met our friends, Les, Michelle, Terry, and Diane. We had just left at the other resort days ago. Fun.
The Brinegars were not famous or rich, but they were important to their families and neighbors. In 1876 Martin Brinegar purchased this 125 acre farm for $200. Two years later Martin and Caroline were married, he was 21 and she was 16. They first lived in a one-room cabin that was already here. Their three children were born in that cabin. As the family grew Martin built the cabin you see in my pics.
The Brinegars did all the usual work of living on a farm, raising crops and animals, preserving food and cutting firewood. Martin also made shoes for his neighbors. He was a local justice of the peace and notary public, and many more important jobs in the community. Caroline made clothing for her family and augmented their income by gathering medicinal plants and selling them to nearby drug merchants. We still have them now maybe not exactly the same. LOL
Caroline had to plan ahead for many months to make a garment. She made her family’s clothes from a fabric called linsey-woolsey that she wove on her loom. Linsey-woolsey is woven from wool yarn and linen (flax plant) thread. The wool made the fabric warm and the flax made it strong.
In 1925 Martin died after being caught in a storm and getting pneumonia. He was 68. The state of North Carolina bought the Brinegar farm in 1935 to become part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although Caroline had lifetime tenure to stay in her home she left because of the noise on the Parkway.