Friday, July 25, 2014

Cades Cove ~ Part two

For most of its history Cades Cove has been a place to visit, but for more than  100 yrs. it also was a great place to live. In the 1860s John P. Cable bought land in the Cove and built a water-powered grist mill and sawmill in 1870.  It was a technological advancement of its day.
The water wheel driven mill could grind wheat into flour in addition to processing cornmeal.  The families now could make biscuits instead of a diet of pure cornbread.  Tub mills which were the alternative could only process a bushel of corn a day and it was time consuming, where John Cables mill could do it for them and a portion of the flour or meal or even money was the payment.
The same wheel also provided power for a sash sawmill with a heavy reciprocating blade.  It was a relatively slow way of turning a log into lumber but that is how the Cove was able to build houses of frame construction.  Most owners of the log homes in Cades Cove bought lumber for siding to cover that fact that they were living in old fashioned cabins.
A son James V. Cable inherited the mill and operated it well into the twentieth century. 
 Gregg-Cable House
Leason Gregg bought an acre of land from John Cable in 1879 and built a small house with lumber sawed at the mill. He later enlarged the house and ran a store on the first floor.  It is believed to be the first all-frame house in the cove.  In 1887 Rebecca Cable and her brother Dan bought the house and acre their father had sold to Gregg.
 "Aunt Becky" as she was known never married or had children but she reared her brothers children when his wife became ill with tuberculosis and mental illness.She also  ran the boarding house, took care of the farm, tended the mill, and lived a long and successful life until she was 96 in 1940.
 Near the house was the smokehouse where large sections of hogs were cured by smoking or salting and stored.  Deer and bear were
eaten fresh because it was not easily cured.  Sunday dinner could be a chicken killed, cleaned and cooked and eaten the same day.
This type of barn was located behind the house with the drive-through in the center and stalls on each side. Two men could unload hay with pitchforks, one from the wagon and the other from the loft. The hay was feed to draft animals and milk cows in the stalls below. The drive through also served as a storage place for farm equipment.
Aunt Becky attended the missionary Baptist church and was a loyal member right up until her death.(born Dec.7th 1844-died Dec. 19th 1940)

When we entered the church a nest of barn swallows greeted us from above.

Inside the church I found a bulletin from that morning so it must still be used.

Becky could be seen barefoot in the fields, plowing or mowing with this piece of machinery hooked to the mules or herding cattle.
 Behind the barn a stream runs (part of the water supply for the wheel in the mill) but on this day some young girls were cooling off on some rocks. A very different picture from the 1860s.
Around 2million visitors come each year to drive the eleven mile loop road.  They like to feel the Cove's pastoral serenity and protection of the surrounding mountains. Some as do I, delight in imaging themselves in the places of those who cut the trees, built the houses and worked a living from the land.  It's one of great Smoky Mountains most popular places to visit.

To God be The Glory  ~~  Great Things He Hath Done

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cades Cove Tour

Cades Cove  ~~  Great Smoky Mountains
The Smoky Mtn NP has one of the largest collections of historic log buildings in the world
This was the condition of the cabin in 1957 - Maintaining these historic structures requires unending care
As we are leaving the property to continue the tour this was the magnificent view
  Walking back from the cabin a surprise awaited us in the meadow
 A nice buck in velvet... slowly got up and walked away
 Stopping briefly to eat some leaves from a nearby tree
As we travel the 11 mile tour many cabins are visible along the road.  Many more could not be seen without hiking to them.
 When the park was created more than 1200 families had to sell their houses
 There are 20 historic cabins for touring.
 Large families often lived in such small buildings.  Parents, infants and daughters slept on the first floor and sons slept in the loft.  Everyone had a job very early... often the children were given the job to take mule and sled to the creek and gather stones for the chimney when the house was being built.
 A Log cabin could take 1 to 1 1/2 years to complete.  Not much except mules, muscles and simple tools and neighborly help to fell the trees, get them to the building site and build the house. The round logs first were scored along their length with a felling ax, then hewn with a broad ax. The notched corners need no nails or pegs, gravity holds them together.  Chinks (open spaces between the logs) were filled with mud to seal out wind, snow and rain.  
Buildings made of lumber from a sawmill were built after 1870.
These families had a hard life but had no time to belly ache as they had chores to be done from dawn to dusk.  

To God Be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He hath Done

Site Meter