El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

martes, 10 de enero de 2012

La cabaña en la comunidad de colonos americanos de Great Smoky Mountains

Cades Cove was once known as "Kate's Cove" after an Indian chief's wife. The Cove drew the Cherokee Nation back again and again by its abundant wildlife and good hunting. Later, Cades Cove's wildlife drew European descent frontiersmen to make it their home. They and their offspring cleared the fertile valley floor and built farms to sustain them. The pioneer's families lived in Cades Cove for many generations before the cove became part of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Today, Cades Cove is still as full of wildlife as before but draws not hunters, but millions of Smokies visitors. 

The Cove has been preserved by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to look much the way it looked in the 1800's. Once home to a small mountain community, whose settlers came from mainly from Virginia, North Carolina and upper east Tennessee, Cades Cove is today the largest open air museum in the entire Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Cades Cove has original pioneer homesteads, barns, businesses, pasture and farmland--a fitting tribute to the hearty people who lived here in the days of yesteryear. 

Most of the settlers homes and home sites will be outside of the road you as you travel the Cades Cove loop. To the center of the loop will be acre upon acre of grass and wildflower fields which were once cleared by frontiersmen for valuable for growing things such as wheat, corn and cattle. Nearly all the buildings built by the pioneers and preserved by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park are outside the Cades Cove Loop. These remaining original structures, as well as abundant wildlife, are easy to spot as you travel the loop. 

However there were many homes in the cove which were not preserved. Those abandoned home sites are still visible to the trained eye. You may recognize the abandoned home sites by obscure lonely chimney's, rock fences or landscaping which does not seem natural to the surroundings. In addition to the European descent Americans who lived in Cades Cove for over a century before it was absorbed into The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, there were also Native Americans. The Native American tribe was, and still is the Cherokee nation. You can see signs they left on Cades Cove in the form of trails, many of which were developed into roads and or hiking trails. 

The loop enters Cades Cove near Sparks Lane-- 
When you enter Cades Cove, you will be at the northeast end of the one way loop near Sparks Lane. Sparks Lane is one of two roads that cut directly across the loop, the other being Hyatt Lane. If you turn left on Sparks Lane a short drive will take you to the exit of the Cades Cove Loop. It affords the Smokies visitor a chance to return to the store, bike rental and restroom in case by chance you missed it when entering the Cades Cove area.

The Oliver's Cabin was the first in the Smokies--
The Smokies pioneers started settling Cades Cove on the north eastern side where the loop begins, for this is the higher and dryer part of the cove, away from the swampy land found elsewhere. John and Lurany Oliver were the first to come to this area of the Smokies.
Typical of the European immigrants and their descendants, the Olivers came despite the fact that there was no Indian treaty allowing them access to the Smoky Mountain land. Generally speaking this practice of settlement without treaty was the source of much friction between new settlers and the Native Americans already in the mountains. However, in the case of John and Lurany the Cherokee Indians actually helped the interlopers survive their first winter. Just as fortunate, for the Olivers, the Calhoun Treaty gave whites the right to settle the cove just one year after they arrived. The Olivers purchased their land in 1826. 

Members of the Oliver family lived in Cades Cove when it became part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Of course the Oliver's Smoky Mountain happy ending was not evident to them when they decided to settle Cades Cove. Their decisions and efforts were made in an atmosphere of uncertainty with challenges posed by both nature and the difficulty of leaving the familiar for the unknown, and yet somehow their choices served to strengthen them.

The Oliver's original Cades Cove cabin stood fifty yards or so behind the cabin now identified as their cabin. For instance, the cabin, still standing and preserved by The Great Smoky Mountain National Park service and identified as the Oliver's cabin is actually the honeymoon house which the their family built for their son to use when he married.

Buried in Cades Cove at the Primitive Baptist church which they helped to found, John Oliver and his friend Peter Cable had once signed the deed for land the church had been given by William Tipton.


More on Cades Cove Pioneers:

Early Cades Cove Life.
Life in Cades Cove in the early history of settlement in the Smokies was very different from life today. There were none of the modern conveniences that we take for granted and the pioneer mind set was quite a bit different from our own. The Cades Cove pioneer was profoundly influenced by the serene pastoral environment of the Smokies cove. As a people they were closer to God as well as the land. As you walk through their cabins, farms, mills, and churches you can feel times in which they lived. Therefore, as you stand before the beautiful vistas on which they stood, look at Cades Cove through their eyes. A sense of awe will come over you for the majesty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the graceful cove they enfold. Those who do will have a better understanding of the men and women who came to this Smoky Mountain valley before you.

What was it like to be a Cades Cove pioneer?
Traveling through Cades Cove, many like to project themselves backward in time. Should you do the same, you will learn a little of what it was like to live in the Smokies in the 1800's. It is helpful to ask yourself the following questions. What might it have been like to bump over this Smoky Mountain road in a wagon pulled by horses? What would it have been like to move to the Smokies where the native inhabitants may be angry at your coming, lived a very different lifestyle, and spoke a different language? What would it be like to face the daunting task of clearing the land in hopes of creating a prosperous farm? The first step of clearing the land was done by girding the trees with an ax to kill the tree so enough sunlight would reach the forest floor in that first year to support a garden. Imagine then building a cabin, cooling food that would spoil in the cool springs or streams, hunting and fishing for food. Of course you would need to do that while as quickly as possible also planting a garden so you and your family would not starve over the first winter. What would it be like to tend and harvest the garden and preserve the yield and to know your families survival depended upon your success. Imagine slaughtering your own livestock if you were lucky enough to have it and preserving the meat for later consumption. Imagine chopping down the deadened trees to use for buildings and fences or to burn them into fertilizer. In short image what was it like to be a Smoky Mountain pioneer. 

First Cades Cove Pioneers faced adversity in settling in the Great Smoky Mountains.
John and Luraney Oliver were poor and had to be frugal in their preparations for their move to Cades Cove. They could have had little more with them than their seed, and a few tools yet, in 1818, toting one child and expecting another, the Olivers struck out from Carter county to the promise of the Smoky Mountain cove, Cades Cove one hundred miles away. Their journey was exhausting and yet, whether out of necessity or pure pioneer grit, John and Luraney simply walked into Cades Cove, rolled up their sleeves and went to work building their dream.

Though the Oliver's historic settlement in Cades Cove may have been simple, it certainly was not easy. For one thing, the Olivers had to be convinced to move to Cades Cove in the first place by their friend Joshua Jobe. Once he brought them to the cove, they must have questioned the wisdom of having followed him into the wilderness. Once the Olivers were in the cove Joshua left them, intent on going back for more settlers. They would not have been concerned that Joshua would want to return to the cove as he had purchased land in Cades Cove from his father-in-law and intended to settle there. But would he return? It was common knowledge that settlers in the Wautauga Valley had been forced by the fierceness of the Cherokee Nation to live in forts. And so the issue of safety and living among the Cherokee was a real concern. With such stories about, the Olivers must have wondered would Joshua Job be killed by the Indians before his return? Would they? 

As it turned out, the Olivers plight of living alone with the Native Americans turned out well after all. With the work of clearing the land and building their cabin, the Olivers didn't get enough crops harvested and preserved before the harsh winter set in. Had it not been for the kindness of the Smokies tribe, the Cherokee, who shared their food with the Olivers, they would have surely starved. 

Life for the young couple had been so grueling that come spring when Joshua Job returned, he had to give Luraney two milk cows in order to convince her to stay in the Smokies! And stay they did. The Oliver's offspring still lived in Cades Cove when the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was formed in 1934.

Cades Cove Honeymoon Cabins.
The Oliver's original Cades Cove cabin stood fifty yards or so behind the cabin now identified as their cabin. It like all the Smokies cabins was built of the same natural materials found in the Great Smoky Mountain Park today. Even the shingles on the roof were made of the trees. John and his wife were as much a part of the land as were the bear, deer, fish and other living things of the Smoky Mountains. The cove society they began and participated in was a practical organic one which ebbed and flowed naturally with God's seasons and times. 

In the Smokies in the 1800's even the needs of youth were taken care of in a practical way for their day. For instance, the cabin, still standing and preserved by The Great Smoky Mountain National Park service and identified as the Oliver's cabin is actually the honeymoon house which the their family built for their son to use when he married. Such cabins were quite common in the Great Smoky Mountains. Typically honeymoon houses were built on the parents property near the main house. 

Honeymoon Cabin Construction.
Enfolded in the Smokies, the Oliver's honeymoon cabin really must have been a nice place to live. Built in the 1850's it had a good roof with a strong stone chimney, reflecting the character of the Smoky Mountains themselves. Their Smokies honeymoon house boasted two stories of living space and was constructed of logs hewn into timbers. Timbers are logs that are squared off with a broadax. Notches are cut in the ends of the timbers and then are placed one on top of the other to form the walls. Spaces between the logs were filled with mud to keep out pests and wind. Sometimes the inner walls of other cabins in the Smokies were papered old newspapers giving rise to games that were sometimes played involving the news on the walls. However, most of the materials needed to build the cabins were natural to Cades Cove except for the luxury of window glass.

Courtship and marriage in Cades Cove usually happened when the couple was very young.
Life expectancy was much shorter before the modern age of medicine so the average life spanned was approximately forty-five. Perhaps this is one reason many Smoky Mountain people were married as teenagers and why the honeymoon house idea caught on. Courtship between teens in the Smokies often began as at social gatherings which included all ages such as church meetings and picnics, or events revolving around work. Those would include chestnut harvest, corn huskings, molasses makings and beanstringings, some of which included competitions. Perhaps the Oliver's son met his bride at such a social gathering. Often mountain women who didn't marry by age twenty faced living their lives as "old maids." 

Young and old had a role to play in Cades Cove pioneer family life.
Cove life reflected the premise that each family member had an important place in the family and a job to do. For instance, the Great Smoky Mountain honeymoon houses allowed newly weds a stable environment in which to begin marriage. Close to the main house the young couple could help on the farm and also receive help as needed. Also beneficial, the Smokies honeymoon cabins provided that the groom's education about running a farm could continue. His bride's education about running the house also continued and the couple had help watching their children while still providing much need privacy and a sense of independence. Some of the log homes in Cades Cove had a hole cut in it just beside the chimney. Appropriately named a granny hole, the makeshift window allowed the elder woman to cook while keeping an eye on the younger children. And so, married, housed, childcare provided the young couple had a stable environment in which to start their lives together. Because of the stability of their situation, they could save money to buy their own land as desire, circumstance or need arose. 
Typically, a cove family included a mother and father, children--nine in the case of the Olivers, and often a grandparent or an unmarried aunt. Though the cabins were small and the families large, there was much love among the family members who watched over and cared for each other as long as they lived.

Cades Cove Divorce Rate was surprisingly low.
Now with all the early marriage going on in Cades Cove, you might think divorce must have been rampant but if you thought that, you would be wrong. Divorces were extremely rare in the Smokies as elsewhere in the country in the 1800's. Perhaps low divorce rates seems even more surprising when you realize Smokies couples often raised ten to twelve children within their crowded cabins most of whom were delivered by "granny women" a colloquialism meaning midwives.

Cades Cove Children had homemade toys.
Children every where play and in Cades Cove it was no different. Their toys were often home crafted out of wood. Some other common toys were flips, marbles, and tops. 

Cades Cove Population grew dramatically in the early years of settlement.
Drawn by the fertile limestone based soil of Cades Cove, the population reached 700 by 1850, just thirty one years after John and Luraney began their Smokies home. All the children who grew up there did not stay, however, some leaving for other nearby settlements while others joined in the great western expansion known as "Manifest Destiny" which was happening in the late 1800's. Manifest Destiny was the belief that God had ordained that the white man should settle in the land of the American Indian and that it was God's will manifested by the events of the day.

Eventually Modern Conveniences Came To Cades Cove
Over the years progress did come to the Smokies as in other places in the United States. There was a post office which opened in the 1830's and Cades Cove residents had phones by the turn of the century. Refrigeration was achieved by using the springhouse as a cool place to store butter or mild. 


Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove--
The Smokies were full of Indian trails and Hyatt Lane was one of them. It was upgraded to a road and named after a resident who lived there. It was used by many settlers when traveling to Tuckaleechee or Maryville. Today Hyatt Lane is a dusty two lane shortcut across the Cades Cove. The tour continues straight ahead on the Cades Cove loop so keep in mind you will miss much if you cut across the cove on Hyatt Lane.

Cades Cove was once a remote place in the Great Smoky Mountains. One of the few ways through the Smokies and into the cove was along Indian trails. Some of those trails were improved into roads. One of those trails was called, appropriately enough, Cades Cove road. The name was later changed to Rich Mountain Road. By either name the road was one of the main routes through the Smokies between Tuckaleechee and Cades Cove.

Rich Mountain Road has a number of famous views of Cades Cove and today's Smoky Mountain visitors face the temptation to travel up Rich Mountain Road to see those views. Smokies tourists may use the road but shouldn't unless they don't mind leaving Cades Cove before finishing the auto tour most of which lay beyond the roads turn off. Rich Mountain Road is a one way dirt road which exits The Great Smoky Mountain National Park after twelve mountainous miles.

Cove roads which went to Maryville through the Smoky Mountains could be difficult to travel for the Cades Cove population and their teams of horses. You see the trip to town and back took three days. One to go. One to buy or sell goods, or perhaps visit and one to come home again.

Though Cades Cove was generally a self sustaining community, pioneers bought things from Maryville such as medicine and remedies such as Camphorated oil, catnip tea, Castor oil, Epsom salts. As time went by, general stores such as the Giles Gregory store, sprang up in Cades Cove where medicine, seeds, sugar, kerosene, yard goods and hardware supplies. Products could be purchased with money or by trading products such as eggs. Still, the larger town of Maryville had a more appealing selection and so the trips from the Cades Cove continued. If on a trip to Maryville, the family was selling rather than buying, chances are they were selling chestnuts which grew in abundance in Cades Cove. Unfortunately disease eventually killed the majestic chestnut groves.

Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church--
In Cades Cove as in the rest of the Smokies, Baptists were divided into camps of members who supported missionary work, temperance societies and Sunday schools and those that didn't. Some thought there was no Biblical support for those things. In the end, a number of Cades Cove Baptists were eventually dismissed from the original Baptist church for their beliefs including Johnson Adams who was pastor.

On May 15, 1841, Adams and other disenfranchised Smokies pioneers banded together and established the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church. The start was rocky. They had no meeting house and had to meet in individual homes. Sometimes they made arrangements to meet at the Primitive Baptist or Methodist church buildings. Also, in the Smokies there was much confusion over the Civil War. During the Civil War and reconstruction, the Missionary Baptists didn't meet for long periods of time. After the war however, they had a particularly successful revival and were able to erect their own church building in the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountains. Their church was constructed on Hyatt Hill in 1894, with their rolls bulging with 40 members. Eventually the rolls grew to over one hundred. In 1915, a new building was needed and was created in the present location.

Note: In March and April daffodils bloom in Cades Cove. Look for daffodils which bloom on the right between the church and Tater Branch. If you look closely and use your imagination, you can still see the flowers have a message, "Co. 5427." That message was meant to be a memorial to the company of the Civilian Conservation corps (CCC) who built so many of the trails, roads and bridges within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We owe the workers of the CCC a debt of gratitude for enhancing our access to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Elijah Oliver Place--
Deep in the Smokies nestled in Cades Cove, the Elijah Oliver cabin, smokehouse, corn crib, springhouse and barn provided a cozy environment for this branch of the Oliver family. Elijah was the son of John and Luraney and was born in the original Cades Cove cabin in 1824. It was there Elijah grew into a young man and married. He eventually brought his bride to the site where they built the Smokies cabin that bears his name.

Elijah Oliver lived in a time when the inhabitants of Cades Cove were keenly aware of their dependence upon God, family and neighbors. He lived in a time when strangers were taken in and given a meal and shelter. Cades Cove hospitality was so well known that fishermen came to the cove knowing that the mountaineers would give them lodging at no charge. So common was this practice that many Cades Cove residents made a special room built to house the strangers who need shelter. Elijah Oliver must have been one of those men of charity as he had a "strangers room" built on his front porch. For those of us living in the twenty-first century that kind of take care of your fellow man attitude is extremely rare. We can learn much from the example of the simple people of yesteryear.

Around 1900 some of the Cades Cove residents began to charge a modest rate for the room and board. The rest is history! Now there are over 8,000 cabins and chalets surrounding The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. These shelter strangers who come to these mountains not only to fish, but to hike, bike, golf, kayak, horseback ride, auto tour or vacation.

Cable Mill Historic Area & Visitor Center--
Enclosed by a snake rail fence, one of the most popular stops on the Cades Cove tour is the one at Cable Mill. For one thing the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has a visitors center at Cable Mill that is open from mid-April through October. There the Smoky Mountain visitor can buy post cards, maps and books about Cades Cove and the park as a whole. Corn meal and molasses are sometimes available. Beyond the Great Smoky Mountain National Park visitor center, Cable Mill's has restrooms, emergency assistance, information and park rangers. Of course the main attraction of the Cable Mill area is the outdoor displays are very interesting and of course are one of the best parts of the Smokies. All buildings except the grist mill were brought to this site by The Great Smoky Mountain National Park service.

Sorghum Mill--
In the Great Smoky Mountains the settlers had several sources of sweetener including maple syrup, honey and maple sugar. Besides these was a very dark sweet syrup called molasses. To the Smoky Mountain pioneers molasses was pretty good especially on corn bread with a little butter.

The sorghum mill was the means by which the molasses was made in the Cades Cove. Molasses begins as sorghum cane which is stripped of leaves and then fed between the rollers of the mill. The long poles of the mill were attached to the harness of a farm animal such as an ox, mule or horse. Because the animal was attached to the pole they were forced walk in a circle. The animal's effort turned the rollers which pulled the stalks further into the mill where the sorghum juice was pressed out. As the rollers pressed the juice from the cane, it was collected. Next the juice was boiled down in an outdoor furnace until it was thick and dark. Molasses could be used as a sweetener in a variety of ways. Molasses can be purchased about the middle of September into October at the Cades Cove visitors center.

Gregg-Cable House had two locations in Cades Cove--
Cades Cove's Becky Cable died in her Cades Cove home in 1940 at age ninety-four. At the time she and her house were located on Forge Creek Road but after her death the Great Smoky Mountain National Park service decided the Cable Mill area was a better location--for the house that is. Becky Cable was a remarkable lady who lived a long productive life in the cove. For one thing, she raised her brothers children after he and his wife became ill. But that is not all. She also ran a boarding house as well as her brother's farm. She raised gardens, cattle and food for herself , her family and her borders. In the early Cades Cove culture, Aunt Becky had help of course from adult family members, neighbors and her brothers children.


More on Becky Cable & Cades Cove Family Life:

The culture and times of the Cades Cove settlement dictated that all members of the family produce both for themselves and the family. Children were trained as soon as they were old enough to perform chores and worked in the family business when they were not in school. A family business, such as Becky Cable's was usually a farm or store but could be some other enterprise. In Cades Cove, even the girls worked in the fields of the farm and could hoe corn, pitch hay or whatever was needed.

Cades Cove was representative of the entire Smokies area in that children were taught to work. By age eight to twelve children in the 1800's were considered sort of mini adults capable of being entrusted with large responsibility such as tending animals, milking cows which as mentioned were part of the family business. Cades Cove children were taught to cook dinner and were tasked with tending younger children when the adults had to be away on three day trips to Maryville. Perhaps most surprising, during the Civil War, some small children in Cades Cove were given the task of keeping watch for Confederate soldiers who harassed the residents of the cove none of whom had ever owned slaves and many of whom were Yankee sympathizers. If Confederates were seen in Cades Cove, the children were to blow a horn to warn their families.

In Cades Cove in the 1800's, school generally came second to the needs of the family. In fact the American tradition of no school in the summer came into being so that the children could help with the chores during growing season. This common was universal in the United States as well in Cades Cove. 

If Becky Cable and her nieces and nephews followed the Smokies culture found in Cades Cove they raised cabbages, lettuce, pole beans, turnips, beets and canned beans, peas and tomatoes, all of which grew heartily in the cove's rich limestone basin. Cable's family ate the chickens they raised for Sunday dinner and cooked baked goods with their own farm eggs. They would have planted, tended and harvested carrots and potatoes, storing them in a root cellar and picked wild greens in the spring to supplement their diet. This cove family may have also raised corn and wheat to be ground into corn meal and flour, cut hay for the livestock loaded it into wagons and stored it in the hayloft of the barn. In the Fall Becky's family would have gone to one of the many Chestnut groves in Cades Cove and gathered bushels of chestnuts both for sale and for human and livestock consumption. Becky Cable's family hunted wild game, picked and preserved blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, and raised hogs as well. They would have grown their own flower, spice, and herb garden near the house. The garden was likely fenced so as to keep domestic and wild life from trampling and eating the garden. Common in Cades Cove was the practice of hanging gourd bird houses near the garden to encourage birds to live close by so they would eat the garden insects. Becky's family would have saved seeds found in their harvested vegetables to be planted the for the following year's crop.

Some people in Cades Coveove grew their own flax and cotton and sheep for wool and spun these in to thread which they then wove into cloth which in turn was made into some of their clothing. Aunt Becky Cable was apparently one of those as there is a picture of her sitting at her spinning wheel. And all this she and her family did while there was school for the children and a boarding house to be run. Such a heroic effort would be enough to drive the ordinary woman to an early grave, but not Becky Cable. She took ill at age eighty six and hired someone to make her a coffin but resilient as ever, Becky bounced back to life and lived almost ten more years. Becky Cable died in Cades Cove just short of a century old at ninety-six.

Why is Becky Cable's house called the Gregg-Cable house?
Old houses always have a lot of history and Becky Cable's house is no exception. It was built in 1879 by Leason Gregg out of lumber milled by Mr. Cable and on a one acre tract he bought from the same. The house was the first frame house built in Cades Cove and was built not only to live in but to run a family business from. Products for the store were brought from Maryville by way of ox and wagon. Leason Gregg's family opened the store in the downstairs while living in the upper floors, a custom brought to America from Europe by their ancestors. As was the custom in the Smokies sometimes farm items such as eggs were traded for store bought goods.

Eventually land and house were sold to back into John Cable's family. It was purchased by his daughter Rebecca, her brother Dan and his wife. Together they and their family ran the store. After eight years the store was converted into the boarding house.


Cable Mill Barn--
Not all barns in Cades Cove were of the cantilever design. Most Smoky Mountain barns were of similar design of which we have today with a row of stalls on each side of an isle. In the cantilever design the stalls were in the middle of the structure with a large loft overhang on both sides. Both designs had their advantages as the cantilever barn provided animals not kept in stalls some shelter as they could wander out of the pasture to stand under the huge eaves. The regular barn design more thoroughly protected the domestic animals by providing sturdy stalls to protect the livestock from the predators of the Smokies.

Corn Crib--
In Cades Cove both settlers and their animals were dependent upon corn and the building known as a corn crib which protected it. Aside from grain for livestock, the corn was ground into corn meal and used for making corn bread and grits, mush or left whole to make hominy as well as other traditional uses. Notice the Cades Cove corn cribs were designed with slats which would hold the corn in while allowing maximum air circulation. The harvested corn ears were brought to the corn crib and tossed in the above hatch usually with the shucks still on the ears where they air dried into hard kernels still on the cob. When corn was needed to it was retrieved through the small door at the bottom of the crib, shucked and rubbed together briskly to knock the hardened corn from the cob. Once off the cob, the corn kernels could be made into hominy, hominy grits, cornmeal, mush or chicken and livestock food.

Pork was the principal meat of the day and so Smokehouses were common in Cades Cove as throughout the Smokies. There was a long preparation time before the hogs were slaughtered. For one thing, the hogs diet affected the flavor of the processed meat. It was customary in the Smokies to fatten the hogs on abundant chestnuts found in huge Chestnut groves once common in Cades Cove. The farmers actually took their hogs to a Chestnut grove and left them there running loose. They did not worry about the hogs wandering off as they would not leave the feast of chestnuts found on the ground. After weeks of gorging on the chestnuts the hogs were brought back to the barn and put in the stall where they were "topped off" with corn for a few weeks.

Once a year in the Fall, when the weather got cold enough in Cades Cove to process the hogs before spoilage occurred, the farmers would have a "hog killin". As families tended to be large in the Smoky Mountains, it was not uncommon for a family to kill up to ten hogs at a time. Though barbaric, "hog killins" were thought to be necessary for survival. Once killed, the pork was spiced and smoked over a slow fire. The pork was made into hams, jowl, bacon, hogshead cheese, sausage, etc and was kept in the smokehouse until needed.

John P. Cable Mill--
In Cades Cove there were few sources of power which the frontiersman knew how to harness. One of those power sources was the water wheel such as drove the early grist mills. Cable Mill is one of those. The Smoky Mountains Natural History Association keeps Cable Mill running in Cades Cove to teach the Smoky Mountain visitor a little about life in the 1800's. The mill is operated April-October.

A handful of enterprising residents in Cades Cove built water driven mills to grind grain. Their hope was that other Cades Cove families would prefer paying them to grind the grain rather than to struggle with the small inefficient tub mills at home. The tub mills were only capable of processing a bushel of corn each day. The entrepreneurs were correct and ran fine business in Cades Cove as a result. 

Cornmeal was the only grain that could be ground in the tub mills and so the waterwheel driven mills that could grind wheat into flour was a welcome addition to the cove. Now biscuits could be eaten some of the time instead of cornbread. 

Payment for grinding grain did not always mean money exchanged hands in Cades Cove. Sometimes money was paid but other times the miller was paid a portion of the resulting flour or meal. Besides John Cable, his son and also Frederick Shields operated mills. Cable and Shields took double advantage of their waterwheel by using it to power saw mills as well. Cable was the only person in Cades Cove to use the overshot water wheel. Like most business men in the Cove, Cable was also a farmer. He could be summoned from the fields by a large bell he had on the property for that purpose.

In the history of Cades Cove, the saw mills were important because they changed the way people built houses. Before the saw mills, homes were built of logs. After the saw mills, the homes were built almost exclusively of lumber and frame construction. Also, most owners of the log homes in Cades Cove bought lumber for siding to cover the fact that they were living in old fashioned cabins. This practice of siding cabins was very common in America. Some people with homes from the 1800's are rediscovering their homes past. As they remove siding in order to make repairs the discovery is made that their house is really a cabin with board siding over it. Some choose to restore their house by removing the boards and letting the original cabin show through.

Mill flume
The mill flume was a device used by Cades Cove's pioneers to divert water from a stream to power a mill. The water turned a large waterwheel by falling on the large paddles.

Cantilever Barn

Another feature of the Cable Mill display of Cades Cove is the preserved Cantilever barn, a design in which the upper story was larger than its base. This design allowed animals which were normally outside to stand underneath the over hang in order to get out of the sun or rain. The farm animals resting under the eaves in Cades Cove would have included pigs, hogs, chickens, goats, and in wintertime, cattle. In summer cove farmer's cattled were kept on the grassy balds of the Great Smoky Mountains. Gregory's Bald is one still in existence today and was named for one of the men who made their living looking after the cattle in the summertime. Also, farm equipment could be kept dry if placed under the large eaves of the cantilevered barn as there were no posts or walls to get in the way.

Blacksmith Shop
Every farmer in the Smokies needed the talents of a blacksmith and so when James V. Cable, son of John P. Cable inherited the mill and farm from his father, he decided to also become a blacksmith. Perhaps he was inspired to do this because of the many people bringing grain and logs to be milled by means of wagons drawn by mules and horses. Once the products were milled, it was more convenient for his customers to also have their animals shod rather than traveling somewhere else. Mules and horses, so helpful in farm work needed their metal shoes pulled and reset about every eight weeks, so this produced a constant need for blacksmiths.

To reset the shoes of Cades Cove's horses, the blacksmith had to nip the nail ends off and then pull the horses shoes off. Next he had to trim the hoofs down as they grow like fingernails. Last the blacksmith had to either reset the old shoe or make new shoes for the animal. This involved heating metal until it was white hot and shaping it into a shoe.

Aside from shoeing horses, the Smoky Mountain blacksmiths made all sorts of metal products for the home, farm and light industry. Other products made by blacksmiths might include plows, nails, adzes, axes, chains, hinges, bolts, hammers, hoes, bits, hooks, broadaxes, kitchen knives and drawknives. For these services, the blacksmiths of Cades Cove were certainly welcome and well respected for their skills.

Henry Whitehead Place
Life was not always perfect in Cades Cove or the Smokies generally. Divorces and Separations though rare sometimes happened. Take Matilda Shields Gregory for instance. She and her young son were deserted by her husband. But in the Cades Cove culture, if you had family nearby, you had help. Her brothers quickly built a small mountain cabin to give her shelter, no small task when you consider they also had to build the fireplace and chimney too. Reflecting the speed with which they had to obtain shelter for their sister, the cabin was one of the roughest in Cades Cove. Its logs were rough-hewn with a felling axe with a stone chimney made of rubble.

In time Matilda was re-married the widower Henry Whitehead who in 1898, out of love and sympathy built her one of the nicest log homes in Cades Cove. Matilda and Henry Whitehead's new Smokies home had a brick chimney, unheard of in Cades Cove at the time. In Cades Cove if you wanted bricks you had to make them yourself. The process was accomplished by finding clay soil, and digging and then filling a hole with water. The surrounding clay soil was then scrapped and stirred with a hoe until thick and smooth. Then the wet clay was put into molds where the bricks were dried. Afterwards the bricks were fired to make them durable. Later Henry stacked his bricks with mortar into one of the first chimneys in Cades Cove. 
The rest of their Cades Cove cabin was made of square-sawed logs that were finely finished inside to be smooth and attractive. In fact the cabin was so nice that it looked very much like the frame homes which were soon to become fashionable when the first sawmills were constructed in Cades Cove. 

The couple's masterpiece was especially warm according to Cades Cove standards as square log construction was naturally well insulated by approximately four inches thick walls and practically no space between the logs. The Henry and Matilda Whitehead place is the only square-sawed log home to remain in Cades Cove as well as the only one left in the entire Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is considered a transition house from the early Cades Cove cabins to the modern frame homes that later were popular in Cades Cove.

Cades Cove Nature Trail
This Smokies trail is particularly beautiful in the Spring when the dogwoods bloom and also in the Fall when the sourwoods and maples turn a beautiful red. Once the location of a Chestnut tree grove, The Cades Cove Nature Trail now has many stately pines and oak trees. The Chestnut trees which provided an important source of food for early cove settlers, were killed by disease many years ago. Chestnut sprouts still pop up in this area of the Smoky Mountains.

Hyatt Lane
The other end of Hyatt lane offers the Smoky Mountain visitor an opportunity to cut back across Cades Cove. About a mile down the road is an opportunity to view the cove from its center and to repeat some of your favorite spots in Cades Cove. Hyatt lane is a two way gravel road and was named for the Hyatt's who came to Cades Cove from North Carolina.

Dan Lawson Place
Lawson married Peter cable's daughter and built this cabin for his bride on property he bought from his father-in-law. Unusual for the Smokies in the 1850's, this cabin has a brick chimney. As were most bricks in Cades Cove, they were handmade on the property. A pre-Civil War dwelling, the original cabin was made of hewn logs but was altered at times by the addition of sawed lumber. Lawson also expanded his land holdings from time to time eventually owning a large strip of land which stretched from ridge to ridge. 

Tipton Place in Cades Cove
Miss Lucy and Miss Lizzie, were schoolmarms in Cades Cove in the second half of the 1800's. They were daughters of Colonel Hamp Tipton, a veteran of the revolutionary war, who shortly after the Civil War, built this two story home. The Smoky Mountain homestead he built, eventually included a smokehouse, a woodshed, corn crib, blacksmith shop, cantilever barn, and an apiary for bees. Tipton sold land to and hence was surrounded by many of his family and friends. A few of those include Joshua Job, Jacob and Isaac Tipton, Thomas Jones.
In 1878, their house was rented to James McCaulley, who was trying to settle in the cove. McCaulley was a welcome newcommer to Cades Cove as he was a blacksmith. In time, McCaulley built his own home along with top quality blacksmith and carpentry shops. McCaulley was a trusted blacksmith, carpenter and coffin maker, working in Cades Cove for a quarter of a century.
Across the road from the Tipton house is a Cantilever barn, once a common site in the Smokies. It is a replica of the barn which was there in the 1800's. Notice its two pen design and its huge eaves. This design allowed overhang protection for outside animals and equipment, and provided complete shelter for stalled animals, and an isle between the pens large enough to accommodate a wagon.

Carter Shields Cabin
George Washington "Carter" Shields lived in his Cades Cove cabin from 1910 through 1921. A beautiful location in which to retire, Shields was crippled in the Battle of Shiloh. Dogwood trees bloom here in the early spring making this cabin one of the loveliest in the Cades Cove.


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