So Long Mr. Hughes – Blue Ridge Legend Passes Away

Photo By Yvette Stafford : The late Ted Hughes in a photo shoot we did in our April 2019 issue about Mr. Hughes Buggy Works in Amherst County.
Photo By Yvette Stafford : The late Ted Hughes in a photo shoot we did in our April 2019 issue about Mr. Hughes Buggy Works in Amherst County.

Amherst / Nelson County
Near Piney River, Virginia
By Tommy Stafford

Of the thousands of stories we covered over 16 years in the print edition of Blue Ridge Life Magazine, (previously Nelson County Life Magazine) a few people really stick out. You don’t forget them. Ted Hughes is one of those people. Like many of you, we recently learned of Ted’s passing just a few days ago on February 9th.

Mr. Hughes was one of our absolute favorite people. An icon for sure. If it was any kind of a craftsmanship or restoration, Mr. Hughes was a part of it.

Photo By BRL Mountain Photographer Paul Purpura : Back in July 2015 Mr. Hughes (R) was big time busy in assisting with the placement and restoration of an authentic caboose in Piney River at the trail head. It was one of his pet projects that stands today for visitors to see.
To read our entire story on Mr. Hughes early days of the caboose project in Piney River click on the image above. Jennie Tal Williams wrote that August 2015 story and Paul Purpura photographed it.

People living in and near Piney River, Virginia can tell you far more about Mr. Hughes than we can. But for the short decade or so we got to know him, we can say there was no better person, no more gracious human than Ted Hughes.

Just 3 short years ago Yvette wrote and shot this story on Mr. Hughes restoration shop just over the line in Amherst County, Virginia. To see our April 2019 story click on the image above.


As far back as October 2013, Lynn (Backroads Magazine) Coffey who was writing for us in those days, did a story about Mr. Hughes. He was a fascinating man, indeed. Lynn went on to include Mr. Hughes in one of her many books about living in the Blue Ridge. He was featured in her book call Appalachian Heart. Click on the image above to read Lynn’s story from our October 2013 edition.
And here’s yet another story we did on Mr. Hughes back in 2013. Writer/Photographer Marcie Gates did one of the first stories about him that ever appeared in our magazine. Click on the image above to read Marcie’s fantastic look at Mr. Hughes.

We could go on all day about Mr. Hughes. As you can see from the stories above we thought a lot of him. So do the people that knew him best. His family, his friends, his Piney River and Amherst community.

We will miss you Mr. Ted Hughes. This area won’t be the same without you in it. But every time I pass the caboose on the side of the road at the Piney River Trailhead, I will always remember you and smile. Thank you for making the Blue Ridge a much better place.

Here’s Mr. Hughes obit info, by clicking here. 




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