Museum of Appalachia, Tennessee

Day 232

day-232-museum-of-appalachia-tn-8976_fotor

     John Rice Irwin was born on December 11, 1930 in Union County, Tennessee. His ancestors were pioneers of the area and he was devoted to preserving the history of his people’s struggle in the Appalachia. He started collecting heirlooms, while connecting each item to the person who owned it and telling their story.  In 1968, Irwin founded the Museum of Appalachia to house and display his growing collection. By 1980, the museum had grown so large that Irwin left his job in education to devote all of his time to the museum.

     Although the museum started as only a small log building, today it has grown to a village-farm complex, comprehending more than 35 original mountain structures, two large display buildings containing thousands of Appalachian artifacts, farm animals, and several gardens. In May 2007, the museum became an affiliate with the Smithsonian Institution. John Rice Irwin retired from the museum in 2009. 

day-232-museum-of-appalachia-tn-8971_fotor day-232-museum-of-appalachia-tn-8991_fotor day-232-museum-of-appalachia-tn-8993_fotor

     One of the buildings was devoted to the the people who lived in The Appalachia area, both well known to us, and well known in the area only: Bill Monroe, the Carter Family (who ultimately produced June Carter), Uncle Dave Macon, Homer Harris, Cordell Hull (US Secretary of State), Jim Smith, Sgt. Alvin C. York, Cass Walker, Chet Akins, Redd Stewart (author of The Tennessee Waltz), Archie (Grandpappy) Campbell, etc. Each section told the story of that person. 

     The onslaught of history here is overwhelming as there are over a quarter million items. However, the museum is not about the artifacts, but about the men and women who created them. 

Barbara talks to the peacocks. 

day-232-museum-of-appalachia-tn-9002_fotor

     There was no explanation for this, it was just laying on the ground. Could the peacocks have done it?

day-232-museum-of-appalachia-tn-9008_fotor

 

 

Kodax, Tennessee

Day 231

day-231-kodax-tn-8966_fotor

     We have reached a fork in our travels. Kodak, Tennessee, is just East of Knoxville. We are staying on a farm, converted to an RV park, that is basically used in the summer for a bluegrass festival.

day-231-kodax-tn-8964_fotor

     It has 170 sites, but today it is empty, being off season. 

 day-231-kodax-tn-8963_fotor

     Our original plan was to go South from here to the Carolinas for warmer weather, taking route 40 to 95 where we will turn North for home. However there are over 40 wildfires in the area. When we arrived here you could smell the smoke, and see it approaching the farm. We are 35 miles from the nearest fire. Going South will take us through the heaviest part of the fire, so our alternative is to go diagonally North by route 81 to 70. We will have to see which way the wind blows. 

Technical Stuff:

Crossville, TN to Kodax, TN 95 miles

2 hours 3 minutes

11.3 MPG

Diesel: $2.25

 

Crossville, Tennessee

Day 224

day-224-crossville-tn-8938_fotor

     Crossville developed at the intersection of a branch of the Great Stage Road, which connected the Knoxville area with the Nashville area, and the Kentucky Stock Road, a cattle drovers’ path connecting Middle Tennessee with Kentucky. These two roads are roughly paralleled by modern US-70 and US-127. 

     Around 1800, an early American settler named Samuel Lambeth opened a store at this junction, and the small community that developed around it became known as Lambeth’s Crossroads. By the 1830’s this community became known as Crossville. 

     Even before the depression, this community, mostly farms and mining interests, came upon hard times. The federal government’s Subsistence Homestead Division, part of Franklin Delanor Roosevelt’s New Deal, initiated in 1934 a housing project known as the Cumberland Homesteads. The project’s purpose was to provide small farms for several hundred impoverished families. It was similar to the CCC. The Government purchased 10,000 acres from the Missouri Mining Company. They then “sold” the land to the selected families. More than 400 men were employed to clear the land and build roads to support the community. They would also build a house and barn on their alloted plot. They were paid $1.50 an hour. 50 cents was given to them, and the remaining dollar was a credited toward them purchasing the land. The sites ranged from 8 to 20 acres each.

     We visited the first of these projects in Arthurdale, West Virginia. The theory behind that project, conceived of and championed by Eleanor Roosevelt, was to invite industry to the area, have families built homes, and work in these industries. Unfortunately the project failed because the companies that came in could not make a profit. 

     Here, the government considered this a failed project, but the 251 families who got homes, did not. They were taught a trade, which when the government abandoned them they could take to private industry and make a living. The project was abandoned in 1947, but the homesteaders were allowed to redeem their houses and land. Some of their decedents are still here.

     The water tower and government offices that supported this community is now a museum preserving the history of the area.

    It contained a display of each of the 251 families, and their descendants, some of whom still live on the land in these houses.

day-224-crossville-tn-8943_fotor

Technical Stuff:

Goodlettsville, TN to Crossville, TN 131.0 miles

2 hours and 30 minutes

10.6 MPG

Diesel: $2.20

The Nashville Scene, Tennessee

Day 223

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8780_fotor

     Today we toured all of Nashville, the Capital of Tennessee. Starting with the Capital Building.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8784_fotor

     Went to the Nashville Parthenon which is the world’s only full scale replica of the one in ancient Greece. The ancient Parthenon, built in 438 BCE (Before the Common Error) was a temple to the goddess Athena, protector and patron goddess of Athens.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8873_fotor

     Nashville’s Parthenon was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial celebration. At that time Nashville’s nickname was “The Athens of the South”. The first floor was an art exhibit, the second had the goddess Athena.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8883_fotor

     If you remember your mythology, Athena sprang as the fully grown warrior from the head of her father, Zeus. 

     In her right hand is Nike, the shoe guy. Actually, Nike is a girl, the Goddess of Victory.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8874_fotor

Na Nana Na Na!

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8884_fotor

     Barbara says no, but I think she has a toe fungus.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8876_fotor

Saw the “circle of butts”, I guess it’s art.

 day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8792_fotor day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8790_fotor day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8788_fotor day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8785_fotor

     We next went to the shop of the TV show “American Pickers”. It looked like junk to me. 

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8894_fotorday-223-nashville-scene-tn-8895_fotor

     What was interesting, is that the shop is located in the old Marathon Automobile factory.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8922_fotor

     The factory building takes up the whole block, plus half a block across the street. It now houses other antique shops, which seemed to have less junk than the Pickers.

     As you walk through the Marathon building you can observe the various machines used to build the cars.

     The Marathon Motor Works manufactured automobiles from 1907 to 1914. The car was developed by William Collier, an eccentric inventor who lived in Jackson, Tennessee. From 1907 to 1910 he produced about 400 cars. But in 1910 a group of Nashville financiers led by Maxwell House Hotel owner Augustus Robinson bought out the company and brought it to Nashville.  They were the only company to completely manufacture the automobile in the South.

     On the top floor of the building are 5 of the only 8 Marathon automobiles left.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8913_fotorday-223-nashville-scene-tn-8912_fotor

     As a result of over expansion and short supplies as a result of the World War, the company declared bankruptcy in 1914.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8794_fotor

Went to the top of Tootsies for a nice view of Broadway.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8796_fotor

The party goes on all day long.

 day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8803_fotor

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8805_fotor day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8851_fotor 

     My favorite was B.B. Kings, where we went to dinner for their “lip smacking” ribs.

day-223-nashville-scene-tn-8865_fotor