Fabulous Fancy Gap on The Blue Ridge Parkway

My Artwork

One of my favorite Blue Ridge Parkway sites, Fancy Gap, has been the inspiration for three of my paintings so far.  Wildflowers Near Fancy Gap was sold to a great patron in Chicago.  Farm Near Fancy Gap and Sunset near Fancy Gap are still available. It is quite an effort to ship a 30″x40″ oil painting on masonite which is a lot heavier than canvas but I have been doing that for around thirty years.

I have never had an accident or return – just compliments.  This patron wanted to frame it herself so I left off the light-weight metal frame I put my large paintings in.  Most patrons want to have the work professionally framed to suit their tastes.

I didn’t have a problem with the packaging but for some reason I must have put in the wrong information on UPS and was given a quote that was much higher than It usually is.  I contacted the patron and she said it was all right but when UPS came the price was much lower. We were having a hard time with adjusting the price on Paypal so I decided to just include a check for the difference.

Things work out!

wildffg (1)

Wildflowers at Fancy Gap by Kendall Kessler


A Little History on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most visited unit of America’s National Park System.  It attracts around twenty million visitors each year.

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs for 469 miles. It mostly is part of the Blue Ridge which is a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains.

It is the longest, narrowest National Park in the world.

The road was begun during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt and was originally called The Appalachian Scenic Highway.

In 1936 it was formally recognized as The Blue Ridge Parkway.

A Little About Fancy Gap

Early roads in the mountains often followed established paths such as creeks, deer paths, and Indian trails.  The curves were hard on wagons so locals began building their own roads. In the mountains these home engineered roads often crossed at the lowest spots called gaps or up the gentlest slope which is called a spur.

There is a legend about how Fancy Gap got it’s name.  Ira Blair Coltrane(1815-1894), a self-made engineer helped his grandfather drive loaded wagons up the steep incline. The story is that he saw a better route up the mountains across the valley and remarked that it would make a Fancy Road.

In 1849 the Fancy Gap Turnpike was begun and finished in the 1850’s.  Coltrane, as a contractor, built the road from Fancy Gap to the foot of the mountain, making the dream of his youth a reality.

I found this information on a great essay by Ron Hall entitled Heaven is a little closer, Fancy Gap, Virginia.  Ron has a lot more interesting facts about Fancy Gap!

38 thoughts on “Fabulous Fancy Gap on The Blue Ridge Parkway

  1. We used to travel through Fancy Gap to visit my grandparents. I loved the general store, and have fond memories of looking through the “button barrel” there.
    Thanks for the walk (drive) down memory lane.


  2. Visiting from Holistic Wayfarer’s site, where you liked a post on race featuring me. Thanks for the like, and I find this post and your art work very interesting. I am now following you.

    Best regards,


    • Thank you! A great patron in Chicago owns this one but a wide range of prints on paper or canvas, framed or un-framed are available on my website if you are ever interested in purchasing one. Have a great day!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s