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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Winter Living in the 1800’s

We sure have it made compared to the mountain folk of the mid-19th century.  I can’t imagine living in the small cabins they called home, especially in chilly winter temps with the wind whistling through all the cracks and down the chimney!  The typical cabin was 18 X 20 (360 sq ft), frequently with a sleeping loft.  The cabins may have been small but the families normally large.  Usually the log home would house multiple generations including grandparents and 5 -12 kids!

Life was simple yet hard.  They lived off the land and in winter while fresh produce was sparce if crops had been good and livstock prolific they had plenty to eat.  They would dry, salt, pickle, and sulphur things to make sure the family would eat well.  Some items their diets may have included are:  chicken, corn bread, pickled vegetables, dry green beans, squirrel, sorghum molasses, potatoes and salt pork, sulphured apples.

Winter was the time when most children attended school since they were not needed to work the farm.  The school year lasted only 2-4 months of the year and cost about $1 per student per month for the family to have their children educated.  Typically a child only went to school for a 3-5 year period enough to learn basic reading, writing and math skills.  Two country schools are preserved in the national park. Little Greenbrier School is accessible in winter by the 0.7 mile Metcalf Bottoms Trail which begins at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. Beech Grove School is beside the road in Cataloochee Valley.

To pass the time indoors during the wintery weather the mountain folk would play music and sing songs.  Ballads were written about life events, tragedies, and local places.

The woman sewed quilts made from leftover scraps of cloth, worn out clothing and scraps of sack cloth.

I like to imagine what it would have been like for those hardy people to farm the land enjoy the fruit of it and the beauty too but I will admit I like to do so in the comfort of my climate controlled home in my very comfortable easy chair with a stocked refrigerator not far away!

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Area History

 

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It’s a Slippery Slope and Snow Much Fun!

Hey there all you winter wonderland fans, ’tis the season to grab your toboggan and head for the hills!  Ober Gatlnburg Ski Resort and Amusement Park have opened the slopes/runs.  Be sure to click on the link and take a look at current conditions including a live webcam.  Also on the link you can find pricing for gear rental, lessons and lift tickets. Skiing, snowboarding and tubing all offered here.

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Not the downhill, outdoor type well head indoors, lace up some ice skates and take a few turns on the rink inside, this activity is offered year round.  Plenty of other things to experience here too, the alpine slide, the aerial tramway, the wildlife encounter, shops and eateries so as you can see something for everyone and in every season.  Head on up to Ober Gatlinburg and have some fun!

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Attractions, Gatlinburg

 

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