It’s the question all Outlander fans are asking so where exactlyis Jamie & Claire’s new home, Fraser’s Ridge? Although no one knows for sure the exact location, Diana has said that Fraser’s Ridge probably lies within ten miles of Blowing Rock or Boone, North Carolina and that it covers land north of the Yadkin River.1Gabaldon, Diana. “Fraser’s Ridge Question.” MSG: 79801.18. Diana Gabaldon. Books and Writers Community. Compuserve. Published 22 March 2014. Accessed 1 December 2017
If you’ve watched Episode 401.3, The False Bride, Jamie & Claire see a river below Fraser’s Ridge and if the show writers are staying true to Diana’s specifications for the location of Fraser’s Ridge, I imagine this river is the Yadkin. The Yadkin River’s headwaters start near Blowing Rock in Watauga County, not far from the Thunder Hill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there, it flows southeast through Caldwell County before turning northeast and flowing through Wilkes County.
Below are some maps I’ve put together. Please keep in mind, these are not scientific, and we are talking about a fictional location. (OMG!!! Someone please slap me! Did I just say that Fraser’s Ridge is fictional?!?!) Since the headwaters of the Yadkin are located near the Blue Ridge Parkway and based on Diana’s description, I think it’s a safe bet to say that Fraser’s Ridge would be located east of the Parkway. With that being said, Fraser’s Ridge could be located in one or more of the present day counties of Watauga, Caldwell or Wilkes. 10,000 acres covers a lot of ground!
Are you planning your trip to find Fraser’s Ridge? If so, where do you think it is?
“‘How shall I tell ye what it is, to feel the need of a place?’ He said softly. ‘The need of snow beneath my shoon. The breath of the mountains, breathing their own breath in my nostrils as God gave breath to Adam. The scrape of rock under my hand, climbing, and the sight of lichens on it, enduring in the sun and wind.’
His breath was gone and he breathed again, taking mine. His hands were linked behind my head, holding me, face-to-face.
‘If I am to live as a man, I must have a mountain, he said simply.’” (Diana Gabaldon, DOA)
………And a mountain ye have finally found.
We start off episode 403 in 1970 Inverness with Roger playing his guitar (swoon) then handing the keys to his childhood home over to Fiona and her new husband. “I may not read tea leaves like my grannie…..But I can see ye’re in love with her”, ummm yasss Fi, you tell him! What a great start to this episode, I have certainly missed seeing Roger & hearing that accent, as I’m sure many of us have.
We’re then transported back to River Run where Jamie & Claire are bidding farewell to Aunt Jocasta. This was my only issue with the entire episode, the addition of the unneeded conflict between Claire & Jocasta. Again, the harshness of Claire’s attitude is not something that I’m fond of regarding the series, however I was happy to see that it quickly dissipated once River Run was out of sight. On another note, I don’t think I can put into words how much I adore John Bell as Young Ian. He has fully filled the roll in my opinion & is an absolute joy to watch! Listening to him plead his case to Jamie on why he should be permitted to make his own decision regarding the place he will call home, was no exception. Fantastic!
Now on to what I’ve been waiting for all season, yes I know we’re only just now three episodes in, but I have been looking forward to this since reading DOA this past summer. Bree & Roger are reunited once again & on their way to Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. I loved the parallel of them being in present day N.C. while her parents are also in 18th century N.C.! A slightly awkward and tad stiff performance from Sophie in season three has been replaced by a confident & completely natural embodiment of Bree in this episode. I mean, she totally killed every scene she was in & I couldn’t be happier! The looks between the two, the chemistry, the flirting, the “Minister’s Cat”, the passion, the fight, was all done seamlessly! These two have already brought some of my favorite parts from DOA fully to life and there’s so much more in store. I of course can’t conclude my thoughts on Roger & Bree without mentioning the performance! I was completely lost in Roger’s voice as he sang, and Bree’s expression perfectly mimicked every other woman’s face at the festival, including my own, while he serenaded us all. I had to apologize to my hubby for the sighs of delight that were coming from my mouth as I briefly forgot that he was sitting right there next to me. Luckily he doesn’t mind my Outlander/Jamie/Roger obsession. Although, it’s more lucky for him than it is for me, because no amount of disapproval could come in the way of my ultimate swooning over Roger’s voice, both singing & speaking.Back to our two main characters, Jamie & Claire who are now wandering the woods for a place to call home. Otter Tooth & his skull made their appearance much sooner than I had imagined albeit I fully enjoyed how it was handled within the episode. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and very reminiscent of trails that I’ve personally found myself on since making North Carolina my home. “Jamie look, strawberries”, Claire calls out to Jamie which was all the sign he needed to realize that they had finally found home. A home soon to be called Fraser’s Ridge.To say that I enjoyed this episode would be a vast understatement! The show once again has sucked me in and I found myself wishing it was much longer than a mere 62 minutes. This has now made my anticipation for what’s yet to come even more extreme, please excuse me while I shout “BRING ON THE TIME TRAVEL!”Harmony was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, but found her forever home in the mountains of North Carolina in 2017. She is married to her “Jamie” and the mom of two boys whom she homeschools. Harmony discovered Outlander while Season 2 was showing on Starz, and instantly fell in love with Jamie and Claire’s love story. I’m her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and getting outside to explore their new home in the mountains.
UPDATE: THIS EVENT IS NOW LIVE! FOR INFORMATION, TO REGISTER AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS, CLICK HERE!
Hello The House! It’s almost time to launch our event, A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming, to be held at Leatherwood Mountains Resort, Ferguson, NC, September 20-23, 2018! Tickets will go on sale Sunday, March 4, at 9:00 AM EST.
The ticket price of $319.93 includes the following:
Four days of activities, speakers and performers (link to itinerary below)
One cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres
Gratuities on provided meals
Tax (7% required by law)
Cash bars will be available but are not included in the ticket price. Breakfast is on your own each morning and you will have the option to purchase a box lunch on Saturday.
A $125 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit is due PER PERSON upon registration. You may pay the balance in monthly installments; however, the final payment must be made no later than July 15th. Monies paid cannot be refunded; however, you may transfer your ticket to someone else if you are unable to attend. In that event, it is imperative that you notify me by email of the name of the person attending in your place at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration will close on or before July 15, 2018. Unfortunately, we are unable to issue tickets to individual activities or passes for individual days. Please bring your receipt(s) to the event as that will be your admission ticket.
The ticket price does NOT include accommodations. Once you have registered for the event, accommodations may be booked through Leatherwood Mountains Resort. http://www.leatherwoodmountains.com/ When making reservations, please let the resort know you are booking for A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming.
Although staying in a cabin at Leatherwood is not mandatory, we do strongly encourage everyone to stay on site as the nearest hotel is 30 minutes away. You can lower your accommodation costs by sharing a cabin with others. A forum has been created on the website to help you connect with others regarding sharing a cabin. The link to the forum is https://outlandernorthcarolina.com/homecoming-forums/. You will need to register to login to the forum.
This is an adult only event! Children are welcome to accompany you at your cabin but unfortunately they cannot be allowed at the various activities scheduled throughout the weekend. We’re sorry!
Links to register and to make your deposit/payment will be provided Sunday morning at 9:00 AM. I will be posting the links here on the blog at that time so be on the lookout.
Are you ready to come home? After months of planning, we are almost ready to go live with ticket sales. Tickets will go on sale Sunday, March 4. More details regarding pricing, accommodations, itinerary, meals and entertainment will be posted later this week. The best way to keep up with all the details is to like the Facebook page by clicking here and make sure to edit notifications to receive “standard” posts and not just highlights. Another way is to join the Facebook group by clicking here. We hope to see you at A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming!
Christmas is over! All the scurrying and preparations are over and I can now re-focus on all things Outlander! Yay! I hope those of you who celebrated Christmas had a wonderful holiday! I certainly did! I ate too much and now need my stretchy pants! The first of the year will bring many new things for the blog plus a diet for me. Fun on the former; not so much fun on the latter! However, I refuse to think about diet until the first of the year so, for now, let’s jump back to the subject of this post.
I get daily emails from “This Day in North Carolina History”. This morning’s email included an article about explorer John Lawson who on December 28, 1700, began his journey to the backcountry of North Carolina. He started out from Charleston, South Carolina with five Englishmen and several Indian guides and crossed over into what is now North Carolina (near the present-day Charlotte area) in late January, 1701. As he traveled through the Carolina backcountry, he journaled and recorded his observations in what became his book, “A New Voyage to Carolina“, which was published in 1709. It is also known by the titles of “The History of Carolina” and “Lawson’s History of Carolina“.
The email made me think about the book Jamie had with him and referred to in Drums of Autumn but I couldn’t remember the specifics. Since inquiring minds have to know, I pulled out my trusty Kindle and searched “History of Carolina”, remembering vaguely that Jamie had told Claire the name of the book he was reading. Sure enough, the search garnered three results but it wasn’t at all what I expected – which sent me on another research expedition. Here are my findings.
The book mentioned in Drums of Autumn by Jamie is “The Natural History of North Carolina” and the author named in the book is Bricknell.
He held a book in his hand, thumb between the pages to hold his place, and now bent his head to consult the volume.
“I believe it is an alligator. They dine upon carrion, it says here, and willna eat fresh meat. When they take a man or a sheep, they pull the victim beneath the water to drown it, but then drag it to their den below ground and leave it there until it has rotted enough to suit their fancy. Of course,” he added, with a bleak glance at the bank, “they’re sometimes fortunate enough to find a meal prepared.”
The figure on the stake seemed to tremble briefly, as something bumped it from below, and Ian made a small choking noise beside me.
“Where did you get that book?” I asked, not taking my eyes off the stake. The top of the wooden pole was vibrating, as though something under the waves was worrying at it. Then the pole was still, and the V-shaped wake could be seen again, traveling back toward the riverbank. I turned away before it could emerge.
Jamie handed me the book, his eyes still fixed on the black mudflat and its cloud of screeching birds.
“The Governor gave it to me. He said he thought it might be of interest on our journey.”
I glanced down at the book. Bound in plain buckram, the title was stamped on the spine in gold leaf—The Natural History of North Carolina.
(Drums of Autumn, Chapter 8, Diana Gabaldon)
At the moment, he possessed one book—The Natural History of North Carolina, published 1733, brought along as guide and reference.
(Drums of Autumn, Chapter 19, Diana Gabaldon)
“Mmphm.” Jamie reached out a hand and patted absently around on the table, searching for the bread plate. His attention was wholly focused on the book he was reading, Bricknell’s Natural History of North Carolina. “Here it is,” he said. “I knew I’d seen a bit about rattlesnakes.” Locating the bread by feel, he took a piece and used it to scoop a healthy portion of egg into his mouth. Having engulfed this, he read aloud, holding the book in one hand while groping over the tabletop with the other.
“ ‘The Indians frequently pull out the snakes’ Teeth, so that they never afterwards can do any Mischief by biting; this may be easily done, by tying a bit of red Wollen Cloth to the upper end of a long hollow Cane, and so provoking the Rattle-Snake to bite, and suddenly pulling it away from him, by which means the Teeth stick fast in the Cloath, which are plainly to be seen by those present.’ ”
(Drums of Autumn, Chapter 25, Diana Gabaldon)
Well, that’s quite odd I said to myself. Maybe there were two explorers who wrote two similar books. We all know Diana does her research! So, I googled Bricknell’s “The Natural History of North Carolina” and found a book by that title by one John Brickell, M.D. who was a native of Ireland. He explored and lived in North Carolina beginning in 1724 through at least 1731 and practiced medicine in Edenton, North Carolina (another Outlander location) from about 1730 to 1731. His book was published in Dublin in 1737 after his return to Ireland.
So, you say, what’s the big deal with John Brickell? Well, it is widely acknowledged by most history buffs that close to 85 percent of his book “The Natural History of North Carolina” was plagiarized from John Lawson’s “A New Voyage to Carolina”. In fact, whole sections of Lawson’s book were lifted out and copied word for word by Brickell. So, if Diana’s Bricknell is history’s own real-life Brickell, the words Jamie was reading and the information he was gleaning were actually from John Lawson who started his exploration of the North Carolina backcountry exactly 317 years ago today!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick lesson from Today in Outlander North Carolina history. What do you think? Could the real life Brickell be the inspiration for Diana’s Bricknell? I vote yes!
For more information on John Lawson and John Brickell, click on the links below and, as always, thank you for reading Outlander North Carolina!