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Road trip - Texas to Tennessee

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S: Road Trip from Texas to the Tennessee Smokey Mountains May 2012

1: May 3 - 11, 2012 Texas to Tennessee We started our trip late Thursday to begin our trek to the Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg Tennessee. We stopped in Louisiana and Mississippi to break up the long drive going and coming home. On the way back, we drove along the Natchez Trace Parkway from Jackson Mississippi to Natchez.

2: Many Vicksburg citizens took refuge from the war underground. They dug caves into hillsides of loess soil, a fine-grained clay deposit in this area. Single family caves had only 1 or 2 rooms, others were large enough for 200. Several entrances were created to avoid entrapment. Caves had carpets, furnishings and wall niches for books and candles - better than you would expect. Thanks to widespread use of caves only a very small number of Vicksburg citizens were killed or wounded during the 47 days of bombardment.

6: In the center of the conflict that raged around Vicksburg in 1863 stood the plantation home of Captain Shirley (a native of New Hampshire and a noted Union man), called “Wexford Lodge.”. This house, the only one of the antebellum houses now standing on the battle grounds, is known as “The Shirley House,” and is considered the most precious relic of the siege of Vicksburg. It formed a familiar landmark to both armies, both from its elevation and color, standing as it does at the point where the first important attack was made May 19, 1863

9: The Sinking of Cairo | On December 12, 1862, on the Yazoo River, a Conferderate torpedo tore open Cairo's bow. The Union gunboat sank in 12 minutes. Cairo became the first armored warship sunk by an electrically detonated mine. The torpedo which sank Cairo was a crude apparatus. Lieutenant Commander Selfridge may have been less than cautious in waters known to contain torpedoes because so many of the Confederate weapons had been duds.

10: The USS Cairo and her 6 sister gunboats were built to support the Union objective of wresting control of the Mississippi River from the Confederates. With her powerful guns, Cairo could interrupt Confederate commerce, batter opposing fortifications, repel enemy gunboats, and rout any infantry or horse-drawn artillery foolish enough to challenge her. | Steam, generated in the boilers, powered the engines which turned the paddle wheel. These iron boilers were built to hold tons of water and steam under pressure.

13: AAA hidden gem in Jackson Mississippi - Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson.

17: In addition to the indoor museum, they had an old-fashioned town set up complete with a church, country store, school house, barn yard, sawmill and cotton gin.

20: They had a two room school set up. One side for the big kids and one for the younger ones.

21: We visited the animals in the barn. Wayne got close to Donkey and couldn't resist touching the pig's tail. The pig grunted, but never moved.

22: We walked out of the barn and saw the old hearse wagons. | We found the old cotton gin, but they had stopped giving demonstrations for the day.

24: The mayor's cabin had many additions over the years | started with a basic 2 room

25: Then later added a dining room, kitchen and other rooms.

26: I loved it when the stallion came close to say hello, but was startled when the small bull rushed the fence.

27: I wonder if they also have a town called 'Thin'. | Nothing special about the car being towed - till I saw the license plate. KEEEP UP.

28: We checked in our condo and sat out by Roaring Fork creek to enjoy the sound of water. | Wayne looked over as a duck made it's way in the water. It swam across and disappeared. | I didn't expect to see it again, when it swam back across and waddled by us, paused to look our way and then kept going.

29: It was a beautiful drive through the Smokey Mountains on the way to Cades Cove.

30: John Oliver Place

31: Built in the early 1820s, the John Oliver cabin is the oldest log home in Cades Cove. | John Oliver arrived in the cove prior to 1820 and bought this land in 1826. It remained in the family until the park was established more than 100 years later. Large families often lived in such small buildings. Not much except mules, muscles, simple tools and neighborly help was needed to fell the trees, get them to the building site and build the house. The notched corners need no nails or pegs; gravity holds them together. The stone chimney is held together with much mortar.

32: Some of the earliest settlers established this church in 1827. A log building served their needs until this one replaced it in 1887. The church closed during the Civil War. Official church correspondence after the war explained it all: "We the Primitive Baptist Church in Blount County in Cades Cove, do show the public why we have not kept up our church meeting. It was on account of the Rebellion and we was Union people and the Rebels was too strong here in Cades Cover. Our preacher was obliged to leave sometimes, and thank God we once more can meet." Some of the early settlers lie in the cemetery.

34: Methodist Church. J D McCampbell, a blacksmith and carpenter, built this church in 115 days for $115. He later served many years as its minister. Methodists were not as numerous as Baptists in the Cove, but enough of them got together in the 1820s to establish the church in a log building that lasted until this one replaced it in 1902. The Civil War and Reconstruction divided the church, as they did other Methodist congregations. | I noticed many children are buried at the little church. One states "From Mother's arms to the arms of Jesus"

35: A group of Baptist expelled from the Primitive Baptist church because they favored missionary work formed this church in 1839. The church ceased to meet during the Civil War. It resumed activity after the war but without members who had been Confederate sympathizers. | The cross was built in the floor, instead of the wall.

36: As we approached the trail for Elijah Oliver's place, we enjoyed the nice scenery. Tulip trees are found all throughout the park. Most had lost their flowers, but I found a few. | We crossed a small stream entering the path to Elijah's place.

37: Elijah Oliver, son of John Oliver, was born in the Cove in 1824. After he married, he and his family moved out of the Cove before the war. After the Civil War, he bought this property and moved back in. More buildings were required for living than now.

38: A "stranger room" was added to the front porch to accommodate overnight visitors. | With no refrigerator or freezer, they needed the springhouse to keep the milk and butter cool. Water for drinking, cooking, bathing and laundry had to be carried from the spring.

39: They needed the smokehouse to store and preserve ham, shoulders and side meat for an entire year. They ate mostly port because it was easier to preserve than other meats. | They needed the corn crib to store enough corn for grinding into meal to last until the next harvest. | They needed horses or mules to pull plows and wagons. They needed a barn to shelter the animals along with the cows that provided the milk. | Hay to feed them was stored in the barn loft.

40: We heard birds chirping all morning, but had not really seen any wildlife at all. I took the caterpillar as a joke. Then the woodpecker swooped by us.

41: Cable Mill Area. Walking tour of historic buildings in the Cove. All were moved to this site when the park formed with the exception of the grist mill. | John P Cable bought land in the Cove in the late 1860s. He built a water-powered grist mill and sawmill in about 1870. The same wheel provided power for both mills. It was a slow way of turning logs into lumber. His son, James V Cable inherited the mill and operated it well into the twentieth century. He ceased to operate the sash sawmill because it could not compete with more modern sawmills.

42: Leason Gregg bought an acre of land from John Cable in 1879 and built a small house on it with lumber sawed at Cable's mill. He and his family lived on the second floor and operated a store on the first.

43: Hogs grew fat on chestnuts and acorns in the fall. But their owners brought them in and fed them corn the final 2 weeks before butchering them. They said the corn made the meat less greasy. | The corn was kept in the corn crib. | 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. This allowed for the transfer of the hay to the loft easier.

44: Dan Lawson built this house in 1856, on land bought from his father-in-law, Peter Cable. The brick chimney, unusual for the time and locale, was built of bricks made on the site. The original house of hewn logs was built before sawmills came to the Cove, but an examination shows that sawed lumber later was used in additions and maintenance.

46: Tipton Place - Col. Hamp Tipton, who served in the Mexican War, owned property in Cades Cove but lived in Tuckaleechee Cove. He had this house built in the early 1870s. His daughters, Miss Lucy and Miss Lizzie, taught the school in the Cove lived here.

48: Carter Shields Cabin. A wound suffered in the Battle of Shiloh left George Washington "Carter" Shields crippled for life. Shortly after the war he married and moved to Kansas. He returned to Cades Cove in 1906.

49: As we left Cades Cove behind, we enjoyed the river that flowed by the road. We were surprised to see the 2 geese sitting on the side of the road.

50: Ripley's | Aquarium of the Smokies

53: Can you find the flounder on the left? | Weedy scorpion fish | Spotted garden eel

80: We spotted the ducks crossing the main road in Gatlinburg. Once they crossed, they continued to waddle down the sidewalk.

81: Dollywood has many old fashioned signs and areas through-out the park

82: Small 2 room cabin

84: Wayne found his restaurant - all you can eat chicken. Afterwards, he joins the union.

89: We watched the Soaring Eagle ride and then Wayne spotted the water guns. He loved squirting all the people on the ride while they tried to get him wet. Perfect ending to the morning at the park.

93: We saw horses, turkeys, rabbits and deer, but no bears in site.

95: The Ogle family was one of the first to settle in the backwoods community of White Oak Flats (now Gatlinburg). The family became a prominent force in all phases of local life. Noah "Bud" Ogle was a descendant. He and his bride, Cindy, started out on this farm of 400 acres in 1879. Despite a land assessor's comment it was "not fit for farming". They made a living here for many years.

96: They raised the lower half of the cabin first and added on as the space was needed. No space was wasted - downstairs were for living, cooking and sleeping. Boys slept in the 2 lofts.

97: The chimney served both sides of the cabin - the original and the addition. The two alcoves beside the chimney were valuable storage space. Meat, cornmeal and salt were kept in the front one, while chickens were raised in the rear - relatively safe from the foxes. | They raised the plants and animals that they ate. To save time and energy, their food sources were tucked as close as possible to the house. All was carefully arranged for economy of labor and space.

98: Wayne was the first to reach the barn and found a surprise inside. Even though we were on the lookout for bears, we were both glad that was not what he found.

99: The Ogles had running water, a little unusual for this time and place. They had wood troughs from the spring to the house. The spring still has about a couple inches of water running through the rocks. | We left the Ogles and continued toward the one lane Roaring Fork auto tour. Roll down the windows and listen to the rushing water and birds singing.

100: The mist-like clouds give the Smokies their name. | We left the road and started up the Trilliam Gap Trail to see Grotto Falls.

105: Leaving the falls, Wayne walked ahead and climbed down and over a fallen tree.

106: Jim Bales Place

109: The Ephrain Bales Place | "Hardscrabble" is one name for a place like this. Ephraim Bales was a farmer. He, his wife, Minerva, and their nine children lived crammed into this dog-trot cabin, which was a bit on the small side to begin with. Life for the Bales family was as sparse and hard as the ground around them. "Eph" and "Nervie" owned 70 acres of rocks and cultivated 30 of them. The rest remained in timber for cooking, heating and construction use. Imagine trying to feed, clothe and shelter your family on this mountainside. Puncheon (split log) floors were drafty and allowed an occasional snake to slide in, but did serve the purpose when there was no sawed lumber around. | Small doors conserved heat and let one finish the house without adding logs just to make the doorway higher.The only window was the "granny hole" which looks out on the family pantry - the corn crib.

110: As one who knew him put it "old Eph kept his rifle hangin' right here over the window. If he heard the shutter squeak on the corn crib, he took his rifle down". The corn crib stands beside the house. Small, almost fragile, it is typical of many outbuildings on Roaring Fork. Its size tells us something about life here.

111: Building required trees and hard work, so no one built anything larger than necessary.

112: Alfred Reagan Place | Alfred Reagan, like Ephraim Bales, was a farmer. He had cattle and crops, fruit trees and timber; and Mrs. Reagan had her flowers. But he had other things too; well developed manual skills and the business sense to do something with them. A jack of all trades, he practiced most of them close to home. His carpentry tools left their mark all over Roaring Fork community. A death in the neighborhood usually sent Reagan to his shop to make a coffin - free of charge. A blacksmith shop was built so he could mend things that wore out at home or on the rocky mountainside road.

113: Around 1900, he built a store. He later built a mill and charged one gallon per bushel in toll for grinding. The design of his mill allowed it to work even when the water level was low. The flume was important to folks who passed by to water their horses.

114: The Reagans took a fine house and made it finer. It is a "saddlebag house", the two halves hanging from a central chimney. The hewing is clean, the corners tight, and the log ends cut flush with each other.

115: The "new house" deserved sawed board paneling and ceilings, slicked down with a hand plane. "All 3 colors that Sears and Roebuck had" set the house off nicely against the mountain backdrop. Inside the family sat, slept and ate on furniture from Alfred Reagan's own hands.

116: After the fifth or sixth child, they raised the roof to create the attic bedrooms and added the kitchen wing at the rear.

118: This area is called "The Place of a Thousand Drips" | Dozens of tiny waterfalls spring from rock to rock after a heavy rain. The waterfall is cutting away at the bedrock which may form a side canyon in a thousand years or so.

119: We saw the old truck and buildings and thought we had one more place to visit. NO - someone still lives there.

120: The story of Ruby Falls begins with the original Lookout Mountain Cave whose natural entrance is located at the foot of Lookout Mountain on the banks of the Tennessee River. History of this cave includes Native Americans, cave explorers, notorious outlaws, civil war soldiers, and even a president of the United States. In 1905, the Railroad Company was forced to construct a tunnel along the face of Lookout Mountain and through some portions of the mountain for one of its lines. This tunnel intersected and sealed off the natural entrance to the Lookout Mountain Cave. In doing this, the Lookout Mountain Cave was completely shut off to the public. | Leo Lambert, a local cave enthusiast knew of Lookout Mountain Cave and its rich history. He longed to reopen it to the public. While excavating in 1928, they discovered a void in the rock. He entered the opening (on left) and crawled around the natural opening. While exploring they discovered a number of unusual and beautiful rock formations till they reached the marvelous jewel, the waterfall.

130: Steak and Potatoes

132: Natchez Trace Parkway | The town of Rocky Springs Population 1860 - 2,616 Population Today - 0 | This cistern may mark the site of one of several local blacksmith shops which served the surrounding farmsteads and plantations. Here, horses were shod, and farm implements, tools, and other metal items were made or repaired, as replacements normally had to be shipped in from distant points. | The first post office at Rocky Springs was established in 1821. Postal receipts were listed as $82.52 in 1827, $57.06 in 1828 and $49.23 in 1830. In comparison, nearby Port Gibson, the second largest postal facility in the state after Natchez, averaged about $1,400 a year in the same period.

133: This church was built in 1837 by the Methodist congregation of Rocky Springs. Earlier the town had been a station for a circuit-riding preacher who stopped by only once or twice a month. The Church is preserved by the former congregation members who held regular services here and gather here at an annual "homecoming" each spring.

143: In 1858, Frederick Stanton built the home of his dreams for his family on his new property - an entire city block of Natchez, Mississippi. The city block cost about $1,550. The house cost over $83,000 before it was even furnished. Carrera Marble, mahogany doors 2 1/2 inches thick, candeliers from France, and Italian statuary appointed the interior. Huge Corinthian columns and granite steps adorned the facade. Stanton came to America with his brothers in 1815. He made a fortune as a cotton broker, then as owner of more than 16,000 acres of cotton plantations. Ironically, he lived only one month after his dream home was finished.

144: Longwood, also known as Nutt's Folly, is an historic antebellum octagonal mansion in Natchez, Mississippi. It is the largest octagonal house in the US. Samuel Sloan, a Philadelphia architect, designed the home in 1859 for cotton planter Dr. Haller Nutt. Work was halted in 1861 at the start of the Civil War. Dr. Nutt died of pneumonia in 1864, leaving the work incomplete. Of the thirty-two rooms planned for the house, only nine rooms on the basement floor were completed. Haller Nutt's never-finished Natchez home, Longwood, was the last burst of southern opulence before war brought the cotton barons' dominance to an end. Longwood survived decades of neglect and near-abandonment to become one of Natchez' most popular attractions.

145: Many workers laid down their tools where they were working as they departed due to the war. Some leaving to fight with the Union and others for the Confederate army.

146: The house was designed to bring in the natural light from the top through all floors. Many shipping crates are still on the second floor with the plaster castings and tools.

149: Servants Quarters built in 1863 -today and in 1916.

150: One of the outbuildings contains a weaving machine, wagon and faucet mounted on a box.

151: Longwood in 1920 | Viewing the photos in the museum - not much has changed at Longwood.

152: Rosedown Plantation | Rosedown Plantation, encompassing 374 acres in St. Francisville, is one of the most intact, documented examples of a domestic plantation complex in the South. Rosedown was established in the 1830s by Daniel and Martha Barrow Turnbull, and remained in the hands of their descendants until the 1950s. | The plantation's landscape is a laboratory for the study and interpretation of the cultural traditions of slavery, the life style of the gentry and scientific experiments in agriculture and horticulture. The c.1835 Federal-Greek revival style great house, complete with Grecian style wings c.1845, is at the head of a 660-foot long oak alley.

155: Among several buildings on the grounds is a Greek temple style doctor's office. | Looking around made me thankful that I didn't live during this period.

156: The grounds were well laid out and planned by Martha Turnbull. The gardens were the passion of Martha and her garden diary provides invaluable insight into the story of the garden's planting and management. She recorded her first entry in 1836 and her last in 1895, a year before her death at the age of 87.

158: The kitchen and laundry building was located close to the family garden and chicken house.

160: Daniel Turnbull himself was known before the Civil War as one of the richest men in the nation. Daniel and Martha began construction on the main house at Rosedown in 1834, completing it by May the following year for a total cost of $13,109.20. | The paper in the entrance was made with patterns on wood blocks individually pressed on the stripes of cloth. The home was furnished with imported goods from Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Europe. Most of the furnishings remained with the house during the years after the American Civil War. A large percentage of original pieces are still displayed at Rosedown.

161: A small door by the dining room opens to a tight, steep stairway. This was used by the house slaves to bring things up and down the stairs.

162: They offered their guests the greater comfort - a private bathing area. The box above would hold the water above them - they would pull the cord for a nice shower - at least nice for the time period.

163: On the second floor landing, the family would open the doors to get a cool cross wind in the summer months. They would often play games to pass the time. Downstairs a music room was set up for all the children to play an instrument for a night of entertainment.

164: They took advantage of all storage opportunities. On each side of the fireplace, he installed shallow closets.

166: The 2 quilts are original to the family.

168: The carpet in this room is original to the family. Their most prized possession in this room is the small needlepoint below. It was made by Martha Washington.

169: The gentleman's parlor has a piano, game table and the liquor cabinet. During this time, the liquor had to be locked up - one for taxes and also to keep from the ladies. They didn't allow the women to have anything stronger than watered down wine.

171: It was fun visiting all the old antebellum homes, but it's time to make our way home.

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Jeanette Rucker
  • By: Jeanette R.
  • Joined: about 9 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 66
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Road trip - Texas to Tennessee
  • May 2012 trip to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee with stops in Mississippi and Louisiana
  • Tags: smokey mountains, tennessee, Mississippi, louisiana, Rosedown, waterfall, cabins, Cades Cove, Stanton Hall, Longwood
  • Published: almost 6 years ago