Douglaston Park and Brinegar Cabin, NC

Rolling ridgetop meadows and steep mountainsides char­acterize the Doughton Park area. Remote places in the moun­tains like this were settled in the mid to late 1800s by expand­ing families seeking more land and moving farther up the mountain creeks and valleys, yet still remaining close to par­ents, grandparents, and other relatives. While people in many other parts of the country were rushing into the modern ways of the 20th century, these close-knit families–like the Brinegars, Caudills, Joines, Crouses and Pruitts–still raised most of their own food, built their own homes, and lived well into the 1900s without modern conveniences.

Martin Brinegar and Caroline Joines were married in 1878 and built a log cabin near Caroline’s parents’ home. It still stands here on the ridge along with their springhouse and granary. Here they raised and provided for their three chil­dren. Below the Brinegar cabin is Basin Cove. Settled in the 1880s by Harrison Caudill, Basin Cove grew into a community of 20 families with a store, church, and school. In 1916 a tor­rential flash flood and mud slide, cascading down the valley, destroyed all but one home and killed several people. The com­munity was never rebuilt.

Today, Parkway visitors can experience the ruggedness and beauty of life here. Glimpse Basin Cove and the remain­ing cabin from Wildcat Rocks near Bluffs lodge. Or hike some of the more than 30 miles of trails that meander through the meadows and climb the steep hillsides. The Brinegar cabin is open several days a week during the summer and fall. Visitors can tour a demonstration garden and the cabin, and see exhib­its, learning how Caroline made her family’s clothes from the flax she grew and sheep she raised herself.