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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cable Mill Historic Area, Cades Cove, TN --Part I


This will be my ninth post from our August trip to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, TN. After this post, there will be one more, and then that will conclude the blog posts talking about this wonderful, historical place. IF you missed any of the other posts from Cades Cove, you can scroll down on my right sidebar to Labels --and then click on Cades Cove 2010.

These last two posts are from one of the most popular stopping places along the 11-mile loop tour in Cades Cove. The picture above shows the loop --and you can see the Cable Mill stop at the bottom left corner. George made this map from Google by using our Geotagger--following our route. Below are more pictures with some information I have put together about the area.





Looking at the Gregg-Cable House in the distance (talked about in a previous post), you can see the Sorghum Mill on the right. Molasses-making was a social event. The sorghum cane stalks were cut in the fall and stripped of their leaves. Then they are run through the rollers of the mill, powered by horses or mules ---pulling the long pole, and going around in a circle.

The rollers pressed out the cane juice, which was boiled in the furnace (center in photo). Other native sweeteners were honey, maple syrup, and maple sugar. Trees whose nectar made great honey were sourwood, basswood, and chestnut.





I showed the house and talked about its history in a previous post (click HERE), but hadn't shown the interesting chimney. Seldom do we see a chimney built from river rocks... Isn't this one neat????





George is standing at one of two barns on this property. This type of barn, with the drive-through in the center and the stalls on each side, was more typical in East Tennessee than the cantilever barn. Two men with pitchforks, one on a wagon load of hay in the drive-through and the other in the loft, could transfer the hay to the loft in a short time.

The hay was fed to draft animals and milk cows in the stalls below during winter months when grass in the fields was poor. The drive-through sometimes served as a storage place for farm equipment.





This was the Blacksmith Shop. Iron was essential in the Cove, and the blacksmith was its master. Every farm community had a blacksmith. With his strong muscles and heavy hammer, the blacksmith shaped white-hot steel into the tools of living: axes, knives, bolts and bits, chains and hooks, the bull tongue plow and the wagon tire.

Iron from the fire is very malleable, capable of being shaped and reshaped from one tool to another. A broken crosscut saw can be remade into butcher knives; a worn-out hatchet can become a hammer, provided there is a blacksmith to perform the magic.





This is the Smokehouse. It was where large sections of hogs were cured by smoking or salting and then stored for use until the next hog-killing time, usually during a cold spell in November or early December.

IF you wanted ham for breakfast, you carried a butcher knife to the smokehouse, took down a ham and cut off as many slices as you needed. Large families sometimes killed nearly a dozen hogs.

The meat from deer or bear was not easily cured and was eaten fresh. People ate lots of chicken for Sunday dinner. A chicken was killed, cleaned, cooked and eaten the same day.

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I hope you are enjoying not only the photos, but especially the information I have provided. When I was young, I didn't care much at all about history. BUT--now that I'm older and much WISER, I can't get enough of history... Doing Family History has helped me --since I can relate my ancestors to so much of what went on here in Cades Cove. Life wasn't easy for the pioneers back then... I'll post Part II tomorrow.

Have a wonderful Thursday.
Hugs,

57 comments:

Mildred said...

I really enjoyed the history and the beautiful photos Betsy. I think the fireplace photo is my favorite. Hope you enjoy your day.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I have always loved history, even as a young girl, so to me, these posts are just fascinating.
When I first saw the river rock chimney I remember thinking of all the hard work it took to harvest those rocks and create that beautiful structure.
The log cabins and outbuildings are equally spetacular, and in excellant shape even today.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful posts, there's a little piece of my heart up in those hills :)

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful post and info, Betsy! Cades Cove is a wonderful place in the Smoky National park.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: I read the story with interest and enjoyed all the photos. What a neat place to share the past of this farm.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Fascinating.I can relate to the smoke house.
My father-in-law owned and operated a butcher shop for many years.Jake also worked there.I remember the smoke house,more updated of course.and how good that smoked ham tasted.
Blessings,Ruth

Jane said...

Good morning Betsy!

Great pictures as always. Where are you and George hitting the road to this weekend??

Jane

Catherine said...

Those are some really fun barns you and George saw Betsy! Thank you for sharing your photos and your history knowledge with us!

xo Catherine

Sonya said...

Hi Betsy, I enjoyed your post on Cades Cove area. I wish I were in the mountains too! One more day of work and I'm off with my sister coming tonight..we'll have waffles tomorrow and hang out and talk for a while.

Hope you all have a fun stay and return safely.
Sonya

Arkansas Patti said...

I really enjoyed that trip Betsy. What a neat life they used to live though I don't guess there was much down time. We are so spoiled today.
Loved that chimney.

Karin said...

That was another great post Betsy! Love the extra info. We lived across a blacksmith shop when I was a kid. It was right in town. I watched a lot of the work going on - from a distance!!

Dorothy said...

Wonderful pictures and history of this area. I wondered why the door of the smokehouse was so low? Looks like you would have to bend over and crawl in!

Sandra said...

You are still jogging my memorys. my uncle had a smoke house and i was terrifeied of getting closed up in it. it was not pretty like this old one, but made of concrete blocks with no windows. the good memory you jogged is the sugar cane. i spent many happy times chewing cane with my dad. could not chew it by myself, because it was hard to peel and chop in bit sized pieces. he would chop down a stalk, sript it and we would all stand around chewing God's bubble gum. yummy and messy, that is why we stood to chew it

diane said...

I sure do enjoy the history as well as the scenery. I am like you, I didn't like it at school but now I find it fascinating.

Sunny said...

What a great history lesson. Life certainly had its challenges back then.
I love the drive-through barn - would you like fries with that order of hay? Haha!
I'm looking forward to Part II.
☼ Sunny

Small City Scenes said...

Excellent post, Betsy. I have always loved the history of where I lived but didn't care to learn about other history.
I like the blacksmith house. My late husband was a farriar for a long time and he love to work in the fire and he made many shoes from very small to large workhorse shoes. MB

Lana said...

I love history, especially from this time and place. Were your ancestors from these parts?

Have I mentioned to you the book, Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver? She is one of my favorite authors, and this book is about your neck of the woods.

Have a great day!

Sharon said...

Good Morning Betsy!
Yep, the pioneers had a busy and hard life, it's neat to look back on all the history.
I did a piece on "Back to the land" back in April, you might get a kick out of it!
Have a lovely day now!

Cicero Sings said...

No life wasn't easy back then. Each period is fraught with its own perils!

KathyA said...

Have you and George ever considered putting together tours or being docents? I think you'd both be great at it!

Wonderful photos!

Darla said...

Very interesting indeed. I love these photos Betsy. Oh and that chimney is way cool.

Ginny said...

Betsy, I LOVE my history lesson and pictures!! The chimney is cool. The rest of that house looks like it has modern siding, but they kept the old rock chimney? And I had no idea that blacksmiths made stuff out of other old stuff! I always just pictured them making horseshoes, like in the movies, ha ha! I guess the smoke house was kinda like their grocery store. Can't wait to hear the rest tomorrow!

LV said...

I never tire of seeing any number of posts you do on this place. I love your part of the country and seeing all the places you visit.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Morning Betsy,
For some reason, after reading this post, I'm craving country ham, sweet potatoes, sorghum molasses with hot biscuits.....
I enjoyed the photos also!!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Beautiful photos and a plethora of history. Awesome!!!

The Incredible Woody said...

Last time I was at Cable Mill. I was laid out on the grass, sweating like a pig, wondering if I was going to make the last half of the loop on my bike. Good times!!

Kelly said...

...I love the history you present...carving a bit of ham from the smokehouse was my favorite tid-bit. Although...I'm always partial to blacksmith history because my great, great g was a blacksmith/artist and the work intrigues me.

The Farmer's Daughter said...

Enjoyed this post...wonderful photos. I've been away from blogland too long and have much to catch up on when I have a wee bit more time. I will enjoy seeing all your other posts, they are always so interesting and informative and your photos are always great. Your love for our beautiful country shines through!

Have a good day,
Cheryl

Lon said...

Hi Betsy, looks like you and your husband really have a great time together! I love these photos, and the knowledge you share!

My wife is so happy that I returned to my Lord Jesus Christ this time for good and I as well!!! I have indeed been set free!!!

I miss not getting your kindhearted comments.

God bless you and your husband always!!!

Lon.

Randy and Jamie said...

We use to have hog killin' day when I was a kid. We had a smoke house and I can remember seeing momma make sausage. :-)-- Randy

Pat - Arkansas said...

What an interesting place! Thanks for sharing the photos and information.

Wishing you a fine Fall day.

Daisy said...

It was interesting to read this history, Betsy, and I enjoyed your pictures too. I think I'm glad I didn't have to live back during those times. Hope you have a great day! :)

Tipper said...

Its such a beautiful place! Your posts make me want to go for another visit : )

amelia said...

Very interesting Betsy and I love the stone chimney outside!

BTW I just adore your header, I want to live there!!

From the Kitchen said...

I'm enjoying my trip to Cade's Cove with you and George. Not only is the river rock chimney interesting, so is that roof.

Regarding your comment on ham for breakfast, I'm thinking big fluffy biscuits to put some on. Ahhhh!

Best,
Bonnie

thesouthernlady64 said...

Hi Betsy, I love history, too. Hog killin and sorghum making and a lot of that stuff will soon be a thing of the past. I can remember when my girls were little and our little community got together and killed hogs. Everyone bought their hog and we all worked together to cut up the meat and package it and make sausage, etc. They also made sorghum there, too. It was an experience I will never forget. I loved it. The younger generation today does not know anything about that kind of thing. Great post.

Tabor said...

I posted some waterfall pictures thinking of you!

Elizabeth said...

Yes, older IS wiser and history is fascinating. Thanks so much for your trip pictures and explanations. And that is a great google map provided by George! It makes it so obvious what a small settlement it was, surrounded by dense woods. I know myself well enough that I wouldn't have made a great pioneer...but I LOVE to read about the life!

Cheryl said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post. The photos were wonderful, love the chimney and drive though barn. I too enjoy history more now than when I was younger!

Glenda said...

These are beautiful photos of some of my favorite scenes! And I love the history behind them and thinking about the daily lives of those who lived in that area.

Pedaling said...

seriously, you should be a historical tour guide.

carolina nana said...

Oh,Betsy you make me want to make a trip back to Cades Cove each time you show pictures of it.
I remember my dad making molasses here just like you described.
Have a blessed tomorrow.
Marilyn

Fred Alton said...

Because I was not interested at all in history in high school, I failed it twice. I now sometimes joke that I majored in history. I think that if you take a course three times it qualifies as a "major". LOL. I love reading history now! Your blogs are a great source of info. Good job, Betsy!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love history, Betsy, and I enjoyed seeing where the pioneer Americans lived and how they worked in Cable Mills. It's so good that those historic places have been preserved for all to see!

Neal said...

One of those buildings had a "Beware, Snake Habitat" sign (or something similar) when I was there last time. I walked inside and about 30 seconds later here comes a bunch of 16-18 year old girls....yelling about it being a snake habitat. I told my wife I would have give $10 for one of those old rubber snakes to throw out the door. :)

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...

Betsy its not been that long ago that I remember my grandfathers smoke house with salted down meats hanging in it...I was 12 years old or older. I do enjoy the history and seeing old building that show the way of the old days. They had hard lives....but I believe they were happy. Trish

Diane said...

Very interesting old buildings, Betsy. Diane

Ann Nichols said...

This is so very interesting and the photos are beautiful! As you can see from my history blog, I love history. The first 30 years of my life I was immersed in American history and used to visit all these lovely sites in my travels around the great U.S.A.The last 20 years I have added early Christian History to my list and have been often found "travelling" around the 3rd and 4th century. Come visit me at my history blog and see!
As for me, I am thrilled to have found you and will now become your 312th follower!
Ann

Carletta said...

Down the road from us the first year we lived here we saw gorghum being grown. They haven't grown it since for some reason.
I remember taking my kids to this house.
Can you imagine how long it took to collect and deliver those river rocks and then make that chimney!
I think doing one's family history gives you a better sense of self and an appreciation for what our ancestors endured. I wish I'd have taken a greater interest far earlier when more living relatives could have given me so much information.
Looking forward to Part II!

SquirrelQueen said...

I always enjoyed visiting places like Cades Cove as a child and I was interested but I didn't really pay attention to the details and history. I am very much enjoying your great photos and learning about the history of this area.

StellaClaire-Richard said...

Nice pictures and I am sure you had a fun trip there..:)

Sciarada said...

Buongiorno Betsy, I fully enjoy the photos of this beautiful place and even more your explanations!

NENSA MOON said...

Hi Betsy,
What a wonderful history and pictures!
I really love and enjoy reading this post while seeing the pictures one by one...
Thanks for always give me a new interesting lessons everytime I came here

Sending my warmest hugs to you, my good friend!
nensa

Joe Todd said...

Sure was a different way of living. Love the history and photos.

misslynda said...

I feel the same way about history - - - - love it now but was fortunate to do even average in it in school. I love that chimney! Thanks for including it. My Grandpa had a dairy farm in upstate NY. They had a drive-in on the second floor but it had doors due to the extreme winters. The barn was built into a hill so you were on level ground on the second floor drive-in on the rear. That always fascinated us as kids that you didn't climb stairs on the outside but were still on the second floor inside. He, too, threw the hay down through the chutes for distribution to the cows in the winter.

Mary said...

Very interesting. Such great old buildings. Always nice to see bits of history up close. I like the chimney!

Ruthi said...

the barn is so unique and different from what i am used to see around here... this looks like more of a covered bridge here without the river. nice. thanks for sharing.

Rose said...

you could be a tour guide. i love this type of history and living in those times and wonder would i manage. thanks. rose