Why Reigel Ridge?

This page created 6 Nov 2000

Well, for Two Reasons, Actually

First, the Obvious One

As those who have visited us know, we are situated on the top of a hill, or ridge, located in the middle of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

And Secondly, the More Subtle One

Ridge is actually our proper name. The surname Reigel, often spelled Riegel, comes from the German. In current German, it is usually translated as “bolt” (as in bolt the door) or “bar.” But in older German the meaning “rail,” as in rail fence, seems to have been used. That meaning is supposed to have come from the Latin. At least one immigrant Riegel family seems to have accepted that translation, since they actually changed their surname to Rail.

The notion of fence rails seems to have been extended in Germany to become a mountain ridge. By some accounts, a peasant who lived on a ridge was called a “Riegelbauer” or “Riegeler.” So it would seem that the term ReigelRidge is actually redundant.

The above drawn, in part, from the explanation of Stefan Riegel,

Whose work can be seen more fully here.

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Copyright 2000- by Terry Reigel