A Surprise Right near Home
Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
159Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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Where I stayed
We decided to explore a bit right here in the park. The map pointed out a few interesting looking trails not far from our site. First though, we drove the circuitous route to the Marina. We were both amazed at how large it is. The video shows how many boat slips are here, mostly filled with all types of craft, some able to carry large parties of folks. There's a shop and store which also has a parts department. I think they must have everything you'd need. Maybe... The hills in the area are quite steep, so they use a farm-type tractor to pull a boat up into the work area
We then drove the Lodge Road and found the Lakeside Trail. This is a short trail which is paved and wheelchair usable. The water is greenish and was calm enough to get some good reflective shots.
Then the surprise! We found three buildings from the mid eighteenth century. One of which, the Smith House, has been completely restored to it's original state. The logs are about fourteen inches across and chinked with mortar. The building rests on a laid-up foundation of flat local stone. Directly in front of it is the Summey Casting Shed. This area is rich in iron ore. Up until the Civil War, many furnaces also were here, producing and casting iron in various shapes. At the shed we saw a functional furnace, which is used to demonstrate how it all worked. They put on these demonstrations several times throughout the year. One Moses Stroup, was a fourth generation furnace builder from the area and built several in this area.
Behind the Smith House one finds the Johnson Farm Blacksmith Shop. The most outstanding feature of the shop is the laid-up stone chimney. I've included a photo of it to show the beauty of it's construction. The quality of craftsmanship of this and the buildings is nearly a lost art these days. We were very excited to find this surprising spot. It gives a bit of an insight into what earlier life in these Georgia Hills must have been like. There were no other folks on the trail, so we could leisurely explore and enjoy the area. This area is also well worth a side trip if you're ever in the area.