April 6 –7, 2011 The Museum of Appalachia

On Thursday our travels took us to the highly recommended Museum of Appalachia and we were not disappointed.

A little background:



The museum was established in the 1960s by John Rice Irwin, an East Tennessee educator and businessman, who has followed the basic philosophy of preserving not only structures and artifacts relevant to the region's history, but also preserving each item's individual history— who owned it, when and how it was created or obtained, and how it was used. These oral histories and recollections are housed, along with thousands of photographs, in the museum's archives. Starting from a single log structure, the museum has grown over four decades to include buildings such as the National Register of Historic Places-listed Arnwine Cabin, a rare Appalachian cantilever barn, and a cabin once inhabited by the parents of author Mark Twain. Relics on display include items owned by several notable or colorful Appalachian natives and thousands of tools detailing all aspects of rural life in Southern Appalachia.[2] The museum's grounds mimic a working pioneer Appalachian farm, with gardens growing typical crops and animals such as goats, chickens, turkeys, and peacocks roaming the grounds freely.”

The most interesting thing to us was that almost every piece in the museum had who it belonged to and some had stories attached to them.  And those stories are written so well that we could close our eyes and see the article in use.

Some of the grounds:


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There was a huge basket, quilt, and craft display – and of course a story on each one of them:

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Musical Display:

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Notice all the carvings on this piano – WOW!:

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H. Harrison Mayes had a vision of putting large concrete religious signs in every state, country and planet.   Eventually he put signs in 44 states and years ago before the new road systems were put in, his signs were seen along the roads.    At some point the signs not distributed were moved here.

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This one was destined for Italy:

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These for Arizona and Colorado:

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These for Brazil and Jupiter:

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For some reason, I am fascinated with what this person has done – might be a road trip to find his signs……

I spent some time chatting with this woman – she was originally from Wisconsin, now lives in the area and does quilting demonstrations – I just love hearing people’s stories:

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Blacksmith shop on the right:

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The family who lived here had 12 children – another WoW:

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Inside of the above home:

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The cantilever barn:

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And the animals, oh my.   These peacocks started following Andy – I told him it was his harem – LOL:

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Look at those colors:

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Check out the horns on this guy:

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If you are in this area, please put this on your list.  They also have different activities during the year.  If I lived here, I think I would get on their mailing list to find out what is happening.

We said our goodbyes to Paula and Norm and Cyndy and Merlin and hope to see them in our travels again.  We still continue to enjoy this park.  It is small but very friendly.   Many of those we are meeting are like us – heading north to home or family but waiting until the weather warms up.

And spring is here – I think in the past two days, the trees have all turned green – :-))).

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