Earlier this fall the Great Smoky Mountains held its annual Mountain Life Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum (next to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center).
Each fall, for almost 40 years, the Mountain Life Festival has provided visitors with living history demonstrations on how the homesteaders of the region settled the land that would become a national park. Visitors get a glimpse into the traditions of the past as reenactors and volunteers make sorghum molasses, apple cider, apple butter and cornbread. There are also live demonstrations on hearth cooking, blacksmithing, lye soap making, food preservation, broom making, quilting and chair bottoming.
The Great Smoky Mountains Association has recently published a video of the 2010 festival which highlights some of the sights and sounds from the day:
© GSMA 2010. All rights reserved.
The Mountain Farm Museum is a collection of farm buildings assembled from locations throughout the park. Visitors can explore a log farmhouse, barn, apple house, springhouse, and a working blacksmith shop to get a sense of how families may have lived 100 years ago. Most of the structures were built in the late 19th century and were moved here in the 1950s. The Davis House offers a rare chance to view a log house that was built from chestnut wood before blight decimated the American Chestnut in the 1930s and early 1940s. The site also demonstrates historic gardening and agricultural practices, including livestock.
The Mountain Farm Museum is located next to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road (US 441), roughly two miles north of Cherokee, N.C.