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The Museum of Appalachia in Tennessee
Museum of Appalachia
East Tennessee's Museum of Appalachia provides a wealth of information about the people and places of the region. Rustic structures like the Little Tater Valley Schoolhouse and the Mark Twain Family Cabin await. Living history demonstrations like spinning and weaving can be seen. Beautiful flower and vegetable gardens flourish. Peacocks! You'll see all of these things and more at the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, Tennessee. Preserving the history of all things Appalachian is the idea for this one-of-a-kind exhibit that covers 60 acres. Founded by John Rice Irwin, it has been a popular vacation spot for years, appealing to all ages.
Farm animals of all kinds and more than 30 log buildings, including: barns, cabins and a church dot the landscape. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, this important historical location seeks to preserve the memory of the mountain people of the area. Presentations, live music as part of the "Porch Museum Project" and folk art abound. Vegetable gardens provide fresh produce that is served in the restaurant. Flowers of every description surround the buildings. Displays of baskets, furniture, farm equipment, household items, guns, toys and musical instruments are just some of the hundreds of items to see.
The museum is open daily and the hours vary according to season, so call ahead. The "down home cooking" restaurant serves lunch daily. Regular adult admission is less than $15.00 and there are discounts for AAA members, seniors, children and groups.
Special events during the year draw thousands of visitors. Tennessee Fall Homecoming is held in autumn and has four stages with hundreds of musicians, crafters and their wares, food and exhibits.
Sheep Shearing Day is held in April. Demonstrations of sheep shearing, spinning wool, weaving and quilting can be enjoyed.
The July 4th Celebration and Anvil Shoot is a popular event. "Shooting the anvil" was a staple in pioneer life on Independence Day and other special holidays and is reinacted here. Live music plays, a replica of the Liberty Bell is rung and mountain skills such as blacksmithing and whittling are demonstrated. Delicious barbeque and ice cream are served.
Christmas in Old Appalachia is a favorite holiday event. Pioneer Christmas decor is set up in the cabins, including paper chains and greenery. Christmas carols are sung and cocoa sipped.
Nearby hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds provide lodging for visitors. Knoxville is sixteen miles south, with more to see and do when you travel to Tennessee and the Museum of Appalachia.
Where is the museum?
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