I found the photos I made back in the Christmas season at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend,Tennessee. On an usually warm day during the holiday visit my mother-in-law (Donna) and I went over to Townsend to see the decorations in the cabins. Her garden club had done the decorating for a previous year and we were curious to see this year’s decorations. The men were golfing and this would feed my shutterbug. However I downloaded the photos onto my netbook and forgot about them. Until I found them yesterday.
Thus you are getting Christmas at Easter. I have to say much of this isn’t new to me growing up in the Appalachians. Honestly some of the things I’ve seen used or chatted with people that used them in their childhood. Several branches of my family has lived in the Appalachians since receiving land grants for their service in the American Revolution. Much of this speaks to my roots in the area and my genealogy research.
I remember my Granny Rolen (maternal great grandmother) showing me how she spun thread to weave on her loom. I’ve heard stories all my life of her large loom that was in the attic of “the old house.” That house burned, the loom with it I’d guess in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Every time I see a loom in an Smoky Mountain display I always think of the demos she did on how to spin and long to see her loom that burned.
The outhouse. Yes I’ve used them. The church I attended growing up that’s all they had. It wasn’t unusal to see old outhouses going untended among outbuildings at farms when I was growing up. I remember my Nannie’s (maternal grandmother) neighbor kept up their outhouse and turned it into a shed where they kept their lawnmower. That’s always struck me as funny.
I remember a story my Nannie telling that her mother challenged her to learn to harness a team to a carriage like Nannie’s friend could do. Intending to show her mother she could do it without her stinky ole brother showing her how she went out to hook up the team. Well they bolted, Nannie went to the house and left her brother to catch the team. “Served him right for not ever teaching me until Mama said I needed to know.”
Once while visiting my Nannie I went to tour Forbidden Caverns with some cousins. When I got back telling her about all we saw – fish without eyes, neat rock formations, and an old still. To which she said “It was some of your kin that ran that still back in the day.” Truth be told if your roots go back to the depression era or later in the Appalachians the chances are your kin had something to do with bootlegging too. It was a way many families made ends meet in tough time. However be careful of my great-grandpa and his brothers they were revenuers and lawmen.
I’ll just say I’m not sure why they have pine cones on the stove. Putting that decoration choice aside let’s look at the coffee pot. I’ve seen pots like that all my life. I even have one we use camping. Coffee from them is great and always has a distinctive taste, not like drip or even electrically percolated. Use it over an open fire and it’ll have a nice smoky note to the coffee.
I know this isn’t the best picture but I wanted to share. I’ve never seen a tree this big in the Smokies. Back in the early to mid 1900s lumber was a commodity for the Smokies partly from the old growth forest giving large trees to make long run planks. All those are gone now but I found it amazing there were once trees that big in the forests I grew up knowing. I can’t imagine what my great grandparents saw with a forest that contained those trees.
Here’s a few beauty shots I make of the decorations and place. The stagecoach rules amused me. If you want to see more of the pictures from that day click on any of the photos here. That will take you over to my Flickr photo stream where you can surf about.
Hope you enjoyed this Christmas for Easter post. As I always say I love to hear from you here or any where – don’t be shy!
Until next time!