Appalachia in the Past

Trip Start Apr 06, 2014
Trip End Apr 20, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Museum of Appalachia is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution that portrays the lifestyles and folk traditions of Appalachia. It is a 65-acre collection of old mountain buildings collected from the surrounding area: church, school, homes from various eras, barns, smokehouses, shops, jail, even a still. Animals, even a peacock, roam the barnyards. Indoor exhibits include more than 250,000 artifacts. The Appalachian Hall of Fame building tells the story of famous and also ordinary mountain people with pictures, hand-written stories, and collections of items made, used, treasured by them. Much of the museum was collected by John Rice Irwin, a mountain man who believed that "items of everyday life are important, and that through them, we can understand the people who made them and made the region what it is."

The Appalachian Arts Craft Center was across the street and featured modern day crafts by artisans from the area.

I headed back to Norris Dam State Park to visit the Lenoir Museum, a collection of mountain artifacts, especially housewares, farm implements, and furniture. The museum also has displays about TVA's construction of the dam. I looked through a photo book of homes and people who lived there before the dam was built and Lake Norris was created as the reservoir. I talked with a museum staff person who said the government offered cash to those displaced and many left the area.

A mile down the road from the museum was the dam. I took pictures, drove over it, and then headed up, up, up to the West Campground. Quite a few people in cars and motorcycles drove by this evening, a few more RV's in the campground, but all is quiet again. I did make soup in the crockpot and it worked great. Thanks, Mindy! Also managed to get caught up on this travelogue. No wi-fi here so posting will need to wait until tomorrow. I do get public radio on my fancy sound system so am listening to bluegrass right now.
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Peg on

Finding a peacock in those surroundings seemed unusual. I would have loved to see him so bright and richly colored, in front of some of those old buildings so brown and plain.

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