Today is the 75th anniversary of the beginning of construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the longest national park in the US, over 400 miles. On September 11, 1935, construction of the first 12.5-mile section began near Cumberland Knob in North Carolina.
I am lucky enough that the BRP is only an hour and a half drive from my house, so I take every opportunity I can, especially in the fall, to drive up there.
I found pictures in the Library of Congress’ American Memories website of how Mabry Mill, the most photographed site on the Parkway and a place that I stop at every time I go, looked at the start of construction in 1935.
Photos from the Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov
This last photo shows the BRP being graded in preparation for paving. All these photos were taken by photographers from the Works Progress Administration, WPA.
One of the best articles that I've read about the Mabrys of Mabry Mill can be read here: http://www.blueridgecountry.com/archive/mabrys-of-mabry-mill.html
And this is what Mabry Mill looks like today: