• Puckett Cabin - Laurel Fork Virginia

      Puckett Cabin, Laurel Fork, Virginia
      Photo by Peter Thody
      The story of 'Aunt' Orlean Hawks Puckett is both tragic and inspiring. Born in 1837, she married at 16, gave birth to 24 children, none of whom survived infancy, and then became a midwife, assisting at the birth of more than 1000 babies before she died in 1939, aged either 95 or 102 (see below). This tiny wooden cabin is where she spent her latter years, still working as a midwife right up to her death.

      If you go:
      Her life story is covered in 'Orlean Puckett - The Life of Mountain Midwife' by Karen Cecil Smith. Smith and most other authorities give Puckett's date of birth as 1844, while the Park Service puts it at 1837; they also give different spellings of her name, Smith using 'Orlean', the NPS stating 'Orelena', and others using 'Orlene'.


      Milepost 189.9
      Blue Ridge Parkway
      Laurel Fork Virginia 24352 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      Carroll County Office of Tourism
      +1 (828) 298-0398

      Comments 1 Comment
      1. Karen Smith's Avatar
        Karen Smith -
        I am the author of Orlean Puckett: The Life of a Mountain Midwife. The cabin that stands along the Blue Ridge Parkway and is pictured here is inaccurately identified as Orlean's home. This cabin was the home of Orlean's sister-in-law Betty Puckett. Orlean's home stood a few yards from Puckett Cabin and was a much nicer, larger, two-story log home. Orlean never lived in Puckett Cabin. I conducted years of research and interviews while writing Puckett's biography and present the details of her life, her home, the spelling of her name, her age, her pregnancies, deliveries she made, mountain ways, the creation of the Blue Ridge Parkway and more in my book. From her relatives and neighbors, most delivered by "Aunt Orlean," I learned that she was indeed a remarkable woman. I am glad that she is getting the recognition she deserves. I would encourage everyone to visit this beautiful spot along the Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway.