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CHEROKEE, NC AREA

  Hebrews 13:8 Jesus
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 yesterday, and to day,
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CHEROKEE,
  NC:

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CHURCH'S

MINGUS MILL

MOUNTAIN
FARM
MUSEUM
&
OCONALUFTEE
VISITOR
CENTER

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SHOPS
MISC. SERVICES

 

OCONALUFTEE VISITOR CENTER / MOUNTAIN FARM MUSEUM

     The OCONALUFTEE VISITOR CENTER / MOUNTAIN FARM MUSEUM is actually part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, yet just a couple miles towards Gatlinburg FROM Cherokee!

     Please select below which areas you would like to see up close.  If you are familiar with most of our Smokies Editorial/Review Tour Web Sites, you will be use to going inside buildings and looking out the windows, but since inside access was restricted on most of these buildings, this is not possible, although you CAN click on some windows and look INSIDE, along with look around from the porch etc.

     As you pull into the ample parking area (buss parking is also available) you will see the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, where you can go inside and enjoy many exhibits along with a National Park Store.  There are also men's and women's restrooms to the rear of he building.  The trail that leads trough this exhibit is paved and suitable for wheelchair access! <~ (now how about MORE of these?!)

MOUNTAIN FARM MUSEUM

       The MOUNTAIN FARM MUSEUM, located just a few hundred feet from the OCONALUFTEE VISITOR CENTER, is an effort to preserve cultural heritage of the Great Smoky Mountains, with buildings and structures that were removed from their original Smoky Mountains locations and reassembled here for you to learn of the heritage of this area and your enjoyment!
Enjoy 114 Photos / 85 Pages!

THE DAVIS HOUSE
CLICK ON YOUR CHOICES BELOW FOR DETAILED CLOSE UPS!

     This house took John E. Davis, his wife & two young sons approximately 2 years to build with 'matched' chestnut logs , (around 1900), in the INDIAN CREEK / THOMAS DIVIDE area just north of Bryson City, NC.. where afterwards they had three additional children.
bulletSee The Davis House Exterior / Look INSIDE!
bulletSee The Davis Front Porch & Look Around, Click HERE!

THE MEAT HOUSE

     This meat house was originally built in Little Cataloochee, NC, and was located close to the main house, as was usually done, for security and convenience of that precious commodity.  Animals (primarily hogs) were butchered in late fall / early winter to take advantage of colder temperatures to naturally protect the salt and or smoking preservation methods which took considerable amounts of time.
bulletSee External Views Of The Smoke House!
bulletPeek Inside The Smokehouse!

THE WOOD SHED

     The WOOD SHED was the 'source of power' as it supplied warmth as well as heat fro cooking food, as well as generating heat for other purposes such as making molasses, lye soap etc.  And last but not least...if a child was misbehaving, one stern look might remind them of previous 'visits' to the 'wood shed' <smile>
bulletSee External Views Of The Wood Shed!

THE ASH HOPPER

     Ashes from the fireplace and stove were utilized to add nutrients to the soil, sprinkled on plans for a natural way of insect control, and also put in the ASH HOPPER.  As it rained, the water would filter through the ashes, bringing with it the alkali (lye) which was collected and when combined with animal fat (mostly lard from the hogs), then heat the mixture to produce LYE SOAP!
bulletSee External Views Of The Ash Hopper!

BROOMCORN

    Broomcorn is a member of the sourghum plant family and is the source of broomstraw for making brooms.  It was introduced to this country from Asia in the late 1700's.  The straw is part of the seed head that grows at the top of the plant.  Once the seeds develop, the broomstraw is cut and stacked to dry.  After drying, the seeds are removed and the straw s ready for making brooms.  Some seeds were saved for the next years crop; the rest could be fed to livestock.
bulletSee A Photo Of Broomcorn!

BEEGUMS

     Honey was frequently used as a sugar substitute as well as a source of income selling excess honey to others.  Black gum trees typically become hollow as the age, making them a fantastic site for beehives (thus the name 'beegums', and with a bottom and hinged lid, and henceforth, tupperwa..just kidding...made ideal storage bins!
bulletSee External Views Of 'Beegums'!

CHICKEN HOUSE

     A CHICKEN HOUSE was sort of a luxury, as many pioneers simply planted a cedar tree near the house where chickens could roost for protection.  Chickens played an important role on the farm, as they not only provided eggs and meat, (collecting eggs was a daily chore for the kids) , along with providing feathers for mattresses and pillows!
bulletSee External Views Of The Chicken House!
bulletPeek Inside The Chicken House!

APPLE HOUSE

     For the mountain family, apples were a staple -- eaten raw and used to make cider, vinegar, apple sauce, apple butter and pies.  Storing them was important, as evidenced by this substantial apple house.  Summer apples were stored on the upper floor, hardier winter apples were put in the ground-floor bins.  Earth and thick stone walls provided insulation from cold and heat.  This apple house was originally in Little Cataloochee, NC, that farm produced apples for commercial use until they could be hauled to market.  It was built into a hillside which provided access to the upper door on the back side.
bulletSee External Views Of The Apple House!
bulletPeek Inside The Apple House!

MOLASSES FURNACE

     A molasses furnace was a sort of a luxury, and neighbors would commonly bring their extracted cane juice (10 gallons would typically make one gallon of molasses) and use one's furnace (or cooker) and in turn give the owner a portion of the molasses.
bulletSee External Views Of The Molasses Furnace!
bulletSee An Enlarged View Of The Furnace!

CANE MILL

     Sorghum cane was a common crop on area farms, which was fed into the rollers while a powered by a horse or mule.
bulletSee An External View Of The Cane Mill!

CORN CRIB

     Corn cribs house the family's most important crop.  Corn fed humans and livestock.  Family's consumed it both fresh and as a corn meal cooked into dishes such as mush and cornbread.  After allowing corn to dry on the stalk, farmers stored it on the cob.  The crib provided protection against weather and large animals.  Almost every farm had a corn crib.  Some combined a crib and a gear shed, where the farmer also stored tools and implements.  These cribs below are from Deep Creek, NC area.
bulletSee External Views Of Corn Crib #1
bulletSee External Views Of Corn Crib #2
bulletPeek Inside Corn Crib #2

COMPOST PILE

     Farmers made their own fertilizer by the use of compost piles.  
bulletSee External Views Of The Compost Pile!

BARN

     This is the ONLY building that was not moved here from another site, although it was approximately 200 yards from where it is now.  Essential to the farmer for shelter for animals in harsh weather, feed was stored many times conveniently in the loft above.  Barns offered easy construction, made of logs, and required very little maintenance.  You could often tell prosperity of the family by the size of the barn.
bulletSee External Views Of The Barn!
bulletLook Up In The Barn's Loft!

PIG PEN

     Hogs were the most abundant livestock as they were a primary source of meat, and the lard produced from the fat was utilized in making lye soap and cooking.  They had multiple litters of pigs, and reached butchering size in about a year at little cost, as many farmers would mark an identifying mark on an ear, and let them forage in the woods for food, and would occasionally bring feed to a particular spot in the forest to get them used to that spot, where they could be easily caught when time to put them in the PIG PEN and fatten them up for harvest.  
bulletSee External Views Of The Pig Pen!

BLACKSMITH SHOP

     This structure was moved from Cades Cove, TN. Some farms had their own blacksmith shop setup, where a farmer could make repairs to equipment & tools, recycling iron was common.
bulletSee External Views Of The Blacksmith Shop!
bulletSee Inside View #1 Of Blacksmith Shop!
bulletSee Inside View #1 Of Blacksmith Shop!

SPRINGHOUSE

     A reliable source of drinking water was important when selecting a house site.  A good spring met that need and also provided a means for keeping perishable foods.  Water from a spring flowed through the springhouse in a rock lined channel in the floor or in an elevated wooden trough like the one in this structure.  Containers of perishable food, especially dairy products, were placed in the trough and were 'refrigerated' by the cool water flowing around them.  Crocks, barrels and jars containing a variety of less perishable foods were sometimes stored in the springhouse as well, particularly during warm weather.  The building also protected the food stored there from animals.
bulletSee External Views Of The Springhouse!
bulletPeek Inside The Springhouse!

WORK/REST SHELTERS

     Certain areas required that small shelters or structures be built for comfort and practicality.  This skill was handed down from dad to son.

bulletSee External Views Of A Work Structure!
bulletSee A Shade/Rain Shelter!
Acts 11:11
 
 

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