Historical Artifacts That Would Make A Tourist Destination In Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway is a route spread over a length of 469 miles between Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountain National Park and along the crest of the Blue Ridge mountains.

The Parkway is known for its breathtaking natural beauty that becomes most pronounced in the season of fall. But it also has many tourist spots along the way and some of them have great historical significance. The roadway, especially, has many spots associated with African American and Native Indian history located alongside it.

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So, if you enjoy a joyful ride amidst the mountains with great flora and also take interest in visiting historically important locations, then no place offers a better combination of both than Blue Ridge Parkway.

To help you all history buffs out there, here is a list of important historical places along the Parkway:

  • Blue Ridge Institute And Museum

This beautiful museum is located in a farm setting and houses important documents related to the place. It also serves as a museum to showcase the arts and culture related to the Blue Ridge which are displayed in many art galleries.

The museum is located on the west side of the Ferrum College Campus. Ferrum itself is located 10 miles from Route 220 if you are travelling on Route 40.

  • Smithfield Plantation

The Smithfield Plantation, located in Blacksburg, is richly imbued with political history of Virginia. As, it was the abode of the extremely influential Preston family for five generations starting from Colonel William Preston who built the house in 1770’s to his descendant Janie Preston who gifted it for preservation in 1959. This family produced four governors for Virginia and many other notable politicians.

The house showcases the architectural style prevalent in pre-revolutionary era. Now a museum, the building contains 18th and 19th century furniture as well as artifacts related to native Indians from earlier times.

  • Booker T Washington National Monument

One of the great figures in the history of African-Americans, Booker T Washington was born into slavery but went on to achieve great heights as a teacher, orator, writer and even an advisor to Presidents of the United States.

His monument, located in Hardy gives an insight into the life and work of this very influential and inspirational man who played a key role in America’s history of civil rights.

  • Harrison Museum Of African American Culture

Another museum which is of great significance to the history of African-Americans is the Harrison Museum in Roanoke. This amazing spot tries to highlight the contributions made by the African-Americans to the history of the United States.

Housing photographs and objects related to African-Americans based in the Roanoke Valley along with documented folk traditions, the place is a beautiful place to understand and appreciate the contribution people of African descent have made to building up a strong country.

  • Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest

Poplar Forest is a plantation that was once owned and developed by one of the founding fathers and former Presidents of United States, Thomas Jefferson. It became designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1971 and now is a popular museum.

The place served as a personal retreat for President Jefferson and was designed by him drawing inspiration from Italian architect Andrea Palladio’s buildings in Veneto region of Italy.

  • National D-Day Memorial

The National D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford for an important and poignant reason- the town of Bedford lost more persons per capita on D-Day (6th June, 1944) than any other place in the country.

The memorial houses a tableau recreating the scene of Normandy landings along with a victory arch to commemorate the success of the Allied forces.

Categories: Blue Ridge Parkway