Friday, July 08, 2005

Cades Cove and Blue Butterflies

Cades Cove is a section of the Smokie Mountains National Park and a great experience. There is this city called Cades Cove that once existed in the mountains south of Gatlinburg. It was a farming community that grew corn and other crops. Around the turn of the century the states of Tennessee and North Carolina, along with the Federal Government tried to buy up all of the farms and many did sell out and move but a few resolute residents of Cades Cove refused and finally agreed to settle for some money and stay on the land until their death thereby forfeiting their land and having no ability to leave the land to their children. A cove is a flat (relatively flat) piece of land surrounded by ridges and mountains so that's where the name came from.

On the drive we ran across some Blue Swallowtail butterflies. The iridescence blue combined with black was a beautiful sight.

The white dots were a nice trimming on the wings and head.

A little further up the road we came to the John Oliver cabin built in the 1820's it is the oldest home in Cades Cove. Ansley, Sharyn and I were the only one's on the drive (Matt and Sierra stayed in Pigeon Forge and took the trolley to play miniature golf) and I got this picture of Ansley and Sharyn walking through a field to the cabin.

The cabin was very simple with one room at the ground level and one above. The stone chimney is held together with mud mortar. The logs were notched and nails were not used in this interlocking design and everything is held together by gravity.

After the long walk to the cabin and after exploring the ladies took a short rest on the bench behind the cabin.

Next we came to the Methodist church, built in 1902 in 115 days for $115 by J.D. McCampbell a blacksmith and carpenter and later the minister. Notice the church has two front doors. This is because there was a custom of men sitting on one side and the women the other, however this church never followed that custom and the two doors were because the building plans were borrowed from another church that did separate the congregation by gender.

Later at the Missionary Baptist Church Ansley decided to give a sermon on the value of smiles.

Sharyn's favorite building was the cantilever barn. Cantilever construction originated in Europe centuries ago and gets the name because it uses counterweighted overhanging beams. The advantage was a large covered area beneath for the livestock and farm equipment.

Across the road from the barn was this house. Sorry but I didn't get the history on it.

Between the barn and house was a structure with two corn cribs (like one in the picture with a covered walkway between them.

We finally drove back to Pigeon Forge passing through this tunnel on the way. It was a great day trip we enjoyed very much.

No Scrabble - Maybe we can get a game in tomorrow afternoon.

The historic information contained in the blog comes from a small book we purchased near the entrance to Cades Cove for the nominal price of $1. It is an invaluable resource for the drive. It's written by Carson Brewer and Designed and produced by Christina Watkins and Amanda Summers.

Quote of the Day - "It is really eerie to see nature reclaiming a town." ~ Gerry (a comment in an obscure blog called Althouse out of Madison, Wisconsin) The description of the blog is "Politics and the aversion to politics, law and law school, high and low culture, and the way things look from Madison, Wisconsin.

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©Paul Viel