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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Robert Lee Doughton, Laurel Springs

  • Type

    Plaque

  • Subjects

    Historic Political Figures

  • City

    Laurel Springs

  • County

    Alleghany

  • Description

    A bronze tablet with a round on flat top commemorates Robert L. Doughton. is inset into a large stone. Inside a circle under the rounded top edge is a relief image of Doughton. Beneath the image is the inscription.

  • Inscription

    ROBERT LEE DOUGTON / FOR WHO DOUGHTON PARK IS NAMED, WAS / BORN IN ALLEGHANY COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, / NOVEMBER 7, 1863. AN ORIGINAL AND LEADING / ADVOCATE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT AND DEVELOPMENT / OF THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY, HE WAS A MEMBER OF / THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES / 1911-1953, CHAIRMAN OF ITS COMMITTEE ON / WAYS AND MEANS 1933-1947 AND 1949-1953.

  • Custodian

    National Park Service, Doughton Recreation Area

  • Dedication Date

    October 10, 1953

  • Decade

    1950s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.430210 , -81.175280 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Robert Lee Doughton Memorial Marker," from "Driving Through Times" in Documenting the American South digital library, docsouth.unc.edu/blueridgeparkway/, (accessed July 16, 2017) Link

      Ellis, Ruby. “Doughton Honored At Parkway Event,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), October 11, 1953

      Gatton, Harry T. 1986. “Doughton, Robert Lee,” NCPedia.org, (accessed July 5, 2017) Link

      Hunter, Elizabeth. “A Meditation on Doughton Park,” BlueRidge Country (Roanoke, VA), September 1, 2003, blueridgecountry.com, (accessed July 12, 2017) Link

      “Robert Lee Doughton,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed July 12, 2017) Link

      “Stories from six Blue Ridge Parkway recreation areas: Doughton Park,” Parks to the Side, (accessed July 12, 2017) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze on stone

  • Sponsors

    Friends of Robert Lee Doughton

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    State Highway Chairman A.H. Graham presided over the dedication ceremony. The marker was unveiled by Sam P. Weems, superintendent of the parkway as Robert L. Doughton, in ill health, sat in a car near the speakers stand. Conrad L. Wirth, director of the U.S. Park Service made the dedicatory speech. The Appalachian High School Band, Appalachian State Teachers College Band and Lenoir High School Band provided music before a crowd estimated in the thousands.

  • Subject Notes

    Robert Lee Doughton, farmer, banker, congressman, and national Democratic Party leader, was born in 1863 at Laurel Springs in Alleghany County, NC. Known as "Farmer Bob" and "Muley Bob," Doughton found relaxation in farm work and was a farmer all of his life. His forty-two years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives began in March 1911 and ended with his voluntary retirement in March 1953, a period covering the terms of seven presidents. He rose through the ranks of the Ways and Means Committee, becoming chairman in 1933 with the ascendancy of the Democrats led by Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a leader in passage of the Social Security Act in 1935 and later amendments. By the time of his retirement he was credited with the authorship of more tax bills than any man in United States history. Doughton was instrumental in the establishment and development of the Blue Ridge Parkway. He used his legislative expertise to ramrod a bill through Congress that placed parkway maintenance and jurisdiction under the U.S. Department of the Interior. What started as a Virginia/North Carolina road project in turn became the most visited unit in the National Park Service.

  • Location

    The memorial plaque is near Laurel Springs at milepost 241 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Landscape

    Doughton Park where the marker is located is the largest recreation area the National Park Service manages on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Most of the park is located in Wilkes County with a small portion in Alleghany County. The name of this park was changed from Bluff Park to Doughton Park in June 1950.

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