MHT File Photo
Breakneck Road Historic District
Flintstone, Allegany County
Breakneck Road Valley Historic District is a collection of farms and parcels of considerable age, settled, developed, and maintained by a tightly knit collection of families which have held title to the land since the time of its settlement. The valley land is rolling and green with few exposed geographical features, although numerous sizeable caves exist in the area. The well defined image of the valley today is provided as much by its architecture as by its landscape. The two are intimately related, the purpose of the valley being almost exclusively agricultural. Only three sites are non-agricultural in the strict sense: a church and two small non-functioning schoolhouses. All domestic architecture is (or has been until recently), directly connected to a specific farm. All non-domestic structures, saving the above, are related to farm services: barns, spring houses, smoke houses, slave cabins, and minor structures like corn cribs and paddocks. The domestic structures include late-18th to early-19th century log houses and later-19th to early-20th century balloon frame houses.
This district is a present day survival of an 18th century pioneer settlement and its 19th century development. Spanning nearly two centuries of development, the fundamental unit of development has been and continues to be the family farm, an item of increasing rarity today. The character of the valley arises from these units in that they have remained in the possession of the families of the original settlers and have not changed substantially in their physical appearance for more than 100 years. The escape of modern incursion, the obvious richness of the agricultural and forest land, and the age and excellent state of interrelated family histories, all contribute to a quality of rare strength of definition. This is reinforced by the visual enclosure by the mountains and knobs which surround the valley. The architecture of the valley contributes to and is reflective of this quality, a vernacular architecture of accretive changes and occasional displays of style and prosperity, always in touch with the pragmatic and utilitarian nature of farm life.