Blue Ridge Heritage, Inc. is a nonprofit run jointly by citizens of Floyd and Patrick counties to promote education & economic development in the region. Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway, the envisioned facility will serve as a gateway through which visitors & residents can access the history, culture, outdoors activities, and business partners of the bi-county area. Even now we offer place-based programs related to the natural and cultural heritage of the region. We need your help to continue moving forward toward our goal of enhancing the outdoors and heritage visitor’s experience in our region.
We are very excited about our latest project: our Chimney Circle Story Space
From Appalachian ghost stories told beside a fireplace at night to gathering a mix of residents and visitors anxious to learn about Blue Ridge Mountain ecology; from talks by the descendants of families that once populated Rock Castle Gorge to preserving the actual dry-laid rocks salvaged from historic chimneys in the neighborhood—this Chimney Circle will be the nexus of stories new and old, the heartbeat preserving an oral storytelling tradition (in not only tales but also in music) that defines Appalachia, a meeting place for outdoors adventures in learning, a launch pad for place-based cultural and heritage experiences unique to this plateau near the Blue Ridge escarpment.
The envisioned Chimney Circle Story Space, to be built on the cusp of Rock Castle Gorge, will be made of natural rocks from actual historic chimneys, donated by the family members who request that their heritage be remembered through repurposing the stones. The volunteers of Blue Ridge Heritage have collected not only the rocks from “sentinel chimneys” that once were surrounded by log cabins and original settlers dwellings; but also the stories of the families who dwelled there. Part of our mission is to preserve and present the area’s history, in this case, told by descendants of the families who once gathered around the chimneys—giving the chimney stones themselves a voice.
Like the story of Pat Knowles, who grew up in the cabin whose prime source of heat in winter was the chimney now awaiting its next incarnation as the Blue Ridge Heritage Chimney Circle.
Funds from GiveBig New River Valley will stay in our local community as we envision a safe, ecological, environmentally-friendly outdoors education area. Volunteers are collecting the stones from historic chimneys donated by local families. We need help to relocate them to our property adjacent to the Rocky Knob Recreation Area and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
All new facilities on BRH property are planned to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Our award-winning site plan is available on our website brheritage.org
Join us in this rare bi-county effort to boost our regional community, and to preserve essential aspects of our shared heritage and natural history.