Museum of Appalachia

A while back a friend and I took a day trip to the Museum of Appalachia. It is a living history museum, a pioneer mountain farm village with artifacts and stories from Southern Appalachia. It was so well done! So much to look at.

It all started with one person’s collecting memorabilia of Appalachia. He acquired so much he opened a museum and it has grown. There is a large building filled with memorabilia and it is divided up by category so nicely, musical history, Indian history, military history, medical history, farming and one that I found most interesting was funerals! Then there is a large barn that has everything to do with farming and general store stuff, furniture making, gun smithing. Then there are the 30 cabins and log homes from primitive Daniel Boone type to more wealthy cabins, a little newer and maybe a general store owners or large farmers. There is even Mark Twain’s family cabin. All of these have been lovingly dismantled from various places in Appalachia and moved here to the museum. Mark Twain’s family lived in TN when he was conceived and moved to Missouri before he was born.

There were gorgeous handmade quilts!

The music section was the largest. Banjoes, fiddles, guitars, mandolins and dulcimers. Some of them homemade by the poorest of the poor just so they could make music. Wasn’t much else to do for entertainment but sit around on the porch and sing and make music together. There were banjoes made from ham tins, gourds, bedpans, cookie tins… Appalachia has a rich musical history. Lots of info on music stars from Appalachia, Radio shows, TV. Some I’ve heard of and some I haven’t

The funeral section had so much information about their burial traditions, I found it fascinating. I’ve always been a bit on the morbid side though 🙂

This amazing funeral wagon is a real treasure!38095936_Unknown38095952_Unknown38095984_Unknown

Coffins of various sizes under it. And here is an unused baby coffin and a rare metal coffin with a face hole… 38095840_Unknown38095872_Unknown 

There was info about something called an Angel Crown or Death Crown… 38095856_Unknown copy38095856_Unknown copy 2

They have Popcorn Sutton‘s, the famous moonshiner from just up the road from me, moonshine still. That’s a story 38096512_Unknownon its own! Click on the link to read about him. If you watch the video of him be ready for a very foul mouth! He was made famous on one of those reality shows about moonshiners. Of course then the ‘Feds’ came for him and charged him with tax evasion and he was going to jail so he killed himself. Shot himself sitting in his car at his property in Parrotsville. I read he had just been diagnosed with cancer too. Shortly after they legalized moonshine and you can buy it in all the tourist areas here. I’m sure its regulated and not as potent. His wife sold his name and there’s a Popcorn Sutton Moonshine brand now.

Check out the wooden sink in the slideshow above, kept outside filled with water by wooden pipes and gravity fed! I’ll never complain again!

There were peacocks all around and one hen had four babies with her! I loved the sound of them as we walked around…

sIt was a fun day and we are looking forward to more girl’s days out!

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