Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

An American Treasure

The Museum of Appalachia
        It has been called "the star-spangled banner- from the country's pioneer past"  and the "most authentic and complete replica of pioneer Appalachian life in the world". And we are so fortunate to live only 45 minutes from this wonderful historic jewel.
     When I want to experience a piece of America's past, renew my mind, and refresh my imagination, I love to visit the Musuem of Appalachia, a place dedicated to the pioneers who settled in the valleys of East Tennessee  starting in the early 1700's. I am so inspired by this beautiful place on God's green earth. Not only can I relive history, but I get wonderful ideas for my own garden grounds, and my artwork.  On 65 acres sit dozens of authentic log hewn structures: barns, cabins, schools, churches and more. We recently walked the grounds on a cool drizzlely day, barely a soul was in sight... but one of the resident peacocks greeted us at the gate.


and we followed him and his 2 companions along the pebbled path,
and past the rustic garden fences.
And the purple martin gourd houses.
As dappled light falls upon the paths, and sweet birdsong tickles the air, the ghosts of history surround us and bid us welcome...

Every door is open, inviting us into the past,

and into a world so very different from our present existence.
 A world  lit with candles and lanterns,
where meals were cooked over hot coals in a fireplace, and not a bite was left upon the plate.

 Meals cooked

in cast iron pots and pans, essential equipment for a pioneer kitchen.
Meals that were created from what grew on the land, whether it be the potatoes and corn, the hog raised in the pen, or the rabbit and deer in the wild... just a few paces from the back door and into the woods.

 Life wasn't easy, you had to tough back then.
No complaining allowed.
 But everyone pitched in, they had to. Butter was churned by hand and kept in a spring house, with the cream, the milk, the eggs.
 Those eggs were  valuable and chickens needed a safe dwelling too.
Meat was prepared with a lot of effort and time.

Families were large in those days and children did certainly not have a room of their own. Trundle beds came in handy.
 Bed "springs" were actually made of rope.If there wasn't enough room for everyone on the bed,
 you slept on the floor.

All the furniture was made by hand. Ladderback chairs are so very Southern,  and every cabin had at least one.
Maybe gramma had a comfortable hand-made chair in which to relax and smoke her pipe,  because women liked tobbacco too.
 Perhaps even a little swig of whiskey from the village still...

 At least doing the laundry wasn't too big of a chore, seeing as how most pioneers were lucky if they owned one or two garments.

 And children went to school in a one room school house... if THEY were lucky enough to have one.

Children were taught the essentials: reading, writing and 'rithmatic...(taught to the tune of a hickory stick)
 Of course, there were outdoor plumbing facilities....one for ma... one for pa.

  If ever you should be in East Tennessee, visit the Museum. There is so much more than  I could show you here.
 Pack your kiddles in the wagon and come on down. It's worth the trip!

( Be sure to look for Abraham Lincoln on the mantle in one of the cabins.)


  1. Isn't that wonderful! I am very glad to be living in the 21st century, but there is something very appealing about wooden-y homes. And not having too much clutter...by the way, your May garden looks really lovely, I have just found the photo. :)

  2. It is wonderful, to have all that history, so close. cheers Marie

  3. Jeri dear, this tour was amazing for me; bringing back memories of my childhood of dreaming of places like this is a fine moment at this quiet hour! Living in the big city (L.A.) I never got a chance to see wild life, green pastures or anything historical way until I grew up, got married and moved back east to Boston. History is alive in places like this and conjure up all the words and images from history books. Thank you for this walk. How are your geese with the bonnet? :) Have a fabulous day! Anita

  4. Thank you Jeri for this bit of history in pictures and words. Very enjoyable and a mini vacation for this girl. I just love that green corner cabinet in one of the rooms.

    The countryside is beautiful there and I can just imagine how peaceful it all must be.

    Peacocks are beautiful but they sure make a racket. Love that picture of you with one of these beautiful birds.

    By the way, your playlist music is very soothing and romantically sweet.

    Have a lovely day ~ FlowerLady

  5. Everybody has a peacock near you !! For Pete's sake, too, too much fun . I loved the picture of you with the peacocks, and then parading along, and then my other fav was the chalkboard saying, which I need to blaze into my chest ! Great tour,Thanks so much, Gina

  6. Hi Jeri, than kyou for the tour. I can understand how you enjoy visiting the museum and how this is a good source of inspriation for you. i love the simple life but behind what we all see was a LOT of work. Time was enough and it always will be for all of us... is just a matter of priorities.*grin*

    Jeri, here is a message I posted in response of your kind note to me:

    Dear Jeri, firtly I want to tell you very much for your tips. last week I read , I can't remember where, about using mechanical pencils where a good thing but I did not know about the lead. I am currently working on an illustration for christmas and I am drawing directly on the paper and it is come along much better. I am going to check out your page now , I am sure I will learn something. thank you kindly, it was *very* nice of you to leave me this note! Smiles, Pat

  7. Ah, also I want to tell you that I know a company that actually makes the stickers for your pottery . It is not the same thing that I do. Mine will only work with drawings ,not colored images and the results are what you saw but this company makes the sticker in COLOR so one can actually burn into ....mmm...porcelain for ex. and it will also be permanent .

    cool, no?

  8. Hi again Jeri~
    I really enjoyed visiting your studio an dreading in how you do your illustrations. Everything makes such a good sense and your seems to enjoy it so very much.*grin*
    Jeri, may I ask you one question? Do you ever erase your pencil lines and if you do when do you do that?
    Thank you kindly,

  9. Patricia, I only erase my lines IF I made a mistake,and I do go through a lot of erasers. Otherwise they are all still there when I begin to paint. I have examined the finished illustrations and can never see my pencil marks afterwards. Where did they go, tis a mystery!

  10. What an awesome view into life in the past.
    It's hard to imagine the hardship, and labor, just to make it through the day, those early settlers were true heroes.
    I love the log cabins, when you step inside, you can feel the atmosphere and what it was like to live in one, back when...
    A lovely trip, and thank you for sharing it with us !

  11. I love those historical places--it's so fun to dream oneself into the "olden days".

  12. What an amazing place. Wish I lived close enough to visit. Thanks for the photos and tour.

  13. How beautiful, I wish I could visit one day. It looks very Swiss somehow.

  14. Hello Jeri, thanks for the tour, it has been so interesting. Have a good week, Lesley

  15. Jeri,I sent you an email with teh info you asked me. letme know if you received it when you have a chance. Smiles,P.

  16. jeri, send me a note to sevenkidsfarm@msn.com so I can reply to you with the email that I sent earlier. I used your email address located at your page here and web. .... I will copy and paste.Smiles,P.

  17. jeri, send me a note to sevenkidsfarm@msn.com so I can reply to you with the email that I sent earlier. I used your email address located at your page here and web. .... I will copy and paste.Smiles,P.

  18. Good morning Jeri,
    ((( Thank you ))) for your visit and your note. I am letting go my *fears* and drawing more freely. I am enjoying the results!!!The pencil is my friend now,grin~p.


Please do leave a word or two, we SO like to hear from you!